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About this product
- DescriptionWhat does it mean to become a human being? This question was persistently repeated by Kierkegaard scholar Howard V. Hong (1912-2010) to students during his forty-year tenure at St. Olaf College. As one of Dr. Hong's students, Jamie Lorentzen never forgot the question-one that always pointed to the ethical upbuilding of individuals. Lorentzen lets this question set the tone in literature classes he has been teaching for more than twenty- five years. In Becoming Human: Kierkegaardian Reflections on Ethical Models in Literature, Lorentzen's Kierkegaard studies inform commentary on how central characters in four works of literature help readers answer Howard Hong's question. Twain's Huck Finn becomes human by being an unwitting ethicist despite himself and the pro-slavery culture in which he was reared. Ishmael and Queequeg's embrace of the neighbor and outcast in Melville's Moby-Dick is an ethical counterpoint to Ahab's terrifying narcissism. Meanwhile, Ibsen's famous narcissist, Peer Gynt, o ers an archetypal negative ethical model for becoming human. Finally, Dostoevsky's Father Zosima and Ivan and Alyosha Karamazov show how ethics informs human development in both secular and religious cultures. Underlying Lorentzen's thesis of becoming human are questions like What do these books have to do with my life? Why should I take time to read them well? Lorentzen's answer frames the Introduction. The book's Coda remembers Dr.Hong and the seemingly impossible questions he posed about life and literature that netheless are t impossible,but instead, according to Lorentzen, are simply questions that evoke the possible in us all.
- Author BiographyJamie Lorentzen chairs the Friends of the Hong Kierkegaard Library. He is the author of Kierkegaard's Metaphors and Sober Cannibals, Drunken Christians: Melville, Kierkegaard and Tragic Optimism in Polarized Worlds, and is the editor of Toward the Final Crossroads: A Festschrift for Howard and Edna Hong.
- Author(s)Jamie Lorentzen
- PublisherMercer University Press
- Date of Publication30/12/2015
- SubjectLiterary Theory
- Series TitleMercer Kierkegaard Studies Series
- Place of PublicationGeorgia
- Country of PublicationUnited States
- ImprintMercer University Press
- Weight525 g
- Width152 mm
- Height229 mm
- Spine15 mm
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