Perhaps no one has done more for the reputation of Søren Kierkegaard in the English-speaking world than Howard and Edna Hong, who translated the vast majority of his writings from Danish. Their work is available in an accessible series of volumes from Princeton University Press, and our listeners who have read much Kierkegaard at all have probably encountered them.
The Hongs’ other legacy, however, is the Hong Kierkegaard Library at St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota, the largest collection of books related to Kierkegaard outside of Copenhagen. You’re listening to the first episode of a two-part series on Kierkegaard and the Hongs. This episode is a personal tour of the Hong Library, given to me by Eileen Shimota, the library’s assistant, and Jamie Lorentzen, the chair of the Friends of the Kierkegaard Library. We were supposed to be joined by Gordon Marino, the director of the library—but unfortunately, he was sick the day of the tour. For next week’s episode, I’ll be interviewing Jamie Lorentzen about his new book, Becoming Human—but for now, I hope you enjoy this tour and that if you find yourself near Northfield, you visit the Hong Kierkegaard Library yourself.