The Man Who Wasn’t There

In response to:

Prussia Lives! from the March 18, 1982 issue

To the Editors:

I would like to correct a minor error appearing in Felix Gilbert’s article on Prussia [NYR, March 18]. Mr. Gilbert depicts Kierkegaard as “listening with awe” to the lectures of Hegel. In actuality, at the time of Hegel’s death (1831) Kierkegaard was an 18-year-old student at the University of Copenhagen, and had not yet travelled outside Denmark. He did travel to Berlin in 1841, to hear the lectures of Schelling, of whom he wrote, “Schelling drivels on quite intolerably.” Judging by Kierkegaard’s frequent and vitriolic denunciations of Hegel’s thought, had he heard the master speak, he might well have had the same opinion.

Bruce Heinly

Chattanooga, Tennessee