Kierkegaard Studies Yearbook
Ed. by Schulz, Heiko / Stewart, Jon / Verstrynge, Karl
In cooperation with Sajda, Peter
CiteScore 2017: 0.06
SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2017: 0.100
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2017: 0.131
Seduction is not solely a matter of literary history (anymore). In the 1980s a community has emerged that, up to the present day, developed practical methodologies applicable in any public venue and social gathering. Nonetheless, the leading figures of this PickUp community strongly acknowledge their predecessors as they can be found in literary history. Prominently, Kierkegaard, in his “Seducer’s Diary,” has introduced such a predecessor. As part of Either/Or, the diary meticulously unfolds and portrays the interactional dynamics of seduction. To analyze this process sociologically is the main objective of the present article. In order to achieve this goal, the essay comments on how fictional literature can become material for social science and, after pointing to the multiple layers of the reader/writer/editor-relation, focuses on two questions crucial to seduction as a micro-interactional procedure: (1) What is the effect of seduction, in particular for the seduced? Arguing that seduction involves a form of empowerment, the article finds an explanation for Cordelia’s letters being displayed before Johannes’ narration begins. (2) What are the concrete techniques of seduction? Isolating three of them-including the gaze-the essay concludes that Kierkegaard was not only a theologian, religious author and philosopher, but he was also a social theorist.