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Barbu, V. (1947). A Kierkegaard Anthology. Edited by Robert Bretall. 487 pp. 1946. Princetion University Press. $5.. Am. J. Psychoanal., 7(1):56-58.

(1947). American Journal of Psychoanalysis, 7(1):56-58

Book Reviews

A Kierkegaard Anthology. Edited by Robert Bretall. 487 pp. 1946. Princetion University Press. $5.

Review by:
Valer Barbu, M.D.

Kierkegaard is a Danish religious philosopher who lived in Copenhagen from 1813 to 1855. During his short life-span of 42 years he wrote about twenty books. In spite of this considerable output, he was almost completely forgotten for many years after his death. In the last two years his name has been mentioned in the newspapers as the father of “existential philosophy” now popular in France.

His most important works have appeared in English translation only in the last ten years, most of them in the publications of Princeton University Press. The present volume contains extracts from his most significant writings. It is evident that the editor has a thorough knowledge of Kierkegaard and that his selections are well chosen. Each section is preceded by a brief introduction by the editor with use-full comments about the meaning of the particular volume in the context of Kierkegaard's development and in relationship to the other volumes.

Kierkegaard's writing is largely autobiographical and reflects his own spiritual development. Most of his writings were published under various pseudonyms—projections of those aspects of his personality which he considered as transitory stages—while his straight religious writings were published under his own name.

Kierkegaard is one of the most difficult writers. He is known to very few, but among these few some have studied him with a most unusual devotion. Many of these students and commentators have themselves been religious workers.

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