Day: March 5, 2012

I care about Kierkegaard

A bookish book – The Book Group Book by Ellen Slezak

Several years ago I sat in a cafĂ© with a friend. “The people I work with think Kierkegaard is a comic strip character,” she complained. “If I mention John Donne, they want to know what kind of rock music he plays.” Sarah, fifteen years younger than I, was experiencing the post-academic depression that often envelops people when they discover that the intensity of the intellectual life they thrived on in college may have no counterpart in the world of work and marriage and children. Her complaints resonated for me. I still read widely, but rarely discussed what I was reading beyond recommending a particular book. I spent years pursuing a Ph.D. in English Literature, but even in graduate school, discussions were more about receiving opinions from professors than listening to the fresher, if somewhat tentative, interpretations of my fellow students. Academia, in large measure, seemed to be made up of people talking to themselves. That is taken from one of the essays in this collection of uhm, not so brilliant essays. This is one of …