Kierkegaard And The Ends Of Language by Geoffrey A. Hale

By Geoffrey A. Hale

What can we learn after we learn Kierkegaard? How can we understand? Insisting that Kierkegaard is still a much more enigmatic and paradoxical author than is usually assumed, Geoffrey Hale argues that how you can procedure Keirkegaard's paintings and comprehend its value for our personal proposal is to retrace its formative effect on significant intellectuals of the early 20th century.

In at the same time reflective readings of Kierkegaard's foundational texts throughout the paintings of 3 pivotal authors-Franz Kafka, Theodor Adorno, and Rainer Maria Rilke-Hale exhibits how every one of those writers attracts consciousness to the unwavering feel of human finitude that pervades all of Kierkegaard's paintings and, with it, the profoundly unsettling indeterminacy during which it effects. it's the very barriers of language, Hale argues, that carry it open to that means, to interpretation, and hence to freedom. Resisting transparent circumscription during this approach, Kierkegaard's paintings turns into the entire extra fruitful to us-and all of the extra challenging-to the level that it resists our realizing.

Geoffrey A. Hale acquired a Ph.D. in German from The Johns Hopkins collage and studied on the loose college in Berlin via a Fulbright scholarship.

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Our Antigone,” as A says of the “modern” one, “although alive, is in another sense dead; her life is quiet and concealed” (Either/Or I, 157). Her death, literally and figuratively, is this “quiet” “concealment,” the finite end of her own life that she already embodies in her “secret” debt. That is to say, her end and limit is the very finitude of her existence, beyond which no thought can reach and no word can, directly, communicate. To inherit a secret in this way, however, as “our” Antigone has done, is to inherit the debt of an incommunicable nonknowledge.

He says as much in a letter from 1918 to his friend Max Brod when he compares Kierkegaard’s texts in general to “The Seducer’s Diary,” kierkegaard who? 33 the final section of the first volume of Either/Or: “They are not unequivocal, and even when he later develops a kind of unequivocality, even this too is only part of his chaos of spirit, melancholy and faith. . Besides, his compromising books are pseudonymous and pseudonymous nearly to the core. ”39 Their meanings are not, as Kafka insists, unequivocal, because the same fragmentariness and incompletion that removes any illusion of the author’s authority also refuses to grant authority to a single principle of coherent organization.

Taking seriously the unavoidable finitude of language, all of Kierkegaard’s work consists, in this sense, of posthumous papers, papers “left behind,” without hope or promise of completion. Fragmentary and incomplete, the work is assigned neither systematic coherence nor definitive, totalizable meaning. As we have said, this is precisely its condition, not an undue complication to be clarified or resolved in each of the work’s commentaries. That does not mean, however, that he is also not obliged to account for his work in some way, just that such an account, like all others and like the work it would attempt to organize, can never be definitive, never complete—enough.

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