The Weight and Lightness of Tradition: Interpreting Repetition in Folklore

Anthony Bak Buccitelli (Penn State Harrisburg)

This essay considers different ways of conceiving of the relationship between repetition and temporality, especially those drawn from Søren Kierkegaard’s Repetition (1843) and other works in a similar vein. It considers how we form affective relations with the process of reiteration in everyday life. Finally, it explores these dimensions of repetition through a discussion of three connected topics: 1) the valuation of repeated action in terms of its “weight” or “lightness,” 2) the utility of conceiving of tradition as an interpretive framework, and 3) how shifts in the experience of repetition can produce both stasis and change within tradition.

Part of 02-02 Emerging Perspectives in the Study of Folklore and Performance, Thursday, October 13, 10:30 am–12:30 pm