The Forgotten Prayers of Kierkegaard
The day I posted “The Decline of Editing,” Kierkegaard scholar Katherine Schuessler of St. Andrews in the UK discovered another discrepancy between the online edition of Søren Kierkegaards Skrifter, or SKS, and the new Kierkegaard’s Journals and Notebooks, or KJN. Katherine wrote me such a detailed and information email about it that I asked her if she would mind if I turned that email into a guest post. What follows is Katherine’s post. Be sure to check all the links because a pdf of the prayers referred to in the title of this post can be found by clicking on one of the links!
A side project of mine is to document where every prayer Kierkegaard wrote is, including where the different English translations of those prayers are. In looking to trace down a prayer that Perry LeFevre’s collection includes (Pap VII 1 A 131), I found that the SKS’s online Danish version comes from H. P. Barfod’s edition of Kierkegaard’s journals, Søren Kierkegaards Efterladte Papirer (1869-81), .
Barfod has been widely criticized for his lack of editing skills. He edited the first three volumes of the Efterladte Papirer and It appears he included everything from Kierkegaard’s papers that appeared to have been written between 1833 an 1847. Not all of this material, made it into the later Søren Kierkegaards Papirer (1909-38). The KJN editors chose to translate Kierkegaard’s Journal JJ as it was in 2015 (or so), before what was judged to be missing material was restored, rather than stitch translations of those missing pages back in.
It’s important for English readers to note that the KJN is not an exact replica of the SKS, insofar as the SKS carries no scruples in cross-referencing to previous editions of Kierkegaard’s journals.
My question is, if the editors of SKS thought the evidence sufficient to establish that the pages in question had originally been part of Kierkegaard’s journals (i.e., confidently of Kierkegaard’s hand) why didn’t the editors of KJN think so too?
If you enjoyed this, stay tuned because Katherine is going to do another guest post!