The Laughter Is on My Side
An Imaginative Introduction to Kierkegaard
Edited by Roger Poole & Henrik Stangerup
Here is an engaging alternative to the more solemn introductions to Sren Kierkegaard that are currently available: The Laughter Is on My Side entices us into Kierkegaard's way of looking at the world. Skillfully clearing a path to the heart of Kierkegaard's writings for those who may be unfamiliar with the great Danish thinker, Roger Poole and Henrik Stangerup rearrange some of his most pleasurable and most readable passages to form an entertaining "text-narrative"--not a selection in the ordinary sense but an innovative presentation that tells a new story. The book replaces the inaccessible Kierkegaard of philosophical legend with an ironic, witty, shrewdly observant writer, writing for the amusement of writing, and not for the grimmer satisfactions of instructing or upbraiding. Above all, the Kierkegaard revealed by Poole and Stangerup becomes, in the deepest sense, our contemporary. Taking its title from the young Kierkegaard's nickname, "The Fork," the first section of the work is full of urbane and erotic materials and has much to say about his famous broken engagement to Regine Olsen. A section called "Women" will be of special interest to feminists, particularly the three discourses from the Symposium section of Stages on Life's Way. "The Midnight Hour" presents Kierkegaard's most anguished and existential passages: "Do you not know there comes a midnight hour when everyone has to throw off his mask? Do you think you can slip away a little before midnight in order to avoid this?" Lastly, "1848 : 1984" presents Kierkegaard as an incisive and relevant political thinker in a way that has never been attempted before.