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The Incapable Poet: Søren Kierkegaard's Fear and Trembling and Theodor W. Adorno's Critique of Poetic Philosophy
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Theology, Department of Theology, Studies in Faith and Ideologies, Systematic Theology and Studies in World Views.
2019 (English)In: Literature and Theology, ISSN 0269-1205, Vol. 33, no 1, p. 50-68Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This article addresses Kierkegaard’s Fear and Trembling, claiming that a strand of theological approaches to its artful exposition overestimates the artistic success of the work and underestimates the philosophical ambiguities of Kierkegaard’s philosophy. From the viewpoint of Theodor W. Adorno’s critical conception of Kierkegaard’s thought, heavily indebted to Walter Benjamin’s theory of allegory, it is suggested that a more meaningful aesthetic reading of Fear and Trembling would be to view it as a philosophically overdetermined discourse on silence, with a failed poetic ambition. The article illustrates the tradition of poetic readings with Stephen Mulhall’s Christian way of approaching Fear and Trembling. Against this example, and in line with Adorno's critical Benjaminian take, Kierkegaard’s work can be placed at the threshold of a literary development eventually leading to the silence of Samuel Beckett’s play Endgame.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2019. Vol. 33, no 1, p. 50-68
Keywords [en]
Kierkegaard, Adorno, Stephen Mulhall, Fear and Trembling, Poetic Philosophy, Walter Benjamin
National Category
Philosophy Religious Studies
Research subject
Systematic Theology and Studies in Worldviews
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-377188DOI: 10.1093/litthe/fry032ISI: 000462631900003OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-377188DiVA, id: diva2:1289136
Available from: 2019-02-15 Created: 2019-02-15 Last updated: 2019-04-24Bibliographically approved

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