The Original Kierkegaard

23 April 2013 - 19 October 2013


From his birth certificate to the last words from the philosopher's hand. The Royal Library's 200 year anniversary exhibition brings you at an intimate distance to the moment of creation, where Søren Kierkegaard put pen to paper and created the ideas, that still today inspire, provoke and puzzle readers around the world.

Behind 14 tall doors are different aspects of the life and work of Søren Kierkegaard staged in creative tableaus.

If you open the door "My Regine" you will find a slightly warped version of a Copenhagen luxury apartment. In this room a number of Kierkegaard's extremely literary letters to his fiancé Regine Olsen, diary pages reflecting Kierkegaard's doubts about the relationship and finally the will, in which Kierkegaard - more than a decade after breaking off the engagement - leaves all his belongings to her.

Enter the room "The Corsair" and you will find yourself in a neon green room, where articles and drawings illustrate the bitter feud with the satirical magazine The Corsair, which led to a radicalization of Kierkegaard's religious writing.

Kierkegaard belongs to the world
The 'Original' in the title is not only a reference to Søren Kierkegaard as the slightly weird, bent person, who was ridiculed on his daily walks on the streets of Copenhagen.

The originality also refers to his writings that have placed him permanently on the world map of philosophy.

But most importantly the pivotal point is the many original papers, Kierkegaard left behind: A unique collection of letters, diaries, manuscripts, notes and books which today comprises the Kierkegaard Archive at The Royal Library.

It is the main collection of Kierkegaard papers in the world, and the archive gives an unparalleled look into the body of work. In 1997 the archive was included in the UNESCO's Memory of the World list.

A multitude of voices and Christian demands
Apart from the unhappy and crucial engagement and the feud with The Corsair the exhibition shows many sides of Kierkegaard's short but extremely productive life: the pseudonymous writings, where several layers of fictional voices discuss existential problems centered on the choice, anxiety, the leap, subjectivity and the paradoxical.

And the authorship under his own name, where he lays out his strict demands to being a believing Christian - ideas that become the igniter for the church feud, in which Kierkegaard personally confronted the  entire established church.

A ten meter long display shows works from all over the world, testifying to his far-reaching influence and legacy.

The exhibition is for anybody interested in the life, work and working methods of Søren Kierkegaard.

The only requirement is the ability to be fascinated by an imaginative journey through the original documents left by one of Denmark's greatest cultural figures.

Standard 40 kr.
Diamond club free
Students 25 kr.
Children under 16 free
School classes 40 kr.

Tickets are sold at the information desk and are valid for all exhibitions

Opening hours: Mon-Sat 10-19