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The Ethics of AuthorshipCommunication, Seduction, and Death in Hegel and Kierkegaard$
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Daniel Berthold

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780823233946

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: March 2011

DOI: 10.5422/fso/9780823233946.001.0001

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3. Kierkegaard's Seductions

3. Kierkegaard's Seductions

(p.64) 3. Kierkegaard's Seductions
The Ethics of Authorship

Daniel Berthold

Fordham University Press

This chapter presents the case for seeing Kierkegaard's authorship as engaged in the project of seduction. It argues that the infamous “Diary of the Seducer” that closes the first volume of Either/Or can be read as a disguised commentary on Kierkegaard's own early experimentation with a style of “indirect communication,” and the nature of seduction as a strategy of authorship. This reading allows us to come to terms with the emphasis Kierkegaard places on the necessity of deception in his authorship, what he calls his strategy “to deceive into the truth,” and to distinguish (if possible) between the sort of deception the seducer of the “Diary” uses to lure the young Cordelia and the deception Kierkegaard proposes as the maieutic and ethical aim of his own attempted seduction of the reader.

Keywords:   Søren Kierkegaard, authorship, Diary of the Seducer, indirect communication, deception

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