Telling tales: Johannes Climacus and 'narrative unity'

John Lippitt

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


This article investigates the concept of 'narrative unity' as used by recent commentators such as John Davenport. I argue that it is unclear what this term means, and that the 'narrative unity' view faces a serious problem: self-deception. Moreover, if we ask whether a pseudonym's life possesses 'narrative unity', further problems emerge, as the Johannes Climacus case highlights. Davenport assigns a key role to 'earnestness'. Yet Climacus and others insist true earnestness involves a unity of earnestness and jest. Considering this enables us to see something of the importance for Kierkegaard of a sense of humour in a virtuous life.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationKierkegaard Studies Yearbook, 2005
EditorsN.J.C. Cappelorn
PublisherWalter de Gruyter
ISBN (Print)3110185520, 9783110185522
Publication statusPublished - 2005


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