22 May 2013

Life's Great Conflagration

Søren Kierkegaard, Selections From the Writings of Kierkegaard, tr. L. M. Hollander (Austin: University of Texas, 1923), p. 44:
Of all ridiculous things the most ridiculous seems to me, to be busy — to be a man who is brisk about his food and his work. Therefore, whenever I see a fly settling, in the decisive moment, on the nose of such a person of affairs; or if he is spattered with mud from a carriage which drives past him in still greater haste; or the drawbridge opens up before him; or a tile falls down and knocks him dead, then I laugh heartily. And who, indeed, could help laughing? What, I wonder, do these busy folks get done? Are they not to be classed with the woman who in her confusion about the house being on fire carried out the fire-tongs? What things of greater account, do you suppose, will they rescue from life's great conflagration?
This is the only English translation of Kierkegaard I could find on Archive.org. However, I did come across this attractive edition of Either/Or in German.

cf. Hank on being burnt