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Diary of a Seducer

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3.66  ·  Rating details ·  3,914 ratings  ·  253 reviews
Diary of a Seducer 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 detaching d ...more
Paperback, 168 pages
Published February 20th 2006 by Bloomsbury Academic (first published February 20th 1843)
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Andrea Not reallly. In this book Kierkegaard shows the characteristics and the limits of aestetic life: it's only a part of one of his most important work,…moreNot reallly. In this book Kierkegaard shows the characteristics and the limits of aestetic life: it's only a part of one of his most important work, Enten-Eller (or Aut-Aut), where he also deals with ethic life and religious one. The last one belongs to other works - such as Fear and Trembling - so you only need to know that Kierkegaard distinguishes three different stages: aestetic (which is the content of the Diary), ethic and religious. Then, because of Kierkegaard religious education, he will show you why aestetic life is solved in a failure, and from this point, this book is connected with the other part of Enten-Eller, where there is a comparison between aestetic and ethic life.

So, you need to know:
- A bit of the three stadium.
- How the three stadium are connected each other.

Hegel is not necessary to deal with this book, but remember that Kierkegaard can't stand him and his Idealism.(less)

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Khashayar Mohammadi
I first read this book right after "Fear and Trembling"; and having just finished such a complex and dense philosophical book, I did not comprehend the point of "The Seducer's Diary", and how it fitted in Kierkegaard's philosophical world.

Now however, after re-reading the book in the context of "Either/Or" I finally understand why it was written this way. Johannes, the seducer, is Kierkegaard's key Aesthete in the Ethic/aesthetic dichotomy of "Either/Or", and the seducer's words find
...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 feverish
/>
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Brigitte
Jul 06, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 sin
...more
Blair
Mar 20, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In the vast literature of love, The Seducer's Diary is an intricate curiosity--a feverishly intellectual attempt to reconstruct an erotic failure as a pedagogic success, a wound masked as a boast. – John Updike in his introduction to The Seducer's Diary

Regine Olsen occupies a central role in Kierkegaard's thought and writings, and indeed a unique position in the history of all of Western philosophy. It can be argued that no other single woman has been so instrumental in a major philosopher's development as Reg/>Regine
...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 doing pre ...more
Tim Cole
Feb 11, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
David
Aug 31, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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?
...more
Matt
The seducer is Johannes. He sees the girl, and he is determined to make her his. He writes a diary in which his plan is outlined to make her fall for him. He stalks her. He learns her name is Cordelia. He makes her acquaintance. He becomes engaged to her. The final stage: He drives her to break off the engagement. Hunting is his game. The killed game does not interest him. He already has another girl in mind. He's an arsehole.

How much of the seducer Johannes is in Kierkegaard? Wikipedia says this about him, Kierke
...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 th
...more
Jamie
Sep 04, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Madhuri
Apr 30, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 Diar
...more
Gülper
Dec 07, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
For the first time in my life I am afraid of not being able to finish a book because that it's drag me into huge melancholy. But I guess I can not bear not to read such a good book...

It's not the first Soren book i read, but this one is a great surprise for me. It's a story beyond such arguments like God, hope, sins etc. Certainly not like the author's style...

Reading it gives me pain , like every woman that read this book would; but I guess I can not sleep tonight withou
...more
Alejandra
Apr 14, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: philosophy
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"?
Matthew
Jul 03, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
Kurt
Jan 21, 2009 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Ana
I liked this book, but I feel the need to re-read it in the context of "Either/Or". I'm not quite sure how I feel about this one long chapter, except that the author is trying to take pride in a romantic failure. Oddly enough he succeeds.
kingdomofbookss
The book was boring imo but I loved the writing style.
Mari
Feb 02, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
Romain
Jan 11, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 he
...more
Robert
May 15, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: perverts
The aesthetics of decadence and domination... seduction for the purpose of seduction, and not carnal pleasure... a perversion of the norms, that ends up only reinforcing them because he does not disable the norms but merely skews them to an extreme. He can subvert the normal patriarchical misogny of his society, and take it to the extreme and use girls as only aesthetic ciphers, but he cannot ask why it is that society has constructed him to view women in this manner. He stays within the spectru ...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
...more
Alfred Bates
Sep 23, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Am I the only person who found this book to be epically hilarious?
funda
Mar 02, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
one of the most sexist books i've read.
Sanjana Rajagopal
I read more than half of this book before I sort of gave up but I'm counting it anyways bc I got the gist of the story. Kierkegaard is a talented writer, but I didn't enjoy this all that much honestly. Aesthetic cover and some meaningful quotes though.
Hunter James
A hasty glance at those loose papers told me that they contained interpretations of erotic situations, a few remarks about one or another relationship, drafts for letters of a very peculiar character, which later I learned to know in their artistically perfected calculated carelessness.

There is nothing indeed which involves to much leading astray and which is so subject to anathema as a secret.

A mirror hangs on the opposite wall, she pays no attention to it, but the mirro
...more
Hana Abdelhadi
My first read for Kirkegaard, indirectly picked up thanks to Camus's discussion (in The Myth) of the 'absurd element' in Kirkegaard's works, from which he makes 'a leap of faith' to the idea of God.
-
Here, the absurd man is Johannes the seducer. He is absurd in the sense that he holds on to no meaning in a prolonged relationship. The only possible meaning of a relationship with a woman lies in the right moment when she reaches the pinnacle of the erotic consciously from a prior state
...more
Kelsey
Apr 16, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
“Certainly I am in love, but not in the usual sense, and therefore one must also be very careful; there are always dangerous consequences; and after all one is in love only once. Nevertheless, the god of love is blind and if one is clever one can delude him. The trick is to be as receptive in regard to impressions as possible to know the impression you are making and the impression each girl makes on you. In this way you can even be in love with many at the same time, because you are differently ...more
Alor Deng
May 30, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: danish
A book that celebrates and enshrines the thought process. Life goes deeper than the intellect, something the protagonist, Johannes, fails to see. That said, an incredibly fascinating book and at times I thought pages had been ripped out of my own diary. The writing is sublime and the psychological analysis deserves top marks. In the end, it is a little too insensate for my tastes, but still, worth your time.

"An artist paints his beloved; that is now his joy; a sculptor shapes her. This I, too,
...more
Diamond Stacey
Like Steppenwolf, the end droned on and on and I became bored.
Also, I believe that what is unethical cannot be aesthetic.
Parts of this book reminded me of Lolita, in that the author clearly enjoys young female beauty. Lolita is a much better book though.
İlker Çağatay
Epic.
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SEDUCER'S DIARY 1 23 Mar 31, 2010 10:34PM  

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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
“دردها، اگر فرد را نشکنند، به او غرور می آموزند.” 57 likes
“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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