21. Is Hamlet a Religious Drama. An Essay on a Question in Kierkegaard, by Gene Fendt. ISBN 0-87462-620-X. ©1998. Paperbound. Index. 264 pp. $30

“Hamlet is the figure and great pivoting mirror of the Western soul, the normative creation of character which life but sadly imitates, and as each one must come to terms with what man is, so he and she must come to terms with Hamlet.

“The progress swells on apace. “When a person has thought about a work of literature for a long time, read it or taught with it frequently, lived with its spirits and the questions it raises-about itself and about oneself-it becomes difficult to tell how certain insights originated, or achieved their status as true, or became an emblem of one’s own hopes, despair, defeat, longed for victory. I suppose that living with a work of literature in this way is something like speaking with ghosts, somewhat like getting news from another world. Something originally vague and questionable, heard and wondered about, slowly takes on the shape and body of the familiar. During any such process some moments come to stand out as definitive: a face blanches peculiarly, a certain gesture, or half a line of distant prose, unlocks a door near the heart of the mystery, while forceful and intent investigation leads up a narrow stair to a belfry rocking with the peal of bells and shuttered against any but a slatted vista of an uncertain country.” — From the author’s Introduction

Dr. Gene Fendt is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Nebraska at Kearney and the author of numerous books and articles, among them: For What May I Hope? Thinking with Kant and Kierkegaard (1990), Works of Love? Reflections on Works of Love (1990), and Platonic Errors: Essays on the Poetry of Plato (with David Rozema) (1998). An award-winning poet and playwright, he has lectured widely on philosophy and literature. In 1996 he was an Invited Scholar chosen by the University of Copenhagen to conduct seminars in Denmark on Kierkegaard and Meaning.


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