Part way through “The First Love”

by Andrea Elizabeth

A Comedy in One Act by Scribe in Either/Or by Søren Kierkegaard. What a unique writer he is. Dostoevsky is the closest to him, in my opinion. He has freedom to not connect dots in the usual way which is to make everything come full circle with a tidy bow. But it’s not the modern alternative of meaningless chaos either. And it’s not contradiction for contradiction sake like abstract art can also be. It’s not conflict, but freedom. Freedom not to do the expected.

How funny that you can’t have “an occasion in general”. I wonder if reality is a synonym for his occasion. And the occasion can be thought to symbolize something like one’s one true love, but then later this can be denied. So did that make the first impression wrong? I think he is being apophatic. The lover may convince himself that he never loved, he may forget that he ever loved, he may indeed love the next so much more that the first no longer compares, but none of this denies the first love. But if it is denied and/or not committed to marriage, then it is set free, so then freedom becomes the first love. Free to love or not, and to remember and thus make it eternal.

Then the story about his review of The First Love follows the same pattern of loving the play because he was in love and then having the love acted on then not acted on and later denied and then remembered by constant exposure to the symbolic play and then not finishing the review and then only having it published against his will because he spilt ink on someone else’s writings and so owed it to him or else he would have been liable for someone else’s life’s work. So he was pretty much forced into consummating his writing at the pain of life or death. Perhaps his first love would have worked out if she had had no other alternative. Did Regina have too much support so that she didn’t need him enough? She wasn’t devastated enough by his withdrawal?

But she was suicidal. Why did this not matter enough? There is a theme mentioned a couple of times so far in this book about the inner pain of the heart needing to find its echo in one’s support system. Kierkegaard suffered from abiding melancholy. Maybe he had to recreate that in Regina, or maybe they already shared it. To be happily married would not have provided a suitable echo for his inner disposition. A failed engagement did. And his disposition was to find the echo in words and not in relationship.

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