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The Seducer's Diary

3.72 of 5 stars 3.72  ·  rating details  ·  1,883 ratings  ·  113 reviews
The Seducer's Diary records Johannes's discovery of a girl with the Shakespearean name Cordelia, whom he sets out to control. Intricately, meticulously, cunningly, the seduction proceeds. No detail is too small to escape Johannes. "She sits on the sofa by the tea table and I sit on a chair at her side. This position has an intimate quality and at the same time a d ...more
Paperback, 232 pages
Published September 7th 1997 by Princeton University Press (first published 1843)
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Brigitte
I read Kierkegaard's THE SEDUCER'S DIARY in one sitting. This short work is obviously easy to read because Kierkegaard's style, although a bit antiquated, is very enticing. But this work is also difficult to read without outrage. Quel type tordu, ce Kierkegaard!

What I find especially interesting is that this short piece is essential to his work since eventually Regine (the fictional Cordelia)became his muse. . . . Which is to say that he (the fictional Johannes)was afraid of life since he could
...more
Riku Sayuj

A Wound Masked As a Boast

Ok was thrown into an inverted Faust here, but with Faust helping Mephistopheles in his conquests! What then? Should the morality change in any way?

Mephistopheles is a seducer, the poor devil. The eternal seducer, but the one who bores of his victims at the cusp. Or is that just what he tells himself? (yeah, the "wills evil, does good" bit.)


"In the vast literature of love, The Seducer's Diary is an intricate curiosity--a feverishly intellectual attempt to reconstruct an
...more
Manny
I was reminded of this book when I got to the big seduction scene in Cohen's Belle du Seigneur. Solal spends about 30 pages describing in great detail to Ariane all the psychological tricks he uses when he goes about performing a seduction, complaining that women are dumb enough to fall for it, and indeed require this kind of treatment. He is ostensibly doing it to repulse her, but in fact his explanation is very seductive, and indeed works brilliantly. I get the impression that Kierkegaard was ...more
Katerina Mezhekova
This was deadly boring and seems rather naive as a part of a philosophical work.
As for the main character seducing girls had been an esthetically tempting exercise and his only occupation throughout the book. But the author (showing us all the imaginable aspects of the character's challenge) is merely endlessly polishing up his graphomania and recuperating from the guilt trips we can barely share or understand.

It's a shame this book is much less than it could be, even considering the ages passe
...more
John Doe
The first feelings of love--that's all the narrator in this story values. He meets a young women. He charms her, slowly. He finally wins her affection, but that is not enough for him. He continues the seduction. She becomes obsessed with him. She gives up the idea of marriage and living by conventional values. She loves him. She turns him into an idol, worshiping him. He loves every minute of it, and then, when he wins her heart completely...he's done. They never have sex or even kiss.

I have se
...more
Jamie
I picked this up in a little hole-in-the-wall shop three months ago, purely for aesthetic reasons-- the gorgeous, pressed cover. And I guess the lesson was, sometimes you can tell the book by it after all.

It was exquisite and haunting, and it's Kierkegaard that does the true seducing in the end; so wrapped up was I in the story that, much like Johann's innocent young muse, it was as if suddenly waking up, tangled in a web.
David
Kierkegaard's The Seducer's Diary describes a man (Johannes)'s calculated scheme to seduce a young girl (Cordelia) into falling in love with him. Described by Updike as "a wound disguised as a boast" this novel/essay/diary is elegiac in its cold lack of apology. It is a book of opposites, of painful ironies.

I feel ashamed to say that I have been a seducer. It has felt normal to me, and I wondered (and still wonder) if it is not singularly a paradigm of romantic normalcy - is love a myth? Is ever
...more
Alfred Bates
Am I the only person who found this book to be epically hilarious?
Mari
Feb 03, 2009 Mari rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Kierkegaard readers
Recommended to Mari by: Mel
"Unhappy mirror, which assuredly can grasp her image but not her, who indeed dares to capture her but not to hold her; unhappy mirror, which cannot secretly hide her image in itself, hide it from the whole world, but can only disclose it to others as it now does to me. What torture if a human being were fashioned that way."

John Updike called Kierkegaard's writing "feverishly intellectual" - which almost begins to describe the quality of the writing. The prose of The Seducers Diary (Volume I of E
...more
Madhuri
Seducer's Diary is primarily a philosophical work from Soren Kierkegaard: a 19th century Danish philosopher, and one of the earlier enthusiasts of Existentialism. It is part of one of his most illustrative works Either/Or, which I hope to read sometime. In Either/Or, with a few fictional pseudonyms, Kierkegaard argues for both the aesthetic (Either) and ethical (Or) aspects of life. It is in the Either or the aesthetic part that Seducer's Diary finds its place.
In itself, the Seducer's Diary is a
...more
Tim Cole
Reason for reading:
Soren Kierkegaard is regarded as one of the first, if not the very first, existentialist philosophers. The Seducer’s Diary is one part of a greater work Either / Or. It is also one of the 20 books in the Penguin Great Loves collection. Given its reputation I was sure I couldn’t go wrong.

About the book:
This is a book made up of diary entries and letters. Johannes, the writer, boasts of his skills in the art of seducing women. He talks of his abilities to keep a distance while a
...more
Luc Abdullah
Membaca ia seperti menjadi pemerhati kepada ke-obses-an seseorang terhadap seseorang, seperti mana obsesnya malaun lain yang memerhati tingkah laku malaun lain lalu menulisnya di mana-mana. Di Goodreads atau di blog misalnya. Cuma ia lebih poetik dan obsesif. Selebihnya malaun-malaun lain adalah hanyalah 'attention seeker' yang malunya mengalahkan kucing.

Dan juga meraikan pagi menonton kanak-kanak dalam tubuh orang dewasa.
Letizia

Non sono presuntuosa e questa non è una vera e propria recensione.
Dunque, se è vero che l'esteta persegue il pieno godimento della vita egli vive nel presente, tuttavia il livello di godimento raggiungibile dipende dal livello di spiritualità raggiunto.
Ne conseguono una ricerca attenta e ponderata, di quelli che sono i "piaceri", una scelta ragionata tra quelli possibili e che producono godimento intenso.
Tuttavia l'espressione di questo "godimento" è determinata dal talento individuale, dal d
...more
Matthew
I rarely get so excited to read a book. How could it not be brilliant? It's a philosopher I thoroughly enjoy (Fear and Trembling, for example, is brilliant), writing about a subject that's always intriguing (young love gone wrong), with an approach that is sure to be complicated and thoughtful (trying to make himself look like the bad guy). Honestly, I've been fascinated by Kierkegaard and Olsen's relationship since I first heard a summary of their lives.

So I can't begin to describe the disappoi
...more
Mehlika
bir felsefe kitabı mı, bir roman ya da günlük mü tam olarak karar verilemez denilebilir.

kierkegaard elde edilemeyenin cazibesinden o kadar etkilenmiştir ki cazibeyi optimum seviyeye çıkarmak için elde etmemeyi tercih etmiştir. sevdiği kızı uzaktan ve hayallerin içinden seyredip ona dair düşler kurmak daha cazip gelmiştir. kızın onu sevmesinin önemsiz olduğunu çıkarmayalım buradan. elbette önemlidir fakat kız özgür bir ruh, tam anlamıyla bir birey olarak sevmelidir onu. bu yüzden nişan gibi "insa
...more
Andrea
Folgt das Verliebtsein erkennbaren Regeln? Ist die Seele eine Uhr, die man nur richtig aufziehen muss, damit sie losschnurrt? Wie sähe im Gegensatz zur ästhetischen Liebe die ethische Liebe aus?
Fernanda
Este libro puede parecer superficial al inicio pero conforme avanza te das cuenta como va penetrando en ti la personalidad del personaje y logras entender cada pasa que va dando para cumplir con su cometido.

Debo admitir que el tema no es de mis favoritos pero el desarrollo y las explicaciones detalladas del Don Juan en turno ganaron mi corazón. Sin duda alguna Kierkegaard penetra de manera profunda en las entrañas de un seductor que mide fríamente cada uno de los pasos que dará para tener a su
...more
Tatiana
"Нецелесообразно? Да разве у меня есть какая-нибудь цель? Пока ещё довольно неопределённая... но я предвижу, что они могут мне понадобиться для нового сильного ощущения..."

И в этом весь он, "автор" и герой этого дневника. Нет, цель у него, конечно же, есть. Но вот какова она?
Он, этот молодой человек - своего рода эстетический маньяк, хотя внешне производит впечатление вполне себе благообразное. Ну кто бы мог подумать, что в душе у него таится такая демоническая брешь. Хотя нет, он ведь не извра
...more
M. İlknur
"İnsan kendini sınırlamalı; tüm zevklerin ana kuralıdır bu."
"Benim onunla ilişkim, aslında iki kişiyle yapılması gereken bir dansın tek kişiyle yapılması gibi."
"Cordelia'cığım
"Benim": Bu sözcüğün anlamı nedir? Bana ait olan değil, benim ait olduğum; tüm varlığımı içeren, ona ait olduğum sürece benim olan. Benim Tanrım bana ait olan Tanrı değil, benim ait olduğum Tanrı'dır; aynı şeyi vatanım, evim, işim, özlemim, umudum için de söyleyebilirim. Daha önce ölümsüzlük diye bir şey olmasaydı eğer, ben
...more
Modern Hermeneut
Here is my take on Kierkegaard...

Pros:
* Uses pun-ny pseudonyms
* Packages passive-aggressiveness as a literary trope
* Harps on the impending loss and regret that attend every experience of human happiness
* Scandinavian

Cons:
* Espouses a hodge-podge philosophy that centers (obliquely) on a real-life romantic misfire, for which his precepts serve as flimsy, ex post facto excuses (I'm actually torn about whether this is a pro or a con)
* Didn't commit suicide
* Kinda squirrely-looking
Kurt
I abandoned this book. I probably would not be compelled to try again. Quite simply, I found it antiquated and trite. The fact that the main character spends all of his time and energy stalking this young woman, attempting to get her to fall for him, but him keeping emotionally distant so that he can eventually put her down, as some sort of aesthetic exercise was, to me, ridiculous and a waste of time reading about. He seems the victim of his own intent. No thanks. Beautiful cover, though.
Alejandra
A book I love to hate, and hate to love. It stirred so much anger at the injustice. He went through so much for the simple aesthetic of the seduction, at some point almost making you believe that it was genuine. Then it's over, you never get time to process the end. All you can do is ask "why"?
Jesse
Great and interesting read, really helps to understand Kierkegaards background with his fiance to put it into perspective of what is really being read and the indirect communication being attempted.
Mariana
Sin duda, todos podríamos caer en los brazos de un seductor, o terminar seduciendo, siempre y cuandop, la estética del caso, no se pierda...
Claudio Scott
Personally I think this book is an escape from reality.
Indirectly the author was terribly afraid to enjoy his life. Infact,he thought and created this "super mind" to arrive at Cordelia,avoiding pain and suffering. (It was such a shield where he could find "home").
In this book he is deeply confused and he definitely doesn't know himself.
He lies to himself,plus he thinks that the only "escape" is to be appreciated by women till they fall in love with him.
Obviously that's really awful.
People must
...more
Sciosarah
A fascinating insight into the mind of a morally horrifying protagonist.
Aqsa
Written in an impeccable poetic format, the language is beautiful and flows with lyrical ease. Albeit this,the story is a drag, there is something outlandish and bizarre in the web of deception weaved by the protagonist. For the first quarter the quest of wooing the desired object stretches so much so that eventually every next entry becomes predictable. Later on the desired is presented as a martyr, which is probably what Kierkegaard wanted to see his own muse Regina as; and this in it's own ri ...more
Vittorio Ducoli
La parabola dell'esteta isolata dal pensiero complessivo di un grande filosofo

Søren Kierkegaard è, come noto, un pensatore più che un narratore e, pur se la sua imponente produzione comprende anche opere di carattere narrativo, queste non possono essere comprese ed interpretate se non all'interno del pensiero filosofico complessivo dell'autore.
Ciò è tanto più vero nel caso del Diario di un seduttore, che a rigori non esiste come testo a sé, ma è solamente una parte di una delle opere più famose
...more
Romain
An intricate blend of philosophical musings on the nurturing and development of love, The Seducer's Diary is both a trial and a treat.
With all the smugness and superiority of an aristocratic gentleman, Johannes the seducer details his plans to seduce the young and beautiful Cordelia. But this is no ordinary seduction; Johannes is no ordinary seducer. His desire is to take her innocence, indifferent to him at first, and manipulate it over a period of time using all his wiles so that she bares her
...more
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SEDUCER'S DIARY 1 14 Mar 31, 2010 10:34PM  
  • Cures for Love
  • Deviant Love
  • Of Mistresses, Tigresses and Other Conquests
  • Bodily Secrets
  • Forbidden Fruit: From The Letters of Abelard and Heloise (Penguin Great Loves, #2)
  • The Women Who Got Away
  • Something Childish But Very Natural (Penguin Great Loves, #13)
  • Doomed Love (Penguin Great Loves, #1)
  • The Eaten Heart: Unlikely Tales of Love (Penguin Great Loves, #3)
  • Magnetism
  • A Mere Interlude
  • A Russian Affair
  • Eros Unbound
  • Mary
  • The Virgin and the Gipsy
  • Daybreak: Thoughts on the Prejudices of Morality
  • Essay on the Freedom of the Will (Philosophical Classics)
  • L'ordre du discours
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Søren Aabye Kierkegaard was a prolific 19th century Danish philosopher and theologian. Kierkegaard strongly criticised both the Hegelianism of his time and what he saw as the empty formalities of the Church of Denmark. Much of his work deals with religious themes such as faith in God, the institution of the Christian Church, Christian ethics and theology, and the emotions and feelings of individua ...more
More about Søren Kierkegaard...
Fear and Trembling The Sickness Unto Death (Kierkegaard's Writings, Vol 19) Either/Or: A Fragment of Life Fear and Trembling/Repetition (Kierkegaard's Writings, Volume 6) The Essential Kierkegaard

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“I once knew of a girl whose story forms the substance of the diary. Whether he has seduced others I do not know... we learn of his desire for something altogether arbitrary. With the help of his mental gifts he knew how to tempt a girl to draw her to him without caring to possess her in any stricter sense.


I can imagine him able to bring a girl to the point where he was sure she would sacrifice all then he would leave without a word let a lone a declaration a promise.


The unhappy girl would retain the consciousness of it with double bitterness because there was not the slightest thing she could appeal to. She could only be constantly tossed about in a terrible witches' dance at one moment reproaching herself forgiving him at another reproaching him and then since the relationship would only have been actual in a figurative sense she would constantly have to contend with the doubt that the whole thing might only have been an imagination.

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“You, who are so observant, will no doubt concede the generalization that people divide into two large classes, those who live mainly in hope and those who live mainly in recollection.” 7 likes
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