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Posts Tagged ‘soren kierkegaard’

“There is a rambling of loquacity that in its interminability has the same relation to the result as the incalculable lists of Egyptian kings have to the historical outcome. Old age fulfills the dreams of youth. One sees this in Swift: in his youth he built an insane asylum; in his old age he himself entered it.

It is cause for alarm to note with what hypochondriac profundity Englishmen of an earlier generation have spotted the ambiguity basic to laughter. Thus Dr. Hartley has observed: “dass wenn sich das Lachen zuerst bei Kindem zeiget, so ist es ein entstehendes Weinen, welches durch Schmerz erregt wird, oder ein plotzlich gehemtes und in sehr kurzen Zwischenraiimen wiederholtes Gefiihl des Schmerzens” [that when laughter first makes its appearance in the child, it is a nascent cry that is excited by pain or a suddenly arrested feeling of pain repeated at very short intervals]. What if everything in the world were a misunderstanding; what if laughter really were weeping!

There are particular occasions when one may be most painfully moved to see a person standing utterly alone in the world. The other day  saw a poor girl walking utterly alone to church to be confirmed. Comelius Nepos tells of a general who was kept confined with a considerable cavalry regiment in a fortress; to keep the horses from being harmed because of too much inactivity, he had them whipped daily-in like manner,  live in this age as one besieged, but lest  be harmed by sitting still so much,  cry myself tired.  say of my sorrow what the Englishman says of his house: My sorrow is my castle.  Many people look upon having sorrow as one of life’s conveniences.”

– Soren Kierkegaard, Either / Or, Part 1Translated by: Howard V. Hong and Edna H. Hong. Princeton University Press, 1987. Original: 1843.

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“Aladdin is so very refreshing because this piece has the audacity of the child, of the genius, in the wildest wishes. Indeed, how many are there in our day who truly dare to wish, dare to desire, dare to address nature neither with a polite child’s bitte, bitte [please, please] nor with the raging frenzy of one damned? How many are there who-inspired by what is talked about so much in our age, that man is created in God’s image-have the authentic voice of command? Or do we not all stand like Noureddin, bowing and scraping, worrying about asking too much or too little? Or is not every magnificent demanding eventually diminished to morbid reflecting over the I, from insisting to informing, which we are indeed brought up and trained to do.”

– Soren Kierkegaard, Either / Or, Part 1. Translated by: Howard V. Hong and Edna H. Hong. Princeton University Press, 1987. Original: 1843.

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