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Title: Translator's Introduction
Contributor(s): McDonald, William  (author)
Publication Date: 1989
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Abstract: Soren Aabye Kierkegaard is dead. The author is dead. The name is a graveyard: of thoughts, intentions, beliefs, acts, desires, projects. They cannot be resurrected, though their remains may be exhumed. We are familiar with the pronouncements of the death of the author and the end of the book, pronouncements made in the second half of the twentieth century in France and usually knitted to an antihumanist position. But already in the first half of the nineteenth century, in Denmark, there had been a challenge to the notions of author and book - not so much in the form of pronouncements but in the form of a complex narrative performance. This was not the work of an antihumanist but, on the contrary, of a profoundly humanist writer. Kierkegaard's method of indirect communication and his strategy of "absenting" himself from his "authorship" were designed not so much to undermine the notion that writing is an individual creative act expressive of the writer's being (as does antihumanism) but rather to undermine the authority of the author for determining the significance of his own works. He wanted to emancipate the reader to an active role in appropriating textual significance. This textual appropriation was to be a matter of authentic, individual reader response, not an abdication of authorial authority in favor of the mediating opinion of a reviewer or critic.
Publication Type: Book Chapter
Source of Publication: Prefaces Light Reading For Certain Classes As The Occasion May Require, By Nicolaus Notabene, p. 1-13
Publisher: Florida State University Press
Place of Publication: Tallahassee, United States of America
ISBN: 0813009308
Field of Research (FOR): 220301 Aesthetics
220315 Philosophy of Religion
220319 Social Philosophy
HERDC Category Description: B1 Chapter in a Scholarly Book
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Series Name: Kierkegaard and Postmodernism
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