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Weigert, E. (1960). Søren Kierkegaard's Mood Swings. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 41:521-525.

(1960). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 41:521-525

Søren Kierkegaard's Mood Swings

Edith Weigert

It may sound presumptuous for a guest from abroad to talk in Copenhagen about the Danish genius whose prophetic writings have influenced the thinking of later generations all over the world. Kierkegaard was a forerunner of existential philosophy (Husserl, Jaspers, Heidegger, Sartre) as well as of modern psycho-analytical psychology. His psychology was that of a poet and philosopher, not that of a scientist. It grew out of his self-observations. He expressed the most delicate nuances of his emotional experiences in his diaries, and his poeticphilosophical writings represent a veiled, yet most intimate autobiographical confession. There exists a vast literature on Kierkegaard in Danish and other languages. For my limited purposes I found particularly useful the Danish biographer of Kierkegaard, Johannes Hohlenberg (6), and a German psycho-analytic study of Kierkegaard by Fanny Lowtzky (18) with the subtitle: The Subjective Experience and the Religious Revelation: a Psycho-Analytic Study of an Almost-Self-analysis. Fanny Lowtzky describes how close Kierkegaard came to discovering his Oedipus conflict and how he tried to solve it in philosophical and religious terms. Since this publication in 1935 we have gained a deeper understanding of psycho-analytic ego-psychology. Ernst Kris has shed light on the process of creative sublimations in his Psychoanalytic Explorations of Art(16), Lawrence Kubie has described the contribution of preconscious processes to creativity depending 'upon freedom in gathering, assembling, comparing and reshuffling of ideas'.

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