Søren Kierkegaard and A Love Letter

Cordelia! It is indeed a glorious name! I sit at home and practice saying it to myself like a parrot. I say: Cordelia, Cordelia, my Cordelia, you my Cordelia. I cannot help smiling at the thought of the plan according to which sometime at the crucial moment I shall pronounce these words. One should always make preparatory studies; everything must be properly arranged. No wonder poets are always describing this dus-moment, that most beautiful moment when the lovers, not by sprinkling (o be sure, there are many who go no further) but by immersion in the sea of love, strip themselves of the old man and rise up from this baptism and only then really recognize each other as old acquaintances, although they are only a moment old.

For a young girl, this is always the most beautiful moment, and to enjoy it properly one ought to be on a somewhat higher level – not just as someone being baptized but also as the priest. A little irony makes the moment following this moment one of the most interesting – it is a spiritual disrobing. One must be poetic enough not to interfere with the ceremony, and yet rogue in oneself must always be on the watch.

Søren Kierkegaard, The Seducer’s Diary. April 30th.


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