These stories are given to the reader secondhand, as the labors of a man Kierkegaard knows or imagines. It is important for the reader to know the man’s reasons for producing these alternative possibilities of Abraham’s trial, and what this man seeks to gain from examining each. This man is presented paradoxically as “no thinker, [who] felt no need to go further than faith.” At the same time, he is no perfect example, let alone a knight, of faith. Even though he is not a thinker, he is nonetheless using his worldly, rational powers to produce and analyze these stories. It is the “shudder of thought” that drives his obsession w...
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...that he has succeeded as the first example of the hero-loving poet at work in this new order. The best image of this poet Kierkegaard offers is as one who “wanders round in front of everyone’s door with this song and his speech, so that all can admire the hero as he does, be proud of the hero as he is.” In the narratives and metaphors, we have heard Kierkegaard’s song. It is tightly constructed, divided into choruses and refrains, as a song should be. Like the words of a song, it resists being nitpicked to produce false meaning. It is meant to be pocketed and later contemplated at whatever place and time suits its contemplation. It is a call to come outside, but forces nobody to follow. If a listener chooses to join the poet, the song does exactly what it promises to and baffles the listener, who now can admire Abraham just as Kierkegaard does: in bafflement.
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