D. Anthony Storm's Commentary on Kierkegaard

About This Commentary

Welcome to the online Commentary on Kierkegaard's Writings. Information on every published work and article, including many unfinished writings and journal entries, is presented here with publication data, quotes, detailed commentary, and images. Within the Commentary works are linked together in chronological order. You will find the works listed by English title, Danish title, pseudonym(s) if any, year of publication (or year of authorship if posthumous), and volume number in Kierkegaard's Writings (KW), Søren Kierkegaards Skrifter (SKS), Samlede Værker (SV), or other Danish source. See Bibliography for more on these sources.

If you know the name of the work you are studying you may use the alphabetized droplist below. Or you may scroll down and browse the works in chronological order. There you may view an abstract or go straight to commentary. Clicking on an "Abstract" link reveals a brief abstract, while clicking it again hides it.

First Period: Works of Youth (1834-42)

This period consists of Kierkegaard's earliest full work From the Papers of One Still Living, an unfinished play, The Battle Between the Old and the New Soap-Cellars, journal notes, and the dissertation. Kierkegaard would also engage in his first of three literary battles. His literary opponents were Orla Lehmann and Johannes Hage. In these exchanges accusations against each included indictments against papers of rival political persuasion. Lehmann and Hage supported the liberal press, while Kierkegaard indicted the entire liberal movement.

Second Period: Indirect Communication (1843-46)

In 1843 Kierkegaard began his dual authorship of pseudonymous writings on philosophical and theological subjects, and religious works penned under his own name. His purpose for the pseudonyms was mainly to undermine the Hegelian "system" and an uncritical and dispassionate view of one's relationship with God. Because of this, Kierkegaard considered Either/Or to mark the true beginning of his authorship. The religious discourses, on the other hand, were written to accompany the philosophical works, and to underscore that Kierkegaard was a religious author from the beginning—a fact which was overlooked, and which he was disposed to point out. For more on his dual authorship see Kierkegaard's Authorial Method.

Third Period: The Corsair Affair (1845-46)

This short period covers Denmark's most dramatic and well-known literary conflict of which Kierkegaard was the focus. The Corsair was a weekly satirical paper, which lampooned people of repute, and was itself considered disreputable, though it was read surreptitiously by many. Although Kierkegaard contributed only two articles to the conflict, the attack leveled against him was sustained for months.

Fourth Period: A Prelude to The Second Authorship (1846-48)

After the contrived end of his writing career in 1846, Kierkegaard began writing again later that same year. During this period he primarily took to writing shorter works and articles, except for the lengthy Works of Love. Though most of these works were not indirect (pseudonymous), they precede the spiritual re-awakening of 1848.

Fifth Period: Direct Communication (1848-51)

In 1848 Kierkegaard underwent a spiritual re-awakening, calling 1848 "the richest and most fruitful year I have experienced as an author". During this entire period Kierkegaard wrote either under his own name, or, when using a pseudonym, listed himself as editor. His use of pseudonyms was no longer designed to mask his authorship or to situate the works under a philosophical rubric, but rather to show his own personal inadequacy to attain the perfection of the Christian ideal. This period is sometimes called Kierkegaard's "second authorship".

Sixth Period: The Attack Upon Christendom (1854-55)

Kierkegaard would engage in three literary battles during his lifetime. The first was an encounter with Orla Lehmann and Johannes Hage, when Kierkegaard was in his early twenties. The second battle was the so-called Corsair Affair. This final battle would be the so-called Attack Upon Christendom which concluded with his death. This battle occurred after the silence of the years 1852-54, through which Kierkegaard became a self-proclaimed critic of the established church, writing sarcastic and hyperbolic tracts against formalized Christendom, that is, the state Lutheran Church.

Other (Posthumous) Works

This section consists of Kierkegaard's correspondence and journal entries. Note: All separately published posthumous works which were found among the journals and papers are listed separately in other parts of the Commentary.