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Either/Or, Part I (Kierkegaard's Writings, 3) Paperback – 1987

ISBN-13: 978-0691020419 ISBN-10: 0691020418
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Either/Or, Part I (Kierkegaard's Writings, 3) + Either/Or, Part II (Kierkegaard's Writings, Vol. 4) + Fear and Trembling/Repetition : Kierkegaard's Writings, Vol. 6
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Editorial Reviews


"The definitive edition of the Writings. The first volume . . . indicates the scholarly value of the entire series: an introduction setting the work in the context of Kierkegaard's development; a remarkably clear translation; and concluding sections of intelligent notes."--Library Journal

Language Notes

Text: English, Danish (translation) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 728 pages
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press (1987)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0691020418
  • ISBN-13: 978-0691020419
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.5 x 1.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #215,819 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Soren Aabye Kierkegaard (1813-1855) was a 19th century Danish philosopher and theologian, generally recognized as the first existentialist philosopher.

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78 of 81 people found the following review helpful By Robert Moore HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on August 10, 2002
Format: Paperback
Although Kierkegaard had written other books before this one, mainly some literary critical works as well as his dissertation THE CONCEPT OF IRONY, this is the book that begins what he calls his "Authorship." The works constituting his Authorship have two main things in common: 1) they are all written by Pseudonymous Authors that represent points of view that do not precisely correspond with Kierkegaard's beliefs and 2) they are intent on delineating what Kierkegaard called the three stages of existence: the aesthetic, the ethical, and religious stages.
Of all the great philosophical writers, Kierkegaard was one of the greatest masters of literary form. In each work, he adapts a style and form that is appropriate to the particular point of view he is attempting to illustrate. In EITHER/OR I, he is concerned with showing various aspects of the Aesthetic Stage of Existence. Unlike the later stages of existence, the Aesthetic is extremely diverse, and can take more forms and be expressed in a larger number of shapes. Kierkegaard therefore writes a series of essays that bring out various aspects of the Aesthetic stage. Some of these are among his most famous writings. His essay on Mozart's DON GIOVANNI, "The Immediate Erotic Stages or The Musical-Erotic" ranks among the most famous pieces of musical criticism ever written. Perhaps even more famous is "The Seducer's Diary," in which an individual records his attempts to snare a young woman, though more in the sense of a Mephistopheles than a Don Juan. My favorite section, and the one that illustrates an especially developed form of the aesthetic is "The Rotation of Crops," in which our anonymous author attempts to deal with the one great difficulty facing the Aesthetic Mode of Existence: boredom.
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41 of 45 people found the following review helpful By Chris Williamson on September 1, 1998
Format: Paperback
Kierkegaard's brilliance lies in his ability to take such deeply personal experiences--love, lust, sorrow--and comment universally in a way that is at least unmatched in philosphy and probably in all of literature. He understands life in a way that seems obvious but is in actual fact merely fundamental to all of us. The book is a collection of papers and texts on a variety of subjects that at first seem disconnected but in the end all tie perfectly together with the truly brilliant "seducer's diary". Philosophy is a literary discipline that generally provokes either intimidation or a feeling of pointlessness (by this I mean that people wonder why should I care what someone else thinks if it is all unprovable anyway). I feel that Kierkegaard represents everything that is good about philosphy and is worth an attempt at least even if one is trepedatious. This book will not overwhelm you in complex language or termanology, rather it will leave you invigorated with fresh ideas and new questions about everything around. Everyone should read this book.
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40 of 47 people found the following review helpful By Wences on October 6, 1998
Format: Paperback
You will have the most fun reading the first book of Either/Or. The book is actually the master fisherman's best hook -much like Socrates was a midwife of thoughts- to bring you out into reflection of the question at hand: Either the esthetic or the ethical life. This book and the second part is this elaborate question concerning two opposing ways of life. This first book is ironically and seductively entertaining. He deals with various subjects like Mozart, Drama, unhappiness, Boredom and finallly the seduction of young girl. If anything else, read the last two portions of the book. One of the things that I like about the way K writes is his ability to use words from other disciplines and to incorporate them into his language so beautifully that reading him is literally an excursion.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Glenn Russell on December 9, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Either/Or is a two part/two book set; this book is part I, that is, the Either of Either/Or. For those unfamiliar with this work by the Danish philosopher, Either presents what Kierkegaard terms the esthetic view of life. And since the esthetic view of life embraces multiplicity and variation, this book isn’t a straightforward philosophical essay; rather, Kierkegaard’s esthetic individual (herein called ‘A’) writes 8 different papers, each one from a different esthetic angle.

For example, the first paper is a series of short journal entries, dozens of them, written in a highly polished literary language, covering the wide emotional range of A’s philosophical self-examination. In one entry we read, “I say of my sorrow what the Englishman says of his house: My sorrow is my castle.”, and in another entry we read, “I have never been joyful, and yet it has always seemed as if joy were my constant companion, as if the buoyant jinn of joy danced around me . . . “. If this sounds contradictory . . .well, such is the esthetic life.

The esthetic life finds delectable fruit in music. In the nearly 100 page paper “The Immediate Erotic Stages” the author analyzes Mozart’s Don Giovanni. Anybody interested in Mozart and/or music will find this paper highly engaging and insightful. Toward the end, we read, “What It means to say – that Don Giovanni’s essential nature is music – is clearly apparent here. He dissolves, as it were, in music for us; he unfurls in a world of sound. . . . Such is his life, effervescing like champagne. And just as the beads in this wine, as it simmers with an internal heat, sonorous with its own melody, rise and continue to rise, just so the lust for enjoyment resonates in the elemental boiling that is his life.
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Either/Or, Part I (Kierkegaard's Writings, 3)
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