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The Living Thoughts of Kierkegaard (New York Review Books) Paperback – September 30, 1999

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Editorial Reviews

Review

Auden accepted many assignments in his industrious life and always made something creative of them. The Living Thoughts of Sren Kierkegaard is more than an anthology, it is a bold reshaping of the Dane's oeuvre and the handiest introduction to him as a Christian apologist. Auden's compressed and jauntily dogmatic introduction is itself an education. -- John Updike

Language Notes

Text: English (translation)
Original Language: Danish
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Product Details

  • Series: New York Review Books (Book 6)
  • Paperback: 280 pages
  • Publisher: NYRB Classics (September 30, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0940322137
  • ISBN-13: 978-0940322134
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.7 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #878,006 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Jacob King on February 15, 2011
Format: Paperback
I am writing this review in a fit of anguish having mislaid my copy of The Living Thoughts of Kierkegaard. It is one of the few books I would have to instantly replace if it wandered from my collection. I first read this book when I was 19 and intellectually at a loose end. Auden's beautiful introduction became my first introduction to existentialism while the text, a patchwork of Kierkegaard's writing on Christianity, reintroduced me to the faith of my childhood and provided my with a new basis for appreciating Christianity. I highly reccomended this book as it in part helped me to choose the direction my life has taken in the decade since. Oh and the writing is in itself beautiful and the NYRB edition as always looks good and is of the highest quality. Now if only I could find out where it went...
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By reading man on October 9, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is worth owning for the introduction by Auden, let alone his selections from Kierkegaard, though they are a bit quirky, inescapably so given the voluminous works of K.

Auden claims he had "the intellectual conceit knocked out of him" by Kierkegaard, and at approximately the same time he read him for the first time he became a member of the Episcopal Church.

His explanation of Kierkegaard's basic conceptions is lucid enough, but Auden's love for juggling abstractions doesn't mesh entirely with "existentialism". If you read much of his prose, you begin to wonder why someone who wrote marvelous poetry filled with fresh but concrete imagery was so enamoured of the generalized and limiting word. "All men are divided into three parts ..." is a sentence that I doubt Auden ever wrote, but it would fit into at least half or more of his reviews and essays.

However, this is a good selection with a very good introduction, and though it might prove puzzling to a beginner, it's an acceptable starting point for anyone interested in finding out about him.
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