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Can writing become a duty? What is the difference between a poet and a critic?
Kierkegaard: My work as an author
From: Søren Kierkegaard, The Point of View for My Work as an Author
There is a time to be silent and a time to speak, So long as I considered the strictest silence my religious duty I strove in every way to preserve it. I have not hesitated to counteract, in a finite sense, my own effort by the enigmatic mystery and double entente which silence favors. What I have done in that way has been misunderstood, has been explained as pride, arrogance, and God knows what. So long as I considered silence my religious duty I would not do the least thing to obviate such a misunderstanding. But the reason I considered silence my duty was that the authorship was not yet at hand in so complete a form that the understanding of it could be anything but misunderstanding. ...
That I am and was an author is related to Christianity, to the problem of 'becoming a Christian', with a direct or indirect polemic against the monstrous illusion we call Christendom, or against the illusion that in such a land of ours all are Christians of a sort. ...
No, an illusion can never be destroyed directly, and only by indirect means can it be radically removed. If it is an illusion that all are Christians—and if there is anything to be done about it, it must be done indirectly, not by one who vociferously proclaims himself an extraordinary Christian, but by one who, better instructed, is ready to declare that he is not a Christian at all....
Cf. Pascal, Method & purpose | Rilke, Letter to a Young Poet | Plato, Whom are we talking to? | Emerson, Self-knowledge | Gibson - McRury, Discovering one's face | Emerson, We differ in art, not in wisdom