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Narrative, Identity and the Kierkegaardian Self$
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John Lippitt and Patrick Stokes

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780748694433

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: January 2016

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748694433.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM EDINBURGH SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.edinburgh.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Edinburgh University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in ESO for personal use.date: 24 September 2021

The End in the Beginning

The End in the Beginning

Eschatology in Kierkegaard’s Literary Criticism

(p.113) 7 The End in the Beginning
Narrative, Identity and the Kierkegaardian Self

Eleanor Helms

Edinburgh University Press

Can there be a ‘third way’ between narrativism and narratoscepticism? Discussing Kierkegaard’s notion of transfiguration [forklarelse] and comparing the unity of a life lived in faith with the unity of a novel suggests that while life may be narrative in character, the self is better understood as a reader rather than a narrator. Comparing Frank Kermode’s account of narrative disruption and reorientation with John J. Davenport’s Tolkein-inspired account of eucatastrophe (fulfilment through disruption via ultimately divine agency) yields the conclusion that (contra Rudd’s strong narrative view) just as the task of a reader is to hope, so the self is best understood as one who always hopes to find narrative unity in the world – yet recognises her own powerlessness to bring this about.

Keywords:   Kierkegaard, John J. Davenport, Narrative, Selfhood, Eucatastrophe, Frank Kermode

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