Repetition (Kierkegaard)

Repetition (Kierkegaard)

Repetition "(Danish:Gjentagelsen)" is a book by the 19th century Danish philosopher Søren Kierkegaard and published on October 16, 1843 under the pseudonym "Constantin Constantius".

The chief character in this work is "The Young Man" who despairs over the ethical dilemma of whether or not to break off an engagement with his former fiancée. Staying with his fiancée, he reflects, would require an on-going dedication to one person, a willingness to be with her repeatedly, as it were. Instead of embodying this form of 'repetition,' The Young Man decides to leave his lover so that he can recollect her imaginatively. Recollection in Kierkegaard is an aesthetic category. This work is seen as a reflection of Kierkegaard's own breakup with his former fiancée Regine Olsen.

Lacan reads Kierkegaard's "Repetition" in light of Freud's Fort-da narrative to examine the play of signification, the real, and the subject's relationship to trauma in "The Four Fundamental Concepts of Psychoanalysis" (60-62).

Kierkegaard's central relationship echoes Dante's love for Beatrice Portinari in The Divine Comedy and La Vita Nuova. Dante falls in love with Beatrice, the most beautiful woman in Florence, only to have her die. But she returns, in beatific vision (and as a guide) whose unfolding embodies Dante's concept of the Christian afterlife. Having (repetitive/immanent) love and losing it teaches Dante about the transcendent elements of divine love.

Samuel Butler's concept of "Habitus" in his "Life and Habit"(1878) may be seen as analogous to Kierkegaard's understanding of repetition as a principal means of knowing. By repetition we re-cognize what has come before (how otherwise would we know it was repeated?), thereby drawing connections between a cognitive event in the past and its 'recurrence' in the present. Both thinkers were inclined to credit the means by which repetition renders a knowledge unconscious, as repeatedly playing scales on a piano results in your being able to play them without consciously thinking about every note: a potentially deeper form of knowledge. Something of the spirit of Kierkegaard's 'recollection' may also be discerned in Butler's "Habitus".

External links

* [ D. Anthony on Repetition]

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Kierkegaard’s speculative despair — Judith Butler Every movement of infinity is carried out through passion, and no reflection can produce a movement. This is the continual leap in existence that explains the movement, whereas mediation is a chimera, which in Hegel is supposed to… …   History of philosophy

  • KIERKEGAARD (S.) — Kierkegaard a eu une grosse influence sur un bon nombre de philosophes contemporains, qu’ils soient croyants ou non: Karl Jaspers, Martin Heidegger, Gabriel Marcel, Jean Paul Sartre. Certains termes du philosophe danois comme «nausée», «angoisse» …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • RÉPÉTITION (philosophie et psychanalyse) — RÉPÉTITION, philosophie et psychanalyse «Si Dieu lui même n’avait pas voulu la répétition, écrivait Kierkegaard, le monde n’aurait jamais existé.» Mais vouloir la répétition, n’est ce pas aussi vouloir la mort? La répétition est d’abord un vécu… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Repetition — may refer to: Repetition (rhetorical device), rhetorical device Repetition (music), use of repetition in musical compositions Repetition (learning), learning by repetition Repetition, book by the 19th century Danish philosopher Søren Kierkegaard… …   Wikipedia

  • Kierkegaard — Søren Kierkegaard Søren Kierkegaard Philosophe danois XIXe siècle Naissance  …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Kierkegaard, Søren — ▪ Danish philosopher Introduction in full  Søren Aabye Kierkegaard  born May 5, 1813, Copenhagen, Den. died Nov. 11, 1855, Copenhagen  Danish philosopher, theologian, and cultural critic who was a major influence on Existentialism and Protestant… …   Universalium

  • Kierkegaard, Søren — (1813 1855)    A Danish philosopher and man of letters, Kierkegaard is considered the father of existentialism, an important movement in 20th century European philosophy and culture. Raised by a well to do merchant father from whom he inherited a …   Historical Dictionary of Scandinavian Literature and Theater

  • _Liste chronologique des textes mentionnés de Kierkegaard — (avec les titres complets, les dates de lre parution, les noms des pseudonymes et les abréviations utilisées) • 1841, Cl S. KIERKEGAARD, Le concept d ironie constamment rapporté à Socrate [Thèse de philosophie], SV3 I, p. 59 331/OC II, p. 1 297.… …   Le vocabulaire de Kierkegaard

  • Søren Kierkegaard — Philosophe danois XIXe siècle Naissance 5 mai 1813 ( …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Soeren Kierkegaard — Søren Kierkegaard Søren Kierkegaard Philosophe danois XIXe siècle Naissance  …   Wikipédia en Français

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”