Søren Kierkegaard: Background information when reading Either/Or

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by Elif Batuman

Either/Or by Elif Batuman X
Either/Or by Elif Batuman
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  • First Published:
    May 2022, 368 pages

    May 28, 2023, 368 pages


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Book Reviewed by:
Rachel Hullett
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About this Book

Søren Kierkegaard

This article relates to Either/Or

Sketch of Soren KierkegaardBorn in 1813 in Copenhagen, Søren Kierkegaard was a Danish philosopher and theologian best known for his critical discourse on the Christian faith, which solicited both critics and admirers while he was alive. Known today as the "father of existentialism," he was one of the first philosophers to delve into themes that would be further explored in the existentialist movement (the subjectivity of human existence, and the question of authenticity, or the degree to which one's actions dovetail with their values).

He was the seventh and final child of a wealthy family. His father, a retired businessman, led a somber life, and Kierkegaard grew up under the shadow of a strange tale that he often told, about having once cursed God as a child. He spent the rest of his days intensely guilt-ridden about this, and his piety and melancholic demeanor affected Kierkegaard's outlook on life from an early age. (His father believed that God would kill all seven of his children before they ...

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