«La miglior prova della miseria dell’esistenza si ricava dalla considerazione della sua magnificenza». Riflessioni sulla gloria in Søren Kierkegaard
Kierkegaard’s work is polyphonic. Each theme is seen from different and even contradictory standpoints, which are introduced by different fictious authors that Kierkegaard uses to introduce his ideas. The topic of this essay, glory, is no exception. By means of the dialectic of pseudonyms, in Either/Or A, the reflected aesthete, presents contrasting viewpoints, shifting between extolling the glory and immortality of an artwork and accusing it of being transient and vain. On the other hand, B, the ethicist, stresses the constant duplicity of the outward appearance of the eternity that the aesthete pursued: he opposes the aesthete’s search for fame, and therefore he puts his own inner self-esteem in contrast with how A appears to others. Finally, Johannes de Silentio, the pseudonym adopted by Kierkegaard for his work Fear and Trembling, raises the greatness of the biblical patriarch’s faith above both the aesthete’s conception of glory and the ethicist’s self- esteem. The patriarch manifests only one concern: one needs to be coram Deo, before a God, because God is the only one that can reconcile inner and outer self. While examining the dialectical movement in Kierkegaard’s work, the essay focuses on the surprising affinity between Kierkegaard’s reflections and Pascal’s famous paradoxes. In particular, I will examine some fragments from the ‘Diversion’ and the ‘Three orders’ of Pascal’s Pensées.