By Søren Kierkegaard
Ostensibly, A Literary Review is a simple observation by way of Soren Kierkegaard at the paintings of a modern novelist. On deeper degrees, in spite of the fact that, it turns into the existential philosopher's far-reaching critique of his society and age, and its apocalyptic ultimate sections encouraged the critical principles in Martin Heidegger's influential paintings Being and Time. Embraced through many readers as prophetic, A Literary Review and its techniques stay proper to our present debates on id, dependancy, and social conformity.
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Extra info for A Literary Review (Penguin Classics) aka "Two Ages"
Or can you think of anything more frightful than that it might end with your nature being resolved into a multiplicity, that you really might become many, become, like those unhappy demoniacs, a legion and you thus would have lost the inmost and holiest thing of all in a man, the unifying power of personality? . [Such a one] may be so inexplicably woven into relationships of life which extend far beyond himself, that he almost cannot reveal himself. But he who cannot reveal himself cannot love, and he who Existentialism cannot love is the most unhappy man of all.
This is the force of a successful ‘eidetic reduction’. It captures the essence or intelligible contour of the experience of another subject as subject and not simply as an object. Existentialism they almost beg for embodiment in imaginative literature, ﬁlms, and plays. I mentioned that many phenomenologists are not existentialists. The converse is also true: while 20th-century existentialists accepted Husserl’s concept of intentionality because it opened a wide ﬁeld for their descriptive method, they resisted another feature of his later thought as being incompatible with what existentialism is all about, namely his project of ‘bracketing’ existence.
The Judge is articulating the general existentialist thesis that choice is self-constituting and liberating. Recall that, whereas Hegelian philosophy, in Kierkegaard’s view, emphasizes ‘mediation’ between alternatives, which it raises to a higher, more comprehensive stage or standpoint, existential thinking stresses choice, the ‘either/or’ that involves risk, commitment, and individuation. With a particularly apt analogy, the Judge proposes: Think of the captain on his ship at the instant when it has to come about.