Mary Overton's Reviews > Basic Writings of Existentialism

Basic Writings of Existentialism by Gordon Daniel Marino
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Jun 02, 12

bookshelves: will-finish-someday

Kierkegaard, from "The Sickness unto Death":
There is a kind of despair in which the despairing person "not infrequently longs for solitude, which for him is a necessity of life, at times like the necessity to breathe, at other times like the necessity to sleep.... On the whole, the longing for solitude is a sign that there still is spirit in a person and is the measure of what spirit there is. 'Utterly superficial nonpersons and group-people' have so little longing for solitude that, like lovebirds, they promptly die the moment they have to be alone. Just as a little child has to be lulled to sleep, so these people need the soothing lullaby of social life in order to be able to eat, drink, sleep, fall in love, etc. In antiquity as well as in the Middle Ages there was an awareness of this longing for solitude and a respect for what it means; whereas in the constant sociality of our day we shrink from it to the point (what a capital epigram!) that no use for it is known other than as a punishment for criminals. But since it is a crime in our day to have spirit, it is indeed quite in order to classify such people, lovers of solitude, with criminals."
Kindle location 1473-83
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