IMG_4407Two of my biggest supporters throughout my career have been the late Robert L. Perkins and Sylvia Walsh Perkins. I met them both at the very first Kierkegaard conference I attended at the College of Wooster, when I was still only a graduate student. One of my professors, George L. Kline learned I planned to attend the conference and suggested that I should try to make contact there with Bob Perkins. Perkins’ work on Kierkegaard, George explained, was very good, so it would be good for me to get to know him. 

I didn’t know anyone at that conference, so I was happy to have something of an information introduction to Bob. I approached him during one of the breaks early in the conference. I liked him immediately. Despite being one of the top people in Kierkegaard studies in the world, he was very warm and modest and self effacing. When I mentioned to him how his work had been recommended to me by George Kline, he seemed pleased, but immediately changed the subject. “You should read Sylvia Walsh’s work,” he exclaimed with enthusiasm. “Now there is a scholar who is really good!”

I’m paraphrasing, of course, because that first meeting was so long ago that I don’t remember exactly what Bob said. In fact, that first meeting was so long ago that Bob and Sylvia weren’t even married yet. I followed Bob’s advice and sought out Sylvia at that same conference. I quickly became friends with both of them, and not because they were the first Kierkegaard scholars I met, but because they were both truly lovely people, passionate and gifted scholars, warm, kind, and socially conscious. Bob and Sylvia supported me throughout my career. In fact, it is no exaggeration to say that without the support of Bob, Sylvia, and C. Stephen Evans, I wouldn’t have a career. 

I was therefore deeply moved when Sylvia contacted me recently to ask whether I would be interested in any of the books she was planning to get rid of. She said she was winding down her scholarly activity and hence unlikely to need all the books in the large library she and Bob has amassed over the years. Among the books Sylvia offered me was a complete set of the new Søren Kierkegaards Skrifter, the most recent edition of Kierkegaard’s collected works in Danish, as well as a complete set of the new Kierkegaard’s Journals and Notebooks, the English translation of Kierkegaard’s journals and papers that is based on the new SKS. 

Sylvia was also getting rid of the old Hongs’ translation of the journals and papers that they had done for Indiana University Press. I’m not a huge fan of the Hongs’ translations, as readers of this blog are likely aware. The earlier translations tend to be better than the later ones, though, and their translations of the journals and papers are very early. Also, while the new Kierkegaard’s Journals and Notebooks is far more comprehensive than the old Hongs’ translation that went under the title Kierkegaard’s Journals and Papers, the actual translations in the new edition are often no better, and sometimes even worse, than those in the older edition. The thing I like best about the Hongs’ translation of the journals and papers, though, is that it is organized thematically rather than chronologically. That makes it a pleasure simply to sit and read. 

I’d wanted a set of the Hongs’ Journals and Papers for years. It is still available through Indiana, as well as Abebooks.com. It’s quite expensive, though, to get a complete set, even used. Given that I already had a complete set of the Papirer (which I had also earlier gotten from Bob and Sylvia), and given that Princeton had come out with the new Journals and Notebooks, it seemed extravagant to lay out money for the now obsolete Hongs’ translation. 

But then, out of nowhere, or so it seemed, I got an email from Sylvia, whom I had come to regard as sort of my scholarly guardian angel, asking me if I wanted a collection of books that included this set. Of course the Journals and Papers are not the most important of the works Sylvia has so generously given me. They are the books, however, for which I had nurtured a secret longing. After all SKS is available online, and KJN is disappointing in some respects.  

And now I have my very own set of Kierkegaard’s Journals and Papers! Thank you, Sylvia!

It seemed wrong to pick and choose books from the list Sylvia sent me, so I told her just to send them all and that I would find homes for any books I already had. Hence the title of this post. I’ve created a list of the duplicates and will send them to anyone who is willing to pay for the postage. Just write me and let me know which books you would like and why. The reason I would like you to explain why you want the book, or books, in question is in case several people write at the same time that they want the same book, or books. Basically, I will distribute the books based on a first come, first served basis, but if two or more people request the same books at the same time, an explanation of why each wants the book, or books, will help me to decide who should get them. I will let you know what it will cost to ship them and will not ship them until I hear that you are okay with that cost. 

Again, I’ve attached a list of the books I am giving away. Some highlights are a complete third edition of Kierkegaard’s collected works in Danish, selected volumes of both SKS and KJN. Check out the attached list, though, for exciting finds!

6 Comments

  1. Dear Dr: PietyI am tremendously excited to read about your “Big Book Giveaway.” I hope I am not to late in my response. These are the books that I am interested in: Kierkegaard’s Ethic of Love, Divine Commands and Moral Obligation, C. Stephen Evans. Oxford, 2004.I am interested in this book since my first exposure to Kierkegaard was “Fear and Trembling.” As a result, Kierkegaard’s conception ethics has always been on particular interest to me.  Importantly, this is the only book on your list that I do not have access to through my university library. I thoroughly enjoyed reading a different work by S. Evans “Kierkegaard, and introduction.” And would therefore delve deeper into Evans’ insights into Kierkegaard’s philosophy of ethicsEthics, Love, and Faith in Kierkegaard, ed. Edward F. Mooney, Indiana University Press, 2008.Whilst I do have an electronic copy of the book, the number of times I find myself referring back to it warrant a hard copy edition as well. H. Dreyfus’ essay on Kierkegaard’s conception of the self does a great job of logically formulating Kierkegaard’s cryptic opening to ‘Sickness unto Death,’ and in my experience anything written by Alstair Hannay is simply sublime. I just want to end by thanking you for your clear an entertaining blog. I have been an avid follower of all your posts for some time now and have always found it extremely enlightening.  Many Thanks, Kind RegardsAriel MaierovitsFrom: Piety on KierkegaardSent: 01 February 2022 10:04To: arielmaierovits@gmail.comSubject: [New post] BIG BOOK GIVEAWAY!!! M.G. Piety posted: "Two of my biggest supporters throughout my career have been the late Robert L. Perkins and Sylvia Walsh Perkins. I met them both at the very first Kierkegaard conference I attended at the College of Wooster, when I was still only a graduate student. One o"

  2. Thanks so much for this wonderful opportunity. How do we contact you? Via email, or through this comment section?

  3. Good Morning Ma’am,

    i am a lay reader of Kierkegaard, and would love to have some of these to read. i unfortunately do not (yet!) read Danish, so i will need to limit to the English works. Please let me know if any of these are available, i will pay all shipping/handling thru whatever means is convenient for you (paypal/venmo/etc.)

    Kierkegaard’s Journals and Notebooks Volume 1 and 6. i have been wanting to start on these to get some of the ‘backstory’ of Kierkegaards’s public works. (Although i wonder if he knew all of his work would one day be ‘public’?)

    Kierkegaard and the Patristic and Medieval Traditions. I know a little of the Patristic fathers (and mothers), though less of the Medievals. It seems that there has recently been a retrieval of sorts among Christians for both of these traditions (rootless protestants!), it fascinates me to think how Kierkegaard interacted with thinkers from these eras. He certainly was their equal in analytical power and imagination.

    Kierkegaards’ Ethic of Love. I have read other works of C. Stephen Evans, mostly his popular works on philosophy and apologetics. Anything he writes is worth reading twice! and Evans on Kierkegaard is probably worth reading thrice.

    Thank you for your kind consideration in offering these. Although i have not yet commented on your blog, I enjoy it immensely, and am waiting for your next book from Gegensatz press!

    I hope you have a wonderful day,

    John Maulella

    On Tue, Feb 1, 2022 at 5:04 AM Piety on Kierkegaard wrote:

    > M.G. Piety posted: “Two of my biggest supporters throughout my career have > been the late Robert L. Perkins and Sylvia Walsh Perkins. I met them both > at the very first Kierkegaard conference I attended at the College of > Wooster, when I was still only a graduate student. One o” >

    1. Forgive me for my failure to reply earlier to your comment. Unfortunately, even if I had replied immediately, I would not have been able to send you either of the volumes of Kierkegaards Journals and Notebooks that you requested, because they were claimed almost immediately, as was Steve Evans Kierkegaard’s Ethic of Love. I do still have the Kierkegaard and the Patristic and Medieval traditions, though, if you are still interested in that volume. Please let me know by emailing me at mgpiety@drexel.edu and I will get the volume off to you right away. Again, forgive me for failing to respond earlier to your kind comment!

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