Artworking Kierkegaard’s pseudonymity
‘If you name me, you negate me. By giving me a name, a label, you negate all the other things I could possibly be.’ —Søren Kierkegaard
There are those who seek a name and those who cannot bear its burden. Then there are those who play serious games with names. Kierkegaard’s restlessness, particularly depicted in his notes and journals, expresses a soul in turmoil, incapable of settling. But his ironic use of pseudonymity as a game of absence, admits the ghost of Regine Olsen. For all his ‘absenteeism’ her presence echoes throughout the duration of his literary fear and trembling. In one sense, at least, they never separated and she was less his muse, more the absence that haunted his namelessness.