Love a Book, Read a Woman

Posted on July 31, 2010

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Is Kierkegaard (Anti-Climacus of Practice in Christianity) asking us to stop being children and grow up through whatever ironical self reflective means, and then somehow turn around and be children again? certainly he may have known or guessed that the verse let the little children come unto Christ is not only addressing children.  If it is, then in my own ironical self relfexion, (being an adult) suddenly got worse, even like a kind of damnation, damned with all of our tongues in our cheeks, grains of salt, winking and nodding, clever pseudonyms and general imposterings. Ironically I’ll say that irony is the best thing to ever happen to me. Also ironically the worst. What separates us from children? Not checkbooks or whiskey but the ability to separate our self from our selves; in our own eyes and in the eyes of the other. We may be unable to say I am that I am, but we can for sure say I am that which I am not or perhaps more precise I may be that which I may not be and we can say it until we turn into spectral presences haunting others with books we may or may not have written. And that I suppose is one more definition in irony’s dictionary.

On a side note, if Kierkegaard meant for his whole project to provoke cartoons that tear him down and make fun of him, then my own small work is justified. Because lets face it, the poor bastard just didn’t understand women. That’s why we’re left with all these crazy books.  Of course we might say given the biographical data that SK made a brave sacrifice of faith in breaking it off with Regine. But I won’t and I will say instead he was just chicken shit and because of that he was forced to go to bed with Hegel and not a hot mama.

Do not misunderstand me, I like Kierkegaard, or his books anyways and I really am tempted to say no to women and lock myself in the library with a typewriter for the rest of my life, but only if I knew that some day in some church conference room a lot of people would argue about me.

In any case children aren’t offended at Christ, just like they aren’t offended at Santa Clause, or ware-wolves in the closet, and irony might as well be R rated. I didn’t know what irony was until like last week, and it seems clear to me, that it requires a certain savior faire. Or even should I say a kind of affluence of humor; in which case beware oh rich man, rich in irony because you can’t enter the kingdom of heaven either.

It would be cheap of me to criticize SK because he doesn’t like women and children. It may be too late. I don’t care so much about the bigotry. We expect those in the pre days before our heavenly notions of rhetorical care and tactical politics to be bigots and general assholes in lieu of the marginalized. I believe, however, that  SK’s dismissal of women and children reveals the magnitude of his love of irony.

In the Borges short story titled The Zahir, Borges finds a coin which turns out to be the legendary Zahir. This Zahir being a mythical object which abducts the observation and thought life of whomever observes it. So then Borges is completely obsessed with his argentinian centavo to the point of sickness and hospitalization. On an end note, he declares that it is possible to think so much about the Zahir that one thinks one’s way to God.

I suspect, that Kierkegaard had much the same problem, that in fact he was obsessed to the point of insanity, by the much maligned, concept of irony. I would hope then considering his many lonely nights, that like Borges he thought about irony to the  point of thinking his way to God.     .

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