Kierkegaard's Existential Lover

Does death hold the key to true love?

It was the autumn of 1841. About a year earlier, Regina Olsen had happily accepted a marriage proposal from her beloved Søren Kierkegaard, but now, without providing any proper explanation, he had broken off their engagement. Nothing helped to change his mind. A couple of years later, she became engaged to another and he began writing and publishing his (often provocative) works, which, in the years to come, would put Denmark on the map of Western philosophy. He died young, at the age of 42, and lived alone, seemingly indifferent to the joys and sorrows of romantic love - but only seemingly. His lost Regina was, in his eyes as good as dead – but not forgotten. Like a haunting ghost, the recollection of her hovers around many of his writings, indicative not only of his broken heart but, more significantly, of his philosophical interest in the nature of love.

When it comes to love, then, death is not necessarily the end; on the contrary, it can be seen as

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