Review by Choice Review
Although many thinkers consider one's personal life to be irrelevant for the interpretation of one's philosophical work, Kierkegaard's biography and philosophy are distinctively and deeply intertwined. Among the many excellent biographies of Kierkegaard (1813-55), Hannay's stands out for its presentation of Kierkegaard as being, himself, one of those "poor existing individuals" about whom he wrote so often. Hannay (emer., Univ. of Oslo, Norway) humanizes Kierkegaard and provides a window not simply into Kierkegaard's mind, but into his personal struggle for selfhood, God, and love. Thus, Hannay discusses the central themes in Kierkegaard's authorship in light of the lived realities of Kierkegaard's own, often difficult, relationship with his society, his church, and his peers. This vibrant book invites the reader to think with Kierkegaard, rather than simply think about him. Despite having read Kierkegaard for nearly 20 years, this reviewer found that this book made him want to learn more and dig even deeper into Kierkegaard's melancholic yet inspiring life and work. Those wishing for a good place to start with Kierkegaard should reach for this book. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Lower-division undergraduates through faculty and professionals; general readers. --J. Aaron Simmons, Furman University
Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.
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