Sorrow and Joy

Mists on the Riverss

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It’s been a joy to have known David Kangas. It is with sorrow that I learn he has died.

He was an exceptionally good Kierkegaard scholar, and read Melville’s late poetry, too. A student of his and good friend, Aaron Simmons, has written a moving tribute.

In 2012 when he first found out that he had Stage 4 cancer, [David] emailed his good friend Martin Kavka and said this:

“First off, ‘stage 4’ cancer, which is what I have, is by definition incurable. So treatments are a matter of buying time. How much time is, of course, unknowable by anyone. I’ll take whatever becomes available. . . . Existentially, I consider myself fortunate to have never believed the human condition was ‘curable’ (the professional opinion of a philosopher which I couldn’t resist telling the doc). Nor, thankfully, have I ever put much credence in the techno-pragmatic complexes of our culture…

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