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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: 19 September 2021



September 1840 to October 1841

(p.135) Regina
A Short Life of Kierkegaard

Walter Lowrie

Princeton University Press

This chapter tells the story of Kierkegaard's ill-fated courtship with Regina Olsen. It deals with Kierkegaard's mindset at the time and how he had coped with the challenges to his fleeting romance. The chapter covers five distinct periods of the courtship as delineated by Kierkegaard himself—from the first few months of the engagement, during which time Kierkegaard had been especially chivalrous and charming to Olsen, to Kierkegaard's own attempt to break it off, by attempting to wean her from him by pretending that he was a scoundrel who had only been playing with her affections. To conclude, the chapter forms comparisons between Kierkegaard and Hamlet, and invites the reader to engage in a purifying, Aristotelian “pity” for this unfortunate chapter in Kierkegaard's life.

Keywords:   Regina Olsen, Søren Kierkegaard, courtship, engagement, romance, Hamlet, pity

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