Anxiety – lingua – repetition (Kierkegaard retrieves of Plato


L’angoisse de lire: c’est que tout texte, si important, si plaisant et si intéressant qu’il soit (et plus il donne l’impression d’être), est vide - il n’existe pas dans le fond; il faut franchir un abîme, et si l’on ne saut pas, on ne comprend pas. —M. Blanchot, L’écriture du désastre, 23 I too, when I think back, feel a great anxiety [phobeisthai] as to how at my age am I to make my way across such a formidable sea of words. —Plato, Parmenides, 137a Juva: Beleave filmly, beleave! —J. Joyce, Finnegans Wake

Kierkegaard’s book on Repetition (1843), published pseudonymously under the persona of Constantin Constantius, can be characterized as a texture of hints towards ―repetition‖ as something which is in a way intractable or untreatable, not-analyzable, and as such indestructible: ―repetition is an indestructible garment…‖ (R 132). The linguistic gesture of the text anticipates, from the very beginning, the fact that what Kierkegaard calls ―repetition‖ does not let itself be approached – otherwise than in an indirect manner, each time, by means of an anxious turn. The rhythm of the text is indeed marked by a series of anxious turnabouts and detours that revolve around the enigma of ―repetition‖. Within its pauses and suspensions, its moving and halting by means of abrupt oscillations, the text speaks in tongues –mit mancherlei Zungen, says Hamann cited by Constantin Constantius–. The narrative is then intermittently interfered by incidental philosophical considerations that speak another language, in an apparently ―direct‖ manner. From Part One (containing the ―Report by Constantin Constantinus‖ on his trip to Berlin: to proof whether a repetition is possible and what importance it has…), to Part Two (which, apart from C.C.’s Incidental Observations, is mostly constituted by epistolary texts: the letters of the Young Man to My Silent Confidant, as well as the letters from C.C. to his readers and to Mr. X., including the page of its Closed Envelope), all the fragments that compose Repetition are taint with the mood of anxiety. It is all about the tension between repetition and anxiety. This, since anxiety is the mood that brings before the possibility of repetition. It is namely anxiety about the future, repetition of what has never been. And in this sense, the counter-movement of Platonic anamnesis: if there, eternity enters backwards, in Kierkegaard’s repetition eternity enters forwards.

. whose language Before coming back to the paradoxical approached to the problem of repetition and to the gesture of language implied by the anxious turns of the nouvelle that ports this title. modern philosophy will teach that all life is a repetition. This assertion in stylo philosophico. Repetition and recollection are the same movement. except in opposite directions. for what is recollected has been. an anxious turn. its anxious language. gives a preliminary indication on the historical significance of repetition. whereas genuine repetition is recollected forward.‖ (R. in repeated backwards. Anxiety is the mood that disposes in relation towards nothing. Just as they taught that all knowing is recollection. Before coming back to the problem language Kierkegaard’s The historical wager raised by the ―concept‖ of repetition –if it is one– can be approached by means of a turn.. This can be characterized as the turn of anxiety. In The Concept of Anxiety.. 132) – says Constantius at the opening page (R 131). signed by Vigilius Haufniensis. The only philosopher who had an intimation of this is Leibniz. Constantius characterizes repetition which may orient towards language. ―…for repetition is a crucial expression for what ―recollection‖ was to the Greeks.

Anxiety as the mood or the disposition that brings towards – the possibility of repetition – more precisely. If in fact something like ―repetition‖ ever lets itself be bought to thinking. it may be said. and it concerns historicity or the possibility of history as such. Christ).anxiety as the mood that brings before the possibility of repetition. directly. allover anew— about ―repetition‖ would be unworthy without exposing in its attempt to say it (its dictum) the mood in which it can first be thought — again. – Procedure: hermeneutic as paradigmatic circle. without the detour that compromises from its very departure the felicity of its act (or at least the exposibility of of saying it). paradigm as singularity and figure (persona): Adam. of meaning what is said. The turn from which Kierkegaard speaks is at once historical. – Retrieving–Plato: a historical repetition. allover anew. of ever reaching what the magic finger of language (in any language) pursues to indicate. At least for an instant — a fraction or a second. . if one can ever be sure that ―repetition‖ as such lets itself be said. towards the possibility of choosing repetition – which is. for an original (impossible) experience – of time and being. Socrates. in which nothing less than historicity and temporality (possibility of historical time) is at stake. – Intro: anxiety as the mood that brings before the possibility of repetition. …. – Anything that remains to be said —again. since repetition is nothing – but a name for the nameless – the event of being –. a name for what gathers together being in its temporality. an impossible and unavoidable election.

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