Archive for the George Cotkin category

Existential America (7): Highway 61 revisited

When I first read George Cotkin’s Existential America several years ago, I came across this review: T. H. Adamowski, “Out on Highway 61: Existentialism in America,” University of Toronto Quarterly, Volume 74, Number 4, Fall 2005, pp. 913-933. From this link you can download a PDF of the full text. The reviewer is obviously highly […]

Existential America (6): Richard Wright, Ralph Ellison, C.L.R. James

Cotkin was wise to include Black American appropriations of existentialism, as this gives me an opportunity to test my hypothesis that their perspective was different from white people’s investment in existentialism, and particularly that Wright used Kierkegaard for different purposes than his white contemporaries. Chapter 8 features Richard Wright and Ralph Ellison. Sartre unwittingly and […]

Existential America (5): C.L.R. James, Richard Wright, & Kierkegaard

I knew Richard Wright very well indeed. I may have mentioned this to some of you. Dick fancied himself as a cook. He would cook rice and chicken or something in some Southern way and say, “Come over, I’m going to cook today.” I used to eat it. But he was a remarkable man. One […]

Existential America (4): Kierkegaard analyzed (1942)

Otto F. Kraushaar, “Kierkegaard in English. I”, The Journal of Philosophy, Vol. 39, No. 21 (Oct. 8, 1942), pp. 561-583. While long recognized in Scandinavian, German, and theological circles, Kierkegaard began to be profusely translated into English only in the three years preceding the writing of this article, in which eight books are under review. […]

Existential America (3): reactionary Kierkegaard: references

These are references of interest from George Cotkin’s Existential America pointing to critiques of Kierkegaard and his reactionary appropriation in the United States. See also my bibliography on Case Studies of Metaphysical Pessimism. Samuel Greenberg, “Auden, Poet of Anxiety,” Masses and Mainstream, June 1948 Norbert Guterman, “Neither-Nor”, Partisan Review 10 (March-April 1943), pp. 134-142. V. […]

Existential America revisited

Cotkin, George. Existential America. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2003. Contents: Acknowledgements Chapter One Introduction 1741-1949: American Existentialists before the Fact Chapter Two The “Drizzly November” of the American Soul 1928-1955: Kierkegaardian Moments Chapter Three Kierkegaard Comes to America Chapter Four A Kierkegaardian Age of Anxiety 1944-1960: The Era of French Existentialism Chapter Five The […]