I was daydreaming at a stoplight recently when the sound of thunder shook me from my reverie. It was pulsing rhythmically, and there seemed to be a faint whistling or screeching sound, as if I was in a hurricane or tornado.
Philosophers Mary Midgley and Judith Hughes have observed: “Individualism, like salt, is a very good and necessary thing. . . . But how about a diet of salt alone? . . . Unmitigated individualism is a death wish.”
When my wife and I returned home from vacation with a painting of a wolf, noble and forlorn in its expression, I had no idea how strange this purchase would have seemed to our great-grandparents. As the preeminent symbol of disappearing wilderness, wolves inspire awe in my generation.
Joakim Garff’s justly acclaimed biography of Kierkegaard, published in English in the year marking the 200th anniversary of the birth of Hans Christian Andersen, invites us into the literary world of Denmark’s golden age.