Latest Issue

Is anxiety what makes us human? Why Kierkegaard is still relevant today

Cosiness and its malcontent—meet the Socrates of Copenhagen

By Clare Carlisle   May 2019

Photo: Shutterstock

Denmark’s most successful recent export, hygge, is difficult to translate into English—perhaps “cosiness” is the closest fit. For Danes, hygge evokes feelings of contentment, warmth and conviviality: think wood-burning stoves, knitwear, candlelight, artisanal blankets draped over a stylish sofa, and the smell of baking rye bread wafting from the kitchen. Hygge has long been important to Danish culture, but perhaps it is no surprise that many of us find this inviting fireside aesthetic especially appealing in uncertain times.

By contrast, the 19th-century philosopher Søren Kierkegaard—another famous Danish…

Register today to continue reading

You’ve hit your limit of three articles in the last 30 days. To get seven more, simply enter your email address below.

You’ll also receive our free e-book Prospect’s Top Thinkers 2020 and our newsletter with the best new writing on politics, economics, literature and the arts.

Prospect may process your personal information for our legitimate business purposes, to provide you with newsletters, subscription offers and other relevant information.

Click here to learn more about these purposes and how we use your data. You will be able to opt-out of further contact on the next page and in all our communications.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to

More From Prospect