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Repetition

Repetition is a typically teasing, haunting Kierkegaard title. We normally think of repetition as inherently boring, something to be avoided if possible, as in “repetitive job”. But in this book it’s seen as something fantastically precious and desirable. One meaning of it is the restoration of what seems to be lost (.e.g Job’s prosperity, the young man’s faith in himself). But another sense is the enjoyment of what you have. It’s the same as living-in-the-present, “it has the blessed certainty of the instant.” It means being set free from the curse of unhappy hoping and unhappy remembering. “Hope is a charming maiden that slips through the fingers, recollection is a beautiful old woman but of no use at the instant, repetition is a beloved wife of whom one never tires.”

–David Lodge, Therapy

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