Monday, July 8, 2013


A new novel about a "peripatetic philosopher"? You don't see that every day.

In  Thomas Kennedy's Kerrigan in Copenhagen,
 The bibulous Kerrigan is influenced equally by Joyce’s “Ulysses” and Kierkegaard’s “Either/Or.” A peripatetic philosopher, Kerrigan once wrote scholarly papers on literary verisimilitude; now he simply reads and drinks. A green-eyed, 50-­something woman, whom he refers to as his Research Associate, accompanies him with a Moleskine full of facts and the emotional burden of dissatisfaction with her own failed career.
...Kierkegaard (whose very name means “graveyard”) tries to identify the unhappiest person who ever lived. Don Juan is a contender; Kerrigan might also qualify. Fixated on the memory of his much younger ex-wife in a blue bikini, he suspects he’ll never recover from her treachery and loss.
Having plumped for hedonism, then, Kerrigan more or less lives the life depicted within Kierkegaard’s “Seducer’s Diary.” Philosophies may change, but fermentation is forever...  
Don't fool yourself, Kerrigan. Nothing's forever. Words, women, and drink are no exception. Real peripatetics know that.

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