Aug 5, 2009

The Significance of the Pseudonyms

All communication of truth has become abstract: the public has become the authority; the newspapers call themselves the editorial staff; the professor calls himself speculation; the pastor is meditation; no man, none, dares to say I.

But since without qualification the first prerequisite for the communication of truth is personality, since "truth" cannot possibly be served by ventriloquism, personality has to come to the fore again.

But in these circumstances, since the world was so corrupted by never hearing an I, it was impossible to begin at once with one's own I. So it became my task to create author-personalities and let them enter in the actuality of life in order to get men a bit accustomed to hearing discourse in the first person.

Thus my task is no doubt only that of a forerunner until he comes who in the strictest sense says: I.

But to make a turn away from this inhuman abstraction to personality — that is my work.

— Kierkegaard, mid-1849

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