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Kierkegaard on Anxiety & Creativity

Andrea Margutti

“Because it is possible to create — creating one’s self, willing to be one’s self… — one has anxiety. One would have no anxiety if there were no possibility whatever.”

In his 1844 treatise The Concept of Anxiety (public library), Danish philosopher Søren Kierkegaard (1813–1855) explains anxiety as the dizzying effect of freedom, of paralyzing possibility, of the boundlessness of one’s own existence — a kind existential paradox of choice.

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  • Alessandra Rizzotti

    Love this. Especially this point: "Core to this premise is the conception of anxiety as a dual force that can be both destructive and generative, depending on how we approach it. Like Nin herself observed in her reflection of why emotional excess is necessary for writing, Kierkegaard argues that anxiety is essential for creativity."