David Williamson's Reviews > Present Age & Of the Difference Between a Genius & an Apostle

Present Age & Of the Difference Between a Genius & an Apostle by Søren Kierkegaard
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's review
Sep 17, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: philosophy

Like Kierkegaard’s Apostle this book seems to have some sense of transcendence, as it is difficult to feel that this was written over a century ago (although it is better not to say that his writing is prophetic, as he does mention that a revolution is the last thing in peoples minds and was proven wrong the following year).

The Present Age and the Difference between a Genius and an Apostle by Kierkegaard is a book of cutting observations and original thought, and like his contemporary Nietzsche he has a problem putting it across. Kierkegaard’s writing, as does Nietzsche, does read with a playful sense of meaning and some panache, but trying to gather difficult ideas when twisted around ambiguous prose and mischievous sentences can be a problem.

And I am fully aware that these are part of the strategy, to push the reader to make their own decisions, or integral to the meaning, it can at times throw the reader of the scent, or at the very least me. As trying to gather the argument while being constantly challenged is like learning to ride by partaking in a rodeo, the novice finds himself easily thrown off. However, I do have some previous with Kierkegaard so could gather his argument to a point, I just found that reading this book gave me little more than the books I had already read of him or relative to his ideas.

Having said this, Kierkegaard is a very entertaining writer and does raise some amazing questions about the self, society, the life worth living, and why Hegel is such an old fool.

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