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A Short Life of Kierkegaard$
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Walter Lowrie

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780691157771

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691157771.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM PRINCETON SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.princeton.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Princeton University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in PRSO for personal use.date: 18 September 2021

The Great Earthquake

The Great Earthquake

The Twenty-Second Birthday

(p.67) The Great Earthquake
A Short Life of Kierkegaard

Walter Lowrie

Princeton University Press

This chapter discusses certain events surrounding Kierkegaard's twenty-second birthday—most notably the occurrence of a “great earthquake,” a “frightful upheaval” which serves as a turning point in the young Kierkegaard's life. Here, Kierkegaard describes the earthquake in conjunction with the end of his childhood—or at any rate the period prior to which he had struck out his own path, independent from his father's will. The chapter also quotes from a few of Kierkegaard's stories which hint at the secret that lies at the heart of Kierkegaard's earth-shattering revelations, such as that of a story between David and Solomon. The secret here, as the chapter surmises, may be that for Kierkegaard the Great Earthquake was the revelation of his father's sensuality.

Keywords:   Søren Kierkegaard, earthquake, twenty-second birthday, childhood, David, Solomon, Michael Pedersen Kierkegaard, guilt

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