Søren Kierkegaard: Diary of a Seducer

06 November 2019


How beautiful it is to be in love; how interesting it is to know that one is in love. This, you see, is the difference. I can become furious at the rought that she disappeared before me the second time, and yet in a certain sense I am glad of it. The image I have of her hovers indefinitely somewhere between her actual and her ideal form. I now have this image before me, but precisely because either it is actuality or actuality is indeed the occasion, it has a singular magic. I feel no impatience, for she must live here in the city, and at this moment that is enough for me. This possibility is the condition for the proper appearance of her image-everything will be enjoyed in slow drafts.

And should I not be calm, who can regard myself as a favorite of the gods, I, whose lot was the rale good fortune of falling in love again. This is something that cannot be elicited by skill or study-it is a gift. But if I have succeeded in stirring up an erotic love again, I do want to see how long it can be sustained.

I coddle this love as I never did my first. The opportunity falls to one’s lot rarely enough-therefore the point is truly to utilize it if it does come along, for it is dismaying that it is no art to seduce a girl but it is a stroke of good fortune to find one who is worth seducing. -Love is full of mysteries, and this first falling in love is also a mystery even though a minor one. Most people rush ahead, become engaged or do other stupid things, and in a turn of the hand everything is over, and they know neither what they have won nor what they have lost. Two times she has appeared before me and has disappeared; that means she will appear more often. When Joseph had interpreted Pharaoh’s dream, he added: But the fact that you dreamed twice means that it will be fulfilled soon.’

Yet it would be interesting if one could discem somewhat ahead of time the forces whose emergence forms the content of life. At present she is living in all her tranquil peace; she does not have even an inkling of my existence, even less of what is going on within me, to say nothing of the assurance with which I gaze into her future, for my soul is demanding more and more actuality, and it is becoming stronger and stronger.

If at first sight a girl does not make sudr a deep impression on a person that she awakens the ideal, then ordinarily the actuality is not especially desirable; but if she does, then no matter how experienced a person is he usually is rather overwhelmed. I always advise the person who is not sure of his hand, his eye, and his victory to venture the attack in this first state, in which, precisely because he is overwhelmed, he has supranatural powers-for being overwhelmed is a curious mixture of sympathy and egotism. He will, however, miss out on an enjoyment, for he does not enjoy the situation since he himself is wrapped up in it, hidden in it. Which is the more beautiful is difficult to decide-which is the more interesting is easy. It is however, always best to come as close as possible to the line. This is the real enjoymen! and what others enjoy I do not know for sure. Mere possession is very little, and the means such lovers use are usually paltry enough; they do not even reject money, power, alien influence, sleeping potions, etc. But what pleasure is there in love if absolute abandon is not intrinsic to it, that is, from the one side-but ordinarily that takes spirit, and such lovers generally do not have that.

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