Download A Literary Review (Penguin Classics) aka "Two Ages" by Søren Kierkegaard PDF

By Søren Kierkegaard

Ostensibly, A Literary Review is an easy observation via Soren Kierkegaard at the paintings of a modern novelist. On deeper degrees, although, it turns into the existential philosopher's far-reaching critique of his society and age, and its apocalyptic ultimate sections encouraged the imperative rules in Martin Heidegger's influential paintings Being and Time. Embraced via many readers as prophetic, A Literary Review and its thoughts stay suitable to our present debates on id, habit, and social conformity.

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Sample text

I'd have taught that bully of a soldier a thing or two! To begin with, off with his head! Up against the wall with him! I turned the page. My error was demonstrated to me in black and white: the sororicide had to be acquitted. For some moments, I fumed, I stamped my hoof like a bull that has been tricked. And then, I hurriedly smothered my wrath. That's how things were, I had to make the best of it: I was too young. I had completely misunderstood; the necessity of that acquittal was, as it happened, established by the many alexandrines that had been unclear to me or that I had impatiently skipped.

Beyond the walls, one encountered rough sketches which more or less approximated the archetypes without achieving their perfection: the monkeys in the zoo were less monkey, the men in the Luxembourg Gardens were less man. In Platonic fashion, I went from knowledge to its subject. I found more reality in the idea than in the thing because it was given to me first and because it was given as a thing. It was in books that I encountered the universe: assimilated, classified, labeled, pondered, still formidable; and I confused the disorder of my bookish experiences with the random course of real events.

I place my blocks on top of each other, I turn out my mudpies, I yell. Someone comes and exclaims. I've made one more person happy. Meals, sleep, and precautions against bad weather are the high points and chief obligations of a completely ceremonious life. I eat in public, like a king: if I eat well, I am congratulated; my grandmother herself cries out: "What a good boy to be hungry I" I keep creating myself; I am the giver and the gift. If my father were alive, I would know my rights and my duties.

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