Kierkegaard 2013: Copenhagen and the walks

Above all, do not lose your desire to walk. Every day I walk myself into a state of well-being and walk away from every illness. I have walked myself into my best thoughts, and I know of no thought so burdensome that one cannot walk away from it. – Kierkegaard

Updates: Kierkegaard gårpavement quotesSøren Kierkegaard in CPH |CPH Post |In the tidy city of the world’s most anxious man | smartphone byvandringbest map

In The old ways Robert Macfarlane muses that Kierkegaard “speculated that the mind might function optimally at the pedestrian pace of three miles [sic] per hour and…going out for a wander and finding himself ‘so overwhelmed with ideas’ that he ‘could scarcely walk’.”

It’s 200 years since the birth of Kierkegaard and there’s acres of stuff about him. It’s turning into the Danish equivalent of walking challenges. Here’s my Kierkegaard 2013:

In Wanderlust Rebecca Solnit describes Kierkegaard’s walking as (p24):

a way to bask in the faint human warmth of brief encounters, acquaintances’ greetings, and overheard conversations. A lone walker is both present and detached from the world around, more than an audience but less than a participant. Walking assuages or legitimizes this alientation: one is mildly disconnected because one is walking, not because one is incapable of connecting.

MORE pp23-26. See journals, esp Steps on life’s way.

Ace quote p200: Kierkegaard, were he less prolific and less Danish, might be the best candidate for a real life flaneur.

Byvandring/guided walks, many as part of Golden Days in September:

Kierkegaard and Copenhagen

Visit Copenhagen’s Kierkegaard page has a map with some key locations. Discovered from this that the Design Museum formerly housed the hospital where Kierkegaard died.

UCL Scandinavian Studies held an event on Kierkegaard, the uncanny and Nordic noir on 17 May, looking at unsettling Copenhagen in philosophical writing and contemporary drama. Some interesting sounding papers – see programme for more:

  • Svend Erik Larsen (University of Aarhus) on Wonderful Copenhagen: dirt and darkness (CPH’s Golden Age)
  • Hugh Pyper (University of Sheffield) – Not at home: Kierkegaard and the uncanny poetics of encounter
  • Claire Thomson (UCL Scandinavian Studies) – #copenmap: hidden data histories of Copenhagen; sadly can’t trace this, but incorporated a range of data and media, including a survey of the public’s favourite CPH sights and sites, trajectories of cyclists and sewage, the Thorvaldsen sculpture trail, Dan Turèll’s literary map of Vesterbro and HC Andersen’s Fodreise fra Holmens Kanal til Østpynten af Amager
  • Henriette Steiner (ETH Zurich) – Golden days and dark nights: Langebro as an unsettling place in Copenhagen
  • Gunhild Agger (Aalborg University) – The Killing: urban topographies of a crime
  • Bo Tao Michaëlis (Politiken) – Copenhagen after dark

Here’s my Kierkegaard footprint, taken from my posts on the Kierkegaard MOOC I participated in October – December 2013:



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