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"The love of repetition is in truth the only happy love." So says Constantine Constantius on the first page of Kierkegaard's Repetition. Life itself, according to Kierkegaard's pseudonymous narrator, is a repetition, and in the course of this witty, playful work Constantius explores the nature of love and happiness, the passing of time and the importance of moving forward "The love of repetition is in truth the only happy love." So says Constantine Constantius on the first page of Kierkegaard's Repetition. Life itself, according to Kierkegaard's pseudonymous narrator, is a repetition, and in the course of this witty, playful work Constantius explores the nature of love and happiness, the passing of time and the importance of moving forward (and backward). The ironically entitled Philosophical Crumbs pursues the investigation of faith and love and their tense relationship with reason. Written only a year apart, these two short works are a perfect introduction to Kierkegaard's philosophy: playful and profound, they explore notions of love and time, selfhood and Christianity, and pave the way for his later major works. These are the first English translations to convey both the philosophical precision of the originals and their literary quality. Edward F. Mooney's Introduction deftly guides the reader through Kierkegaard's key arguments and concepts, while helpful notes identify references and allusions and clarify difficulties in the texts.


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"The love of repetition is in truth the only happy love." So says Constantine Constantius on the first page of Kierkegaard's Repetition. Life itself, according to Kierkegaard's pseudonymous narrator, is a repetition, and in the course of this witty, playful work Constantius explores the nature of love and happiness, the passing of time and the importance of moving forward "The love of repetition is in truth the only happy love." So says Constantine Constantius on the first page of Kierkegaard's Repetition. Life itself, according to Kierkegaard's pseudonymous narrator, is a repetition, and in the course of this witty, playful work Constantius explores the nature of love and happiness, the passing of time and the importance of moving forward (and backward). The ironically entitled Philosophical Crumbs pursues the investigation of faith and love and their tense relationship with reason. Written only a year apart, these two short works are a perfect introduction to Kierkegaard's philosophy: playful and profound, they explore notions of love and time, selfhood and Christianity, and pave the way for his later major works. These are the first English translations to convey both the philosophical precision of the originals and their literary quality. Edward F. Mooney's Introduction deftly guides the reader through Kierkegaard's key arguments and concepts, while helpful notes identify references and allusions and clarify difficulties in the texts.

30 review for Repetition and Philosophical Crumbs

  1. 4 out of 5

    E. G.

    Introduction & Acknowledgements, by Edward F. Mooney Note on the Translation Select Bibliography A Chronology of Søren Kierkegaard --Repetition --Philosophical Crumbs, or A Crumb of Philosophy Explanatory Notes

  2. 4 out of 5

    Felix

    Søren Kierkegaard is probably my favourite writer. He's a brilliant thinker, and some of his books are profoundly beautiful, particularly Fear and Trembling, Works of Love and some parts of Either/Or. The two in this collection make a strange bundle. Repetition, although very engaging and beautifully written, seemed to me rather slight for a Kierkegaard text. It is also, perhaps, the closest that he ever came to writing a novel. Of course, The Seducer's Diary fits the bill of a novel quite well Søren Kierkegaard is probably my favourite writer. He's a brilliant thinker, and some of his books are profoundly beautiful, particularly Fear and Trembling, Works of Love and some parts of Either/Or. The two in this collection make a strange bundle. Repetition, although very engaging and beautifully written, seemed to me rather slight for a Kierkegaard text. It is also, perhaps, the closest that he ever came to writing a novel. Of course, The Seducer's Diary fits the bill of a novel quite well and Repetition is unsurprisingly very similar to it. The two of them are probably Kierkegaard at his most literary (in the conventional sense). The big difference between them is that The Seducer's Diary, although often published seperately these days, is a part of a larger work, and its rather slighter-than-usual ideas fit in well with the essays around it, and are just one small part of a wider discussion and its themes are expounded upon after the fact. In the case of Repetition, the hoped-for expounding never appears. And Philosophical Crumbs has almost the opposite problem. There is in it, I'm sure, a truly great work trying to get out. Kierkegaard is often verbose - it's a part of his style - but in Philosophical Crumbs he is at once verbose and terribly brief. What I mean by this is that he tries to cover an enormous amount of ground, spreading across several fields of knowledge, without really granting many of his ideas the time that they really need. Kierkegaard's verbosity isn't usually a problem, because ordinarily he is very thorough in ensuring that his ideas are fully understood, but here he seems intent to sort of race through things. In Philosophical Crumbs, I fear, there is a great four hundred page book trying to break free from the confines of an unduly challenging eighty page book. And I don't think I'm the only person to think this. Given that Kierkegaard followed it up a few years later with a six hundred page 'postscript', I imagine that he himself felt that the ideas needed to be expanded. All in all, if you're new to Kierkegaard, this is not the place to start. These works are fascinating, and important, but they are not Kierkegaard at his best.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Courtney

    "And now the moment. Such a moment is unique. It is, of course, brief and temporal, as moments are, ephemeral, as moments are, passed, as moments are, in the next moment, and yet it is decisive, and yet it is filled with eternity. Such a moment must have a special name. Let us call it: the fullness of time." "And now the moment. Such a moment is unique. It is, of course, brief and temporal, as moments are, ephemeral, as moments are, passed, as moments are, in the next moment, and yet it is decisive, and yet it is filled with eternity. Such a moment must have a special name. Let us call it: the fullness of time."

  4. 5 out of 5

    Quiver

    Repetition is a psychological novella in style, though its purpose is to introduce Kierkegaard’s idea of repetition—a lifestyle and a guiding principle for maintaining happiness (in love). Kierkegaard starts from the Socratic concept of recollection, as presented by Plato in Phaedrus (amongst other works). It says that person can recall divine knowledge (possessed by all humans) when appropriately guided by a teacher like Socrates. In other words, we can find happiness in being taught philosophy Repetition is a psychological novella in style, though its purpose is to introduce Kierkegaard’s idea of repetition—a lifestyle and a guiding principle for maintaining happiness (in love). Kierkegaard starts from the Socratic concept of recollection, as presented by Plato in Phaedrus (amongst other works). It says that person can recall divine knowledge (possessed by all humans) when appropriately guided by a teacher like Socrates. In other words, we can find happiness in being taught philosophy and eventually in becoming philosophers ourselves. Kierkegaard’s repetition is far harder to grasp. In my interpretation it can be thought of as finding peace and happiness in an essentially repeating scenario which slightly improves with each iteration. Intriguingly, this balances the need for novelty (the scenario has ups and downs and little positive variations) with a predilection for romantic melancholy (it’s the familiar scenario). It’s a helix with a shallow angle. The matters of a repeating cycle’s duration and its “slight improvement” aren’t quite clear. A foundational component of the treatise is the Biblical story of Job—the man who was subjected to the worst possible pains and ignominies by Satan (with God’s permission) and yet accepted everything as God’s will. For his perseverance and unwavering faith, Job was then blessed with renewed prosperity: he got everything he’d had initially and more. This, according to Kierkegaard, is a model of repetition. Philosophical Crumbs veers heavily into philosophical theology, the more so as the text progresses, and though it is broken up by insightful and imaginative flourishes (The King and the Maiden, Paradox of the sorites, an interlude on becoming), the density of the discourse and the topics covered cater best to a specialist reader. I would recommend Repetition as one possible introduction to Kierkegaard, the literary stylist and philosopher, though I'd caution against Philosophical Crumbs being anyone's first contact with philosophy. This Oxford World’s Classic contains a helpful thirty-page introduction that will aid the general reader.

  5. 4 out of 5

    I-kai

    I picked this up because I decided to use Piety's translation of Crumbs for my Kierkegaard course this semester. It doesn't replace Hong&Hong's edition that comes with copious notes and SK's relevant journal entries. But without those cumbersome and often interruptive notes this edition makes for a much more enjoyable read. I benefited from Mooney's Introduction to Repetition: that work has always been a bit of a stumbling block for me, and he helped me crack open some seals. I have read the Engl I picked this up because I decided to use Piety's translation of Crumbs for my Kierkegaard course this semester. It doesn't replace Hong&Hong's edition that comes with copious notes and SK's relevant journal entries. But without those cumbersome and often interruptive notes this edition makes for a much more enjoyable read. I benefited from Mooney's Introduction to Repetition: that work has always been a bit of a stumbling block for me, and he helped me crack open some seals. I have read the English translations of Philosophical Crumbs (formerly "Fragments," but Evans and Piety have made a convincing case that "crumbs" is better) by Swenson, Hong & Hong, and Piety now. All three seem good (I didn't make a detailed comparison, just noticed minor differences here and there), but it's quite interesting how I notice different things with each translation. If one sentence jumps out in Swenson, that same sentence can sound transitional or unimportant in Piety.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Eric Lee

    This is a very clear, excellent new translation of two beautiful texts: Kierkegaard's Repetition (written under Constantine Constantius) and Philosophical Crumbs (written under Climacus, otherwise known as 'Philosophical Fragments' in the previous Hong translation). Not only is it a very good translation, but the pairing of these two texts next to each other in some ways makes much more sense than pairing Repetition with Fear and Trembling. This is a very clear, excellent new translation of two beautiful texts: Kierkegaard's Repetition (written under Constantine Constantius) and Philosophical Crumbs (written under Climacus, otherwise known as 'Philosophical Fragments' in the previous Hong translation). Not only is it a very good translation, but the pairing of these two texts next to each other in some ways makes much more sense than pairing Repetition with Fear and Trembling.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Guy Sandison

    Two pamphlets published as a book, but very different works. Repetition read a lot like the 1st half of Either/Or and in a similar style. If you’ve already read Either/Or there isn’t much to gleam from it, but if you haven’t it would serve as an effective summary of it. Crumbs is the superior of the two works, similar in style to ‘Fear and Trembling’, it builds an analysis of whether second hand faith is more or less than contemporaneous faith. There are constant illusions to Christianity, and is Two pamphlets published as a book, but very different works. Repetition read a lot like the 1st half of Either/Or and in a similar style. If you’ve already read Either/Or there isn’t much to gleam from it, but if you haven’t it would serve as an effective summary of it. Crumbs is the superior of the two works, similar in style to ‘Fear and Trembling’, it builds an analysis of whether second hand faith is more or less than contemporaneous faith. There are constant illusions to Christianity, and is a worthwhile read for those considering the idea of following the teachings of one 2000 years prior idiosyncratic, whether that be a faith you hold or not.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Nathan

    Parts of this text I really liked - repetition and recollection as categories of human experience, his comments on the Greek's conceptions of motion, and particularly his reflections on Job at the end. When it came to memory lane, though, my eyes became heavy. I'll be honest, I've just never been able to get into Kierkegaard. Maybe later. Parts of this text I really liked - repetition and recollection as categories of human experience, his comments on the Greek's conceptions of motion, and particularly his reflections on Job at the end. When it came to memory lane, though, my eyes became heavy. I'll be honest, I've just never been able to get into Kierkegaard. Maybe later.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Mike Errico

    A tough read, I’m not gonna lie, but to boil it down: 1) Recollection and repetition are the same movement in opposite directions; 2) Wait, what? 3) He has a lot of terrible relationship advice; 4) the best seats at the Königstädter Theatre in Berlin are box 5 or 6 to the left. There’s other stuff, but that’s the basic gist. (BTW I really liked it.)

  10. 4 out of 5

    Andrew Noselli

    Did these writings, perhaps, influence Schopenhauer ?

  11. 4 out of 5

    Lily Wang

    Did not expect this to be K writing through a breakup

  12. 4 out of 5

    Povilas Račkauskas

    Strugglesome read.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Robert Tessmer

    Difficult to review because much of the book was difficult for me to understand. Still, Kierkegaard is amazing and I will continue to try to solve his amazing philosophical puzzles.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Oliver Bateman

    I first read Repetition in college, then re-read it (a repetition!) before doing an episode on the Work of Repetition for What's Left? https://www.patreon.com/posts/p47-wor... (paywall!) I first read Repetition in college, then re-read it (a repetition!) before doing an episode on the Work of Repetition for What's Left? https://www.patreon.com/posts/p47-wor... (paywall!)

  15. 4 out of 5

    Steven Peck

    Important

  16. 5 out of 5

    Sean Blake

    Apart from a few absolutely insightful segments, I admittedly skimmed through this book.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Colm Gillis

    It goes without saying that Kierkegaard is one of the foremost intellectuals of (relatively) recent history. His innovative ideas sparkle in this collection of letters. However, as a book I found this hard-going, especially with the latter set of letters. Kierkegaard likes to play around a lot with ideas and his depth of learning is obvious but at times it does grate. At least for me.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Paul

    I would've done better to take a day off and read this all at once. Small sections here and there don't work, as each sentence is incredibly rich and reading a page is as exhausting as reading ten pages. The last five pages of Philosophical Crumbs were exhilarating. I would've done better to take a day off and read this all at once. Small sections here and there don't work, as each sentence is incredibly rich and reading a page is as exhausting as reading ten pages. The last five pages of Philosophical Crumbs were exhilarating.

  19. 4 out of 5

    apercu

    Rating for translation/edition.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Liz Harmer

    I read "Repetition", and it is sort of weird and wonderful and quite funny at times. I read "Repetition", and it is sort of weird and wonderful and quite funny at times.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Marco

  22. 4 out of 5

    Timothy Schatz

  23. 4 out of 5

    Craig

  24. 4 out of 5

    Travis Ross

  25. 4 out of 5

    Ben

  26. 4 out of 5

    Carmen Camey

  27. 4 out of 5

    Fayt

  28. 4 out of 5

    Kenneth

  29. 4 out of 5

    Scott

  30. 5 out of 5

    Leonor Willis

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