Kierkegaard Classic Studies Series

One afternoon in the late 1980's and in the course of my dissertation work, I was turning the Kierkegaard's Library in Copenhagen upside down, desperate for help on a chapter on Kierkegaard's Concept of Anxiety. After scouring all of the recent literature, I turned to the late Dr. Julia Watkin, for counsel. A world-class scholar, she chuckled and informed me that everything that I was looking for could be found in the works of Gregor Malantschuk. It couldn't be, I thought. After all, Malanschuk's works had been translated into English more than a decade before. As a result of the span of years, I more or less assumed that his interpretations would be dated or at least assimilated into the current scholarship. While everything that I was seeking was not to be gleaned in Malantschuk's studies, his essays cast much light on some very obscure pages of Kierkegaard.

In the process of consulting Malantschuk, I unearthed other valuable studies which, largely on account of their copyright dates, I had previously been inclined to pass over as passé. From this experience and in my capacity as curator of the Hong Kierkegaard Library, I have found that Kierkegaard scholars often burden themselves with the task of discovering the wheel twice. Just browse through the bibliographies of many current interpretive studies and take note of the paucity of references to books published perhaps 15 years before or earlier. There is a tendency to leave commentaries that are more than a few years old on the shelf, as though examining them would be tantamount to a contemporary physicist consulting Newton. The present offering and the other volumes in the Kierkegaard Classic Studies Series will make it plain that the relationship between generations of Kierkegaard scholars is more akin to a conversation, than to a series of conclusions which, once attained, can be safely left behind.

Gordon Marino, Curator Hong Kierkegaard Library, St. Olaf Northfield, Minnesota November 2008

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