The isolated self: irony as truth and untruth in Søren Kierkegaard's On the concept of irony

Copenhagen: C.A. Reitzel (2007)
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Abstract

While many studies of 'On the Concept of Irony' treat Kierkegaard's "irony" primarily from a literary perspective, "The Isolated Self" also examines irony with an eye to the fundamental problem in Kierkegaard's authorship, namely, the challenge of becoming a "self". Kierkegaard's "irony" is a cavalier way of life that seeks isolation from the other -- an isolation he considers necessary to becoming a self. At the same time, irony is said to be a hindrance to selfhood because the self fails to become a part of the social world in which it resides. The book puts the existential tension of 'On the Concept of Irony' into relief and suggests how it sets the stage for the rest of Kierkegaard's authorship. The book reconstructs the horizon of understanding during Kierkegaard's time, including Hegel's interpretation of both Socratic irony and Friedrich Schlegel's romantic irony. In addition, the work explores material from the little-known Danish discussion of irony in the works of Poul Martin Møller, Johan ,Ludwig Helberg and Hans Lassen Martensen.

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