What books do you suggest for a thorough reading of Kierkegaard?

Never read any before, but I read a bio about him recently, and am incredibly interested. I want to read anything he has ever written. I'm buying 'The Essential Kierkegaard', what else should I get?

2 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
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    Kierkegaard is one of my all time favorites. His texts are not really all that difficult to understand (and they're beautifully written), but they do require some frequent pause and consideration. I would suggest Fear and Trembling and The Sickness Unto Death, though I'm not sure what's included in the Essential book.

    He is, however, someone you can best understand when framed biographically, so if you can get a hold of his journals, you'll see how his daily life plays into his philosophy.

    Perhaps the best general overview I've read is found in W.T. Jones' History of Western Philosophy volume for the 19th century. It's concise and splices in the relevant biographical information with and explanation of Kierkegaard's core ideas. It's fairly expensive, but you might find it used, or at the library.

    Best of luck.

  • 1 decade ago

    "Either/Or" is considered his best work and "The Concept of Irony with Continual Reference to Socrates" is considered the first piece of 'important' work he did. There may be excerpts collected in the Essential...from one or both of them, I don't know.

    He can be a little heavy but he is actually quite humorous. He has a reputation for being bleak, hopeless and emo -- to use a colloquial term, but I think he's just misread. He was, after all, a humorist.

    You may also want to get Kierkegaard for Beginners. I know it looks like a comic, but it is a good short introduction, written on an adult level and a good companion.

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