Why Do I keep Reading the Same Books 2011

For Samuel Butler the beginnings are always based on repetition. "Repetition is the happiness" said Henry Miller. Mircea Elliade's cosmogonic returns are based on periodical rebirths. Søren Kierkegaard writes about a character who voluntarily gives up his relationship with a loved one, because only their memory allows him to retain their ideal image. Lacan makes here an anology with the relationship between Dante and Beatrice. Kierkegaard’s character prefers remembering to living in reality and by repeating selected moments from his memory he tries to achieve perfection. Recollecting versus repetition, or at least an endeavor to reprise things that have occurred, together negate the fluent passage of time. Whether it is the desire for perfection, which is a consequence of and also an ambition of the reiteration of certain actions in relation to work and production, or in the case of remembering and reminiscing (i.e. stopping time)―repetition can be understood as a manifestation of a fundamental human drive, which is the longing for eternal life.

 

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