Thanks, of a rather shaky, sort go to Juxtabook for this one. If you go to the Penguin Classics site, you too can register for a free Penguin Classic, the only minor catch being that you have to review it on their blog within 6 weeks of getting it.
Oooh, I thought. Free is always good, and free books are always better. If I am really spectacularly lucky, I might get Dickens' Dombey and Son which I don't appear to have, and neither does any book shop around here. I might even get one of the Greek and Latin authors, whom I almost certainly would have read already, which would make the reviewing task a bit easier. There are hundreds of things I would like to get.
No. I have "The Sickness Unto Death," by Kierkegaard. I looked it up in the hope that though complex (Kierkegaard's concept of despair) it might be short, but no. 265 pages. Blimey. I have not read anything even remotely similar since I tried and failed to read Dietrich Bonhoeffer's Cost of Discipleship as a student. You must read this, I was told. Shallowness was my all, even then. You must be joking, I thought. Where's the P G Wodehouse?
I am essentially a pragmatic soul, and philosophy is something I struggle with. I told my husband about my new and exciting book experience. "Have you read any Kierkegaard?" I asked. "Yes", he said. "But not that one." "I'm not going to enjoy it, am I?" I said. "No," he said. And added "It'll be like wading through cold suet."
Pollyanna though I undoubtedly am, I'm struggling, I am, to find a good side to this, but I am a good Protestant girl, brought up to believe that difficulty is good for one so I hope the Kierkegaard will polish my shallow soul up.