Eternal Love

“He who does not know how to encircle a girl so that she loses sight of everything he does not want her to see, he who does not know how to poetize himself into a girl so that it is from her that everything proceeds as he wants it-he is and remains a bungler.” Kierkegaard

So where would Kierkegaard’s aesthetic lover find himself…even more interesting, where would one find Regine Olsen who spent her whole life loving Kierkegaard.

Source: Eternal Love


8 thoughts on “Eternal Love

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  1. Indeed, it is! One thing that Kierkegaard has taught me is that there are a variety of loves. But whatever the form of love it is not simply something that happens and evolves given circumstance, compatibility issues and the like. Love is performative language embodied in spirit; not everyone is proficient in the same language, and this makes all the difference. The seduction of even the aesthetic man is not hard at work, which is over-extending and potentially exhausting, but seeks to harness his love-quests on a worthy conquest whom he shall woe and as he does she shall delight in the song of his voice. You can toil in linguistic gymnastics to bridge that performative gap, but never shall it embody spirit, and hence despite longevity, shall forever ( 😉 ) be lacking.


  2. Yes, I agree about the variety of loves, and not everyone is proficient in the same language.
    Are you saying that you don’t think he really loved her, in the sense that it didn’t truly “embody his spirit”?


    1. The aesthetic love is an enraptured love of frenzy wherefore eternity is fully experienced in a moment, but it is not a substantive deep love (I discuss this in my blog, The Tomb of My Joy) wherefore the moment is realized for all eternity. The degree and form of mutuality is also quite distinct, where in the former tends towards manipulation that caters to only one ultimate end – hedonism – whereas the latter involves the intertwining of beings.

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      1. Thanks for the clarification. I’ll have to look at your other blog. I’m pondering the difference between aesthetic love and infatuation, and the tendency to manipulation and ultimately, hedonism. And also how Kierkegaard and Regine fit into this…I haven’t read enough about it. Thanks for the thought provocation!

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        1. Infatuation is a crude form of attraction which speaks to the surface and disparagingly superficial; the hedonism of the aesthetic is cultured, cultivated, and nurtured. It involves a cultivated sense of awe for the object of love, and with that profound respect (just not of the moral variety).

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        2. I think the definitions overlap, I mean, I think infatuation is obviously a more superficial attraction but it can have elements of the aesthetic. I think there is a lot of overlap…plus I think Kierkegaard’s spirituality adds to the spectrum, of course.
          So I am curious, where do you find Regine in all of this?

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        3. The aesthetic comes in two stages/forms. The first is the cruder version and is much like infatuation; the latter form, of which I speak her, is quite distinct albeit still hedonic in nature. Cordelia, who figures in the Seducer’s Diary, was very much a project for Johannes; but Regina, who figured in Kierkegaard’s life, was more than that. He ultimately ave her up for his religious pursuits; for his ultimate love for God.


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