While Kierkegaard is perhaps known best as a religious thinker and philosopher, there is an unmistakable literary element in his writings. He often explains complex concepts and ideas by using literary figures and motifs that he could assume his readers would have some familiarity with. This dimension of his thought has served to make his writings far more popular than those of other philosophers and theologians, but at the same time it has made their interpretation more complex. Kierkegaard readers are generally aware of his interest in figures such as Faust or the Wandering Jew, but they rarely have a full appreciation of the vast extent of his use of characters from different literary periods and traditions. The present volume is dedicated to the treatment of the variety of literary figures and motifs used by Kierkegaard. The volume is arranged alphabetically by name, with Tome I covering figures and motifs from Agamemnon to Guadalquivir.
Contents: Preface; Agamemnon: from ancient tragic hero to modern ethical archetype, Laura Liva; Agnes and the merman: Abraham as monster, Nathaniel Kramer; Aladdin: the audacity of wildest wishes, Jennifer Veninga; Amor: god of love - Psyche’s seducer, Frances Maughan-Brown; Antigone: the tragic art of either/or, Shoni Rancher; Ariadne: Kierkegaard’s view on women, life and remorse, Filipa Afonso; Marie Beaumarchais: Kierkegaard’s account of feminine sorrow, Susana Janic; Bluebeard: demoniac or tragic hero?, Ian W. Panth; Captain Scipio: the recollection of Phister’s portrayal as the comic par excellence, Timothy Stock; Cerberus: deceiving a watchdog and relying on God, Filipa Afonso; Clavigo: a little tale about the sense of guilt, Antonella Fimiani; Coach horn: Kierkegaard’s ambivalent valedictory to a disappearing instrument, Wolter Hartog; Desdemona: the ill-starred heroine of indirect communication, Ana Pinto Leite; Diotima: teacher of Socrates and Kierkegaard’s advocate for the mythical, Harald Steffes; Don Juan (Don Giovanni): seduction and its absolute medium in music, Jacobo Zabalo; Don Quixote: Kierkegaard and the relation between knight-errant and truth-witness, Christopher B. Barnett; Donna Elvira: the colossal feminine character, from donna abbandonata to the embodiment of modern sorrow, Sara Ellen Eckerson; Elves, trolls, and nisses: the relevance of supernatural creatures to aestheticism, philosophical rationalism, and the Christian faith, Will Williams; Erasmus Montanus: the tragi-comic victim of the crowd, Julie K. Allen; Faust: the seduction of doubt, Leonardo F. Lisi; The Fenris wolf: unreal fetters and real forces in Søren Kierkegaard’s authorship, Henrike Fürstenberg; Figaro: the character and the opera he represents, Sara Ellen Eckerson; Furies: the phenomenal representation of guilt, Laura Liva; Gadfly: Kierkegaard’s relation to Socrates, Hjördis Becker-Lindenthal; Guadalquivir: Kierkegaard’s subterranean fluvial pseudonymity, Eric Ziolkowski; Indexes.