Kierkegaard's fairytale

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Kierkegaard is a thinker who appropriates and weaves fairytale into his writings, as a way to think in images when logical argument fails, as a form of spiritual guidance that predates Christianity, and as a perfect example of parabolic or indirect communication that invites the reader to interpret what is being presented in the text in order to think for him/herself and awaken the imagination. Fairytale is our irst introduction into psychology and hermeneutics as children and allows our imagination to ind a natural home; it is also a story with a moral; and it has the capacity for spiritual awakening and therapy. I will show how and why Kierkegaard inserts the fairytale into his writings, which contains aesthetic, ethical and religious value, looking speciically at Taciturnus' preface or what he calls a Fremlysning to Quidam's dairy in Stages in Life's Way. First, I place fairytale between poetry and philosophy; second, I present Stages on Life's Way as a mutilated fairytale and «totality of ruins»; and third, I explore the motifs of the mirror, the lake, and the forest that are given in Taciturnus' Fremlysning.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)945-961
Number of pages17
JournalRivista di filosofia neo-scolastica
Issue number3-4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2013


  • Fairytale
  • Forest
  • Image
  • Imagination
  • Indirect communication
  • Kierkegaard
  • Lake
  • Mirror
  • Poetry
  • Stages on Life's Way

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