M.G. Piety

Archive for December, 2012|Monthly archive page

Merry Christmas!

In Once Upon a Time in Denmark, Publishing News, Resources for Kierkegaard Scholarship on December 25, 2012 at 12:10 pm
Ebba and Willie Mørkeberg's Christmas Tree, Frederiksværk, Denmark

Ebba and Willie Mørkeberg’s Christmas Tree, Frederiksværk, Denmark

Merry Christmas Everyone! I have a few Christmas goodies for you. First, I thought you might like to know about a new mystery by the writer Thom Satterlee entitled Stages. The protagonist is an American living in Copenhagen who becomes a suspect in a murder investigation. The action takes place in Copenhagen and includes Kierkegaard scholars among its cast of characters. Satterlee says the novel grew out of his interest in Kierkegaard.

“I began, originally,” Satterlee says, “to write poems about Kierkegaard. But then I got the notion, what if I pretended to be Kierkegaard, as he pretended to be other people? What if I imagined him as a closet poet, secreting away his poems …. [W]hat if a manuscript were discovered close to the time of his 200th birthday (May 5, 2013) …. I wrote the poems, but I became more interested in the story of how they would be received by his fellow Danes, now in the 21st century … In my mind, a mystery began to take shape. The mystery involved the theft of this priceless manuscript and a murder.”

Satterlee coverThe novel is available as an ebook for $2.99! Don’t let the price fool you though. Satterlee is an award-winning poet and literary translator. His bio on Amazon notes that ‘[h]is collection of poems Burning Wyclif was an American Literary Association Notable Book and a Finalist for the L.A. Times Book Award.” His other awards include an American-Scandinavian Foundation Translation Prize and a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship.

My advice is to buy The Stages and start reading it today! It’s Christmas after all. You should do something fun!

For more fun, check out Michael McIntyre’s blog Extravagant Creation. WordPress is great about promoting the work of its bloggers. I got an email from WordPress about a month ago informing me that Michael McIntyre had subscribed to my blog. Included in the email was a link to McIntyre’s blog, so I checked it out. I try always to do that, not simply because it seems only right and proper to me that, as a blogger, I should support the work of other bloggers, but also because I’ve found some great stuff that way. There’s some amazing writing coming out of WordPress, both in terms of form and in terms of content.

McIntyre’s blog is a scholar’s dream. There’s lots there that would be of interest to Kierkegaard scholars, including entries on Johann Georg Hamann, N.F.S. Grundtvig, K.E. Løgstrup and Lev Shestov. There’s other great stuff as well, though, including posts on topics of more general appeal such as ethics, theology, and music. Spend a little time today perusing McIntyre’s blog. You won’t regret it!

Finally, I’d like to put in a plug for Peter Tudvad’s book from 2009 Sygeplejerske i Det Tredje Rige: En Danskers Historie (Nurse in the Third Reich: the story of a Dane). The book has nothing directly to do with Kierkegaard, but it is written by one of my favorite Kierkegaard scholars, Peter Tudvad, and the subject is a dear friend and long-time patron of Kierkegaard scholarship Ebba Mørkeberg. Ebba tutored me in German for about five years when I was living in Denmark. She also helped me with the more difficult German material that was included in my dissertation and, later, my book Ways of Knowing, and she expanded my personal library of 19th century Danish literature, philosophy, and theology, through repeated gifts from her own extensive library.

Ebbe Mørkeberg at the launch of Syplejerske i Det Tredje Rige, May 5th 2009

Ebba is a great lady and the story of her experiences in Germany in WWII is riveting.The book, alas, is available only in Danish, but for those of you who are tired of practicing your Danish by reading Kierkegaard, this book would be a welcome change. It will give you insight not merely into the life of it’s subject, but into the Danish psyche and to an important period in Danish history.

Merry Christmas to everyone!

News!

In News from Copenhagen, Publishing News on December 7, 2012 at 9:35 pm
Drexel's Main Building interior

Drexel’s Main Building interior

I’ve moved my website. Its official launch was last Monday and for two days it got more hits than this blog! That’s saying a lot because, as a result of my tireless efforts to promote this blog, it now gets a steady stream of hits even when I don’t put up any new posts for long stretches of time. My old website will still be up for a while, but I will no longer update it and will eventually take it down.

The new website is much nicer. Check it out. The URL is simply mgpiety.org. I have a blog on that website as well, but it is not on Kierkegaard. I cover a variety of topics on that blog including religion, philosophy, and culture more generally. I very often mention Kierkegaard in posts, however, even when the post is not specifically about Kierkegaard. His name appears, for example, in my most recent post “The War on Fairness,” which is a response to an article entitled “In Defense of Favoritism” by the philosopher Stephen T. Asma that appeared in The Chronicle of Higher Education, as well as in “Hedonic Adaptation,” a response to an article in the New York Times entitled “New Love: A Short Shelf Life.” It’s in many of the older posts as well, so you might want to peruse them all.

My new website is not my only news though. Peter Tudvad is completing a novel based on the historical details of Kierkegaard’s life and he’s agreed to allow me to publish an English translation of a short excerpt! I have to say that it was very clever of Tudvad to decide to do a novel rather than a straight biography because he has in that way effectively made himself immune to the kinds of criticisms he advanced against Joakim Garff’s biography of Kierkegaard. (Garff, despite his cavalier attitude toward historical accuracy, can be a formidable intellectual opponent. I was scared out of my wits when he mentioned to me last year that he was going to come to my paper at the AAR. I never prepared so thoroughly for a presentation in my entire career! Fortunately, he was very gracious and did not ask any questions, or even make any comments).

Garff has a project in the works as well. A “surprise” he said last year. I’m hoping he’ll let me in on it so that I can give readers a preview of it here.

I have several other interesting posts planned for the future–so stay tuned!