The incidental writings of Søren Kierkegaard, published in the twenty-volume Danish edition of the Papirer, provide direct access to the thought of the many-faceted nineteenth-century philosopher who exerted so profound an influence on Protestant theology and modern existentialism. This important material, which Danish scholars regard as the “key to the scriptures” of Kierkegaard’s other work, spans his entire productive life, the last entry of the Papirer being dated only a few days beKierkegaard’s scattered writings fall into three main subject groupings: journal entries of varied content, notes and early versions of his published material, and personal reactions to his reading and study. In length and degree of polish they range from brief and cryptic notes to extensive lecture material, finished travel sketches, and extended philosophical speculation. The translators provide annotations, copious notes, and a collation of entries with the Danish Papirer.
The editors group the selections in Volumes I through IV by theme, with all entries on a given subject under the same heading. Within subject headings, entries are arranged chronologically, making it feasible to trace the evolution of Kierkegaard’s thought on a specific topic. Volumes V and VI are devoted to autobiographical material. Volume VII contains an extensive index with topical crossreferences.