Kierkegaard, Like the Interjection

“The life of mankind could very well be conceived as a speech in which different men represented the various parts of speech (that might also be applied to the nations in the relations to one another). How many people are mere adjectives, interjections, conjunctions, adverbs; and how few are substantives, verbs etc.; how many are copula?
In relation to each other men are like irregular verbs in different languages; nearly all verbs are slightly irregular.
There are people whose position in life is like that of the interjection, without influence on the sentence– They are the hermits of life, and at the very most take a case, e.g., O me miserum.
Our politicians are like Greek reciprocals (alleeloin) which are wanting in the nominative singular and all subjective cases. They can only be thought of in the plural and possessive cases.
The sad thing about me is that my life (the condition of my soul) changes according to the declensions where not only the endings change but the whole word is altered.”

Søren Kierkegaard, Journals (trans. A Dru)

One thought on “Kierkegaard, Like the Interjection

  1. The analogy seems to depend on Greek being the language in question, where nearly every word does seem to be irregular, and not a few require multiple roots to fill in the principle parts–the tragedy of the last line appearing all over the Greek language.

    Liked by 1 person

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