- Hello Will,
Thanks for the reply and its consistency. I think I agree upon the difficulty involved there -- the purpose of my question was far more to underline this than provoke a definite answer.
I especially like the passage "The distinction I proposed was also
engendered by my view of a singular message being spoken to in both,
where the difference was not in the message, but in its explication."
You have a point there. I shall answer to your question of my view about CUP and SUD, but first question like personal note:
When I read Kierkegaard I found myself facing hard times to decide whether I was to believe that he meant exactly what he said or exactly the opposite. Have you ever felt that sort of dilemma? Has any in this group? Or is it that I should seriously consider psychiatric care?
My choosing CUP and SUD was not entirely purposeless. As far as I am aware, CUP was written under the pseudonym Johannes Climacus when SUD was under that of a certain Anticlimacus; both edited by Kierkegaard.
I read CUP first (fortunately enough for if I should have read SUD, I am not sure I would have read any other of K's work); I think I did it very thoroughly (although one can never be sure of that), took all the time I needed to consider and reconsider what I regarded as a highly edificating piece of work. I was very pleased to find in it the 'disjunctive form' (as you named it) that I had once so much enjoyed in Either... Or... I was much pleased for though style remained of the same nature, the aim, the subject-matter of it seemed even more substancial. By the end of it, I could not help the feeling that Kierkegaard revealed his innerst refinements and took the one first & final explication as the sign this opus was to be the final and ultimate one.
When I later read SUD, I admit it was a bit of a shock. Style seemed so un- or even anti-kierkegaardian to me that I first rejected the book as a joke, a sort of sublime irony to the infinite power. There were no signs, no hint from the author however, as opposed to the usual pattern so I wondered if my reading of K. until that day had not been completly faulty. A bit of a shock it was, I dare repeat.
Comfort came much later when I read a very heavy (in both plain and figurative use) biography. The french translation of SUD I read bears the misleading name of Traité du désespoir (despair treaty or despair's treaty, something like that) and makes no mention at all of its being written under the pseudonym of Anticlimacus but for in the preface which I had not read for I dislike being told how I am supposed to read the book. The biography, as disputable as some of its claims may be, helped putting one and one together to reach infinity. And now my hint of some irony had found to be supported on:
First, since K. is actually debating with himself in a very hegelian form (Climacus -- Anticlimacus) and given his approach of the System, it seems reasonable to assume he could not sincerely mean to leave SUD as his final, ultimate legacy.
Secondly, the hegelian form being incomplete (the third time being missing), I would trace here the most advanced form of anti-hegelianic irony, being: Kierkegaard expresses some of his most meticulously formulated religious philosophy in a contradictory way (Climacus -- Anticlimacus), both incomplete but NOT wanting in a synthesis. The truth, if such a thing be, would be in the immediate synthesis of the existence of the two books
Of course, all this remains my personal guess, and everyone is more than granted to disagree. The answer to your question could therefore only be that these books are religiously pseudonymous. Or perhaps pseudonymously religious.
and most definitely
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- Hi Mederic, I have found a quote in which SK plays around with the
C/Anti-C pair. What you have said echoes the impression I get of that
pair of clowns. I get a distinct picture of the disjunction itself in
what SK has Anti-C saying. That is not to say that it is there, but
that I can see it in those words. Please feel free to shred my saying
as you say fit. I'll call it a hypothesis to make such shredding
easier to accomplish.
Rather than take up much space here, I just put that quote in my SK
quote bin. It is located under Hannay's P&J and quotes pp. 348-49. My
Yahoo profile has the site reference. The reference seems not to be
working today, but that has happened before. If it stays down any
length of time, I'll post the quote here as a separate post. Here is
the last paragraph.
"We do not really exist, but the person who comes to be a true
Christian and in simplicity will be able, as the sailor of the twins
by which he steers, to tell of us two brothers the opposites. And as
the sailor tells of the fantastic things he has seen, so also the
person who becomes a true Christian plainly and in simplicity will be
able to recount the fantastic things he has seen. The may perhaps lie
in what he tells this will not be the case with what the true
Christian tells of us, for it is true that we two brothers are
fantastic figures, but it is also true that he has seen us."
Hypothesis: There is a transition, a leap, a /Gestalt/ shift, if you
will. Since it is a movement from the 'sensuous-psychic' to the
'spiritual' it will not really fit into the terms needed to describe
the transition, i.e., a before and an after. In a sense C represents
the before and Anti_C represents the after, yet, as they are a
disjunctive pair, there is no between for them to meet in; in other
words, there is no place for a synthesis to occur. So, they are
nothing but markers of an absolute disjunction that brings that
disjunction into the ken of the discursive mind. If the transition has
been appropriated, those two are visible to the understanding. The
disjunction has legs, so to speak. We could even say that there is an
understanding to the second power, where the separation between the
first and second powers is seen as an absolute disjunction. willy