See the shy, closed-in philosopher hunched in his chair in the garden, shock of hair, pen in hand, ruminating and railing against inauthenticity in Christianity, culture, psychology and philosophy. File. Enter Pattison with this enlightening commentary on Kierkegaard's works in the public sphere, encompassing journal writing, art and review sections of newspapers, pamphlet production and book reviews, and an actively involved investigation of popular culture as well as high art appears. Living at the heart of the development of modern urbanity, Kierkegaard, along with the other principled thinkers of his time were faced with many dualities: the unsettling cities with their banal facades and window-dressing; problems of perception and the elusiveness of image; conflicts of nature and freedom; and the rapid flux in city streets crowding out moments of vision. Pattison clearly exhibits Kierkegaard as a powerful writer, religious commentator and critic of his place and time. The coupling of his aesthetic, religious and philosophical concerns with his great attention to detail resulted in a quality of judgment and search for value that is brilliantly instructive. Including many wonderful comparative studies with other artists (principally Manet and Dostoevsky) and thinkers, Pattison highlights yet another facet of Kierkegaard's inexhaustible thought: his insistence on maintaining the perspective of the extraordinary in the midst of a culture of leveling ordinariness.
An Eighth Day View:
Through a series of sharply focused studies, George Pattison examines Kierkegaard's religious thought--within the contextual framework of debates about religion, culture and society that were carried on in contemporary newspapers and journals read by the educated stratum of Danish society. Pattison not only considers Kierkegaard in relationship to high art and literature but to the Tivoli Gardens and the literary ephemera of his time. This has important implications for understanding Kierkegaard's view of the nature of religious communication in modern society.