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Fear and Trembling by Søren Kierkegaard

Fear and Trembling (1843)

by Søren Kierkegaard

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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2,779202,108 (3.86)94
  1. 00
    Iphigenia in Aulis by Eurípides (andejons)
    andejons: Kierkegaard uses Agamemnons sacrifice as a contrast to Abraham's, for good reason. Reading Euripide's original treatment is interesting background.

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Showing 1-5 of 18 (next | show all)
Poor Kierkegaard. His sense of both religion & self are so sincere and serious, how could he not suffer? He's trying to make sense of one of the most ethically confounding Biblical stories, talking aesthetics and ethics and faith when my sense is, like, man. Give it up. I don't know how to acquit Abraham's twisted near-sacrifice and don't think it's worth starting.

But this matters so much to K., and it's why I couldn't understand this book back when I bought it. Like [b:Thus Spoke Zarathustra|51893|Thus Spoke Zarathustra|Friedrich Nietzsche|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1349449118s/51893.jpg|196327], I took this from my bookshelf and found it marked partway through with a late slip from high school. I specifically remember reading this in the park behind the goose museum in Montmagny, where I worked when I was sixteen. And I had this idea that Existentialism necessitated atheism (I was channelling both, ergo), so it baffled me that this writer was going on and on so about Abraham and faith and so I just moved on to one of the other dozen or so books I brought with me for that quick summer.

And though I've got a better comprehension of K.'s philosophical background, I still felt like he was so entrapped in this imposed framework and sure, the philosophy might be sound within it, but I don't buy into the tenets of his reality.

This is such a small sample of Kierkegaard who was ridiculously prolific and wrote under numerous pen names and at great length. When I was reading Rebecca Solnit's [b:Wanderlust: A History of Walking|78287|Wanderlust A History of Walking|Rebecca Solnit|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1170933176s/78287.jpg|1419449] she mentioned that he was an avid walker, but also mentioned that he was mocked and caricatured in The Corsair, a Danish publication. She doesn't spend a lot of time on him, but the passing mention pulled me into reading a bunch of biographical snippets, reading about the drama that went down with The Corsair, and getting a better sense of Kierkegaard. What I appreciate about him is what I note above--that he's absolutely sincere in his religious sensibility. He was apparently really generous, really charitable, and in more than a monetary sense, though he was certainly that too. It wasn't lip service, it wasn't for show, and in fact others found him untraditional and unusual in the way the he lived/practised religion, and that's something I can always appreciate. It probably didn't merit saying this in the review. But it lends validation to the anxieties present in this work. ( )
1 vote likecymbeline | Apr 1, 2017 |
An interesting look at the 'tale' of Abraham (and Isaac) from the Bible. To figure out the process through which Abraham goes through on his trial to sacrifice Isaac (his son) for God. Soren discusses if he is a tragic hero. And various philosophies branch off of this. It's a dense small book that isn't specific or an easy read, but gives interesting thoughts and insight into Abraham's trial; and about faith in general. ( )
  BenKline | Jan 31, 2016 |
This book makes a LOT more sense when you realize he doesn't mean Abraham Lincoln ( )
  trilliams | May 30, 2015 |
I can't even tell you how long this book has been tormenting me. Years. I've made at least two serious attempts to read it in the past, working my poor little gray cells to the smoking point before throwing it aside with a shower of epithets. My last attempt was a few months ago, and I made it to about two-thirds of the way through. Then, planning my New Year's Eve reading marathon, I knew if I could make it to the end of this book, it would cancel out any criticisms I might level at myself for loading the stack with short books and graphic novels, because one of the books would have been &^$(*%# Kierkegaard.

Then, I don't know how much of it was just that Problema III was easier reading (which it was), and how much was just the hard work I'd previously put in to understanding the terms, ideals, and categories he'd been referencing all along in the earlier sections, but once I was a few pages in, I didn't think of my escape hatch once. (I'd given myself permission to bail if I wasn't finished with the book by 2:00 p.m.)

Don't get me wrong, it was still challenging reading. I still found myself wandering over to the computer to look up terms he used and stories he referenced. I definitely felt the lack of serious philosophical reading before this - I totally skipped the prerequisites. And I know I lost a lot for those lacks. That doesn't mean that I couldn't recognize that this book is amazing. Or that I didn't appreciate it even as I was grinding my teeth. Even though I didn't squeeze all of the wisdom out of this little book, it was definitely worth the work. ( )
  greeniezona | Sep 20, 2014 |

I'm glad I read Hegel before this; it's not clear to me that Kierkegaard would be plausible, interesting or worthwhile before reading his incomprehensible predecessor. F&T, unlike Hegel, is fairly short, pursues a single idea in a consistent (consistently inconsistent?) manner, doesn't claim to have proved anything other than a disjunction (Abraham is meaningless or universal Sittlichkeit is not the highest moment of human history) and is quite readable. That's all for the good. The bad news is that if you don't care whether or not the story of Abraham is meaningless, you probably won't care about the argument in this book. I happen to care about it and think it's important. And there's an argument to be made that non Judaeo-Christo-Muslims in general should find it important: at some point, we do have to believe in some over-arching, bedrock x, even if that happens to be the impossibility of an over-arching, bedrock x. Either that belief is meaningless, or perfectly reflective rationality is not the highest moment of human history... well, I'm not convinced about that. Also, the third 'problema' is really long-winded and nowhere near as interesting as the earlier parts of the book. But whatever. It's short. ( )
  stillatim | Dec 29, 2013 |
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» Add other authors (41 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Søren Kierkegaardprimary authorall editionscalculated
Evan, C. StephenEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hannay, AlastairTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rée, JonathanIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Schereubel, PaulIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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What Tarquin the Proud said in his garden with the poppy blooms was understood by the son but not by the messenger. -- Hamann
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0140444491, Paperback)

The perfect books for the true book lover, Penguin's Great Ideas series features twelve more groundbreaking works by some of history's most prodigious thinkers. Each volume is beautifully packaged with a unique type-driven design that highlights the bookmaker's art. Offering great literature in great packages at great prices, this series is ideal for those readers who want to explore and savor the Great Ideas that have shaped our world. Regarded as the father of Existentialism, Kierkegaard transformed philosophy with his conviction that we must all create our own nature; in this great work of religious anxiety, he argues that a true understanding of God can only be attained by making a personal "leap of faith."

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:08:28 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

Throughout history, some books have changed the world. They have transformed the way we see ourselves - and each other. They have inspired debate, dissent, war and revolution. They have enlightened, outraged, provoked and comforted. They have enriched lives - and destroyed them. Now Penguin brings you the works of the great thinkers, pioneers, radicals and visionaries whose ideas shook civilization and helped make us who we are. The Father of Existentialism, Kierkegaard transformed philosophy with his conviction that we must all create our own nature; in this great work of religious anxiety, he argues that a true understanding of God can only be attained by making a personal 'leap of faith'.… (more)

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Penguin Australia

2 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0140444491, 0141023937

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