Denmarks Golden

During these years Kierkegaard was very interested in drama, music, and literary subjects, including romanticism, the poetry of the troubadours, the art of telling children's stories, mythology, the aesthetic categories of comedy, irony, and humour, and the figures of Faust, the Wandering Jew, and Don Juan as the representatives of doubt, despair, and sensuousness respectively—all of which provided a wealth of material for his early aesthetic writings (KJN i, BB 1-25, 27-37, 49; DD 3, 6, 18-19, 22, 38, 68-9, 75; SKP i, C 46-127). The first half of the nineteenth century was known as the Golden Age of Denmark inasmuch as it was a period of high culture that boasted a number of fine literary artists, including the noted romantic poet Adam Oehlenschlager (1779-1850) and J. L. Heiberg, a dramatist, poet, prose writer, translator, aesthetician, literary critic, and director ofthe Royal Danish Theatre as well as Hegelian philosopher. Heiberg's mother, Madame Thomasine Gyllembourg (1773-1856), was an accomplished novelist whose works Kierkegaard read and reviewed favourably (EPW 64-7; TA). Heiberg's wife, Johanne Luise Heiberg (1812-90), was a celebrated actress of the Danish Royal Theatre whom Kierkegaard also admired and later reviewed appreciatively (C ). Hoping to become part of the Heiber-gian cultural circle, which was 'the leading Copenhagen salon of its time', Kierkegaard wrote a long critical review of a novel by the contemporary Danish writer, Hans Christian Andersen (1805-75), who at this point in his literary career had won more acclaim as a novelist than as a writer of fairy tales.63 Issued in 1838 under the odd title, From the Papers of One Still Living, perhaps with the recent deaths of his father and Moller in mind, this was Kierkegaard's first published monograph.64

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