Happy Birthday to Kierkegaard!

I smoked a cigar in his honor today.

Here’s something from Johannes Climacus:

So there I sat and smoked my cigar until I drifted into thought. Among other thoughts, I recall these. You are getting on in years, I said to myself, and are becoming an old man without being anything and without actually undertaking anything. On the other hand, wherever you look in literature or in life, you see the names and figures of celebrities, the prized and highly acclaimed people, prominent or much discussed, the many benefactors of the age who know how to benefit humankind by making life easier and easier, some by railroads, others by omnibuses and steamships, others by telegraph, others by easily understood surveys and brief publications about everything worth knowing, and finally the true benefactors of the age who by virtue of thought systematically make spiritual existence easier and easier and yet more and more meaningful—and what are you doing?

One response

  1. What a devious bastard. Why can’t I open a single page from the man without being reminded of my own insufficiencies? Kierkegaard knows too well that we always cast ourselves in the leading roles.
    “Feel the pain” he says.
    “I run from my pain,” I says.
    “Then how can you appreciate your life?” He says.
    I fully expect my death to be caused by reflection on a page of Kierkegaard. Aneurysm probably.
    Happy birthday to the old man, God knows we can’t quit him.

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