Kierkegaard's Muse (inbunden)
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Princeton University Press
Alastair Hannay
48 halftones.
241 x 158 x 31 mm
698 g
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Kierkegaard's Muse (inbunden)

Kierkegaard's Muse

The Mystery of Regine Olsen

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Inbunden Engelska, 2017-06-20
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The first biography of Kierkegaard's literary muse and one-time fiancee, from the author of the definitive biography of the philosopher Kierkegaard's Muse, the first biography of Regine Olsen (1822-1904), the literary inspiration and one-time fiancee of Danish philosopher Soren Kierkegaard, is a moving portrait of a long romantic fever that had momentous literary consequences. Drawing on more than one hundred previously unknown letters by Regine that acclaimed Kierkegaard biographer Joakim Garff discovered by chance, the book tells the story of Kierkegaard and Regine's mysterious relationship more fully and vividly than ever before, shedding new light on her influence on his life and writings. Like Dante's Beatrice, Regine is one of the great muses of literary history. Kierkegaard proposed to her in 1840, but broke off the engagement a year later. After their break, they saw each other strikingly often, inside dimly lit churches, on the streets of Copenhagen, and on the paths along the old city ramparts, passing by without uttering a word. Despite or because of their separation in life, Kierkegaard made Regine his literary life companion, "that single individual" to whom he dedicated all his works. Garff shows how Regine became a poetic presence in the frequent erotic conflicts found throughout Kierkegaard's writings, from the famous "Seducer's Diary" account of their relationship to diary entries made shortly before his death in 1855. In turn, Regine remained preoccupied with Kierkegaard until her own death almost fifty years later, and her newly discovered letters, written to her sister Cornelia, reveal for the first time a woman of flesh and blood. A psychologically acute narrative that is as gripping as a novel, Kierkegaard's Muse is an unforgettable account of a wild, strange, and poignant romance that made an indelible mark on literary history.
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"A measured, perceptive portrait of Regine Olsen, Kierkegaard's jilted fiancee, reanimating her not as the philosopher's immortalized muse but as a living, breathing person."--Publishers Weekly

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Övrig information

Joakim Garff is the author of the acclaimed Soren Kierkegaard: A Biography (Princeton), which has been translated into many languages. He is associate professor at the Soren Kierkegaard Research Centre at the University of Copenhagen and coeditor of a project to publish definitive new Danish-language editions of all of Kierkegaard's writings. He lives in Copenhagen.


Translator's Acknowledgment ix Preface xi Tuning In 1 Part 1 1855 The Painful Departure 13 "You my heart's sovereign mistress" 16 The Virgin Islands 24 Governor J. F. Schlegel and His Wife 29 The Attack on the Church 34 "The flies are to such a degree impertinent out here" 37 Patient No. 2067 41 1856 His Last Will and Testament 51 "My Regine! ... Your K." 55 "She nodded twice. I shook my head." 70 Repetition and the Repetition 71 Regine Frederikke Olsen's Death 80 Cane Garden's Blessings 82 "Food for worms and that's the end of it" 88 "... for you know how little fuss there is with Fritz and me" 91 Henrik Lund and "Uncle Soren" 95 Regine's First Letter to Henrik Lund 102 The Sealed Letter to Mr. and Mrs. Schlegel 107 The Secret Place in Regine's Heart 114 The Plague's Paradise 118 The First Love 126 "... it's exactly a matter I'd like to take up a little: blind love!" 128 "But I am constantly afraid of her passion" 130 "... so she eggs the merman on" 132 "... an unsettled point between us"-Regine's Second Letter to Henrik Lund 135 "One unnamed whose name will sometime be named" 138 "Then I return to you ..." 143 1857 "The Seducer's Diary" 146 Tropical Yuletide 153 The White Gold-A Dark Chapter 154 "We have had a Negro-uprising on St. Croix!" 158 Regine and "the Blacks" 163 Birch and His Brother 168 "Meet her without being observed" 172 "... I am an exceptional lover" 176 Either/Or 178 "The priest people in Hellevad" 181 "The day is bad, but the night is worse" 183 "... then I stand there so untouched by it all" 186 1001 Nights 188 1858 "You imagined it was Cornelia" 194 "What does this silence mean?" 195 "... I shall the second time with God's help become more cruel" 201 "... my besetting sin, making eternities!" 204 "God preserve me from their Christianity" 208 "... as though I were 16 again and not 36" 212 "What an enormous loss, that Mrs. Heiberg has left the theater!" 215 Fritz and His Tormentors 217 "-and when I grew dizzy through gazing down into her infinite devotion" 220 1859 "They played mostly dance music" 224 The French Officer-A Little Weakness 227 The Collectively Unutterable and Some Stolen Reflections 229 Birthdays-and Other Fatalities 234 Part 2 1860-1896 "... I am not looking forward to coming to Copenhagen" 241 Homecoming and the Time That Followed 242 Regine's Copenhagen and Environs 246 "... a word or two about the dear Fritz" 250 "I cannot be quit of this relationship" 252 "so close to me that it was almost a collision" 256 "... my heart is deeply grieved over my poor native land" 259 Regine's Boarding House 262 The Schlegels' "Place on the Corner" 263 "Alas, I am indeed somewhat spectral" 267 Regine's Myth and Brandes's Biography 271 Fireburn: Fritz's Reencounter with the West Indies 276 Exit to Eternity 279 Part 3 1897-1904 "Then comes a dream from my youth's spring ..." 285 The Right to Regine's Love Story 287 "... he is the riddle, the great riddle" 290 " 'our own dear, little Regine' " 293 Postscript and Acknowledgments 297 Notes 299 Illustration Credits 309 Name Index 311