From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia
Either/Or (original Danish title: Enten-Eller) is an influential book written by the Danish philosopher Søren Kierkegaard in 1843, in which he explores the aesthetic and ethical "phases" or "stages" of existence.
Either/Or portays the two lifeviews, one being consciously hedonistic and one based on ethical duty and responsibility, in two volumes. Each lifeview is written and represented by a fictional pseudonymous author and the prose of the work depends on which lifeview is being discussed. For example, the aesthetic lifeview is written in short essay form, with poetic imagery and allusions, discussing aesthetic topics such as music, seduction, drama, and beauty. The ethical lifeview is written as two long letters, with a more argumentative and restraint prose, discussing moral responsibility, critical reflection, and marriage.
Diary of a Seducer
Written by 'Johannes the Seducer', the volume Diary of a Seducer illustrates how the aesthete holds the "interesting" as his highest value and how, to satisfy his voyeuristic reflections, he manipulates his situation from the boring to the interesting. He will use irony, artifice, caprice, imagination and arbitrariness to engineer poetically satisfying possibilities; he is not so much interested in the act of seduction as in willfully creating its interesting possibility.