To Repeat or Not To Repeat: That is the Question


  • Leo Cabranes-Grant University of California-Santa Barbara



actuality, Aristotle, dialectics, Heraclitus, Hegel, Hume, performance, recollection, reminiscence, repetition, theatre


I had never been in Copenhagen before, yet this was my second visit to the city. The purpose of my travel was to inhabit, at least for several days, the urban environment that once contained the peripatetic musings of Søren Kierkegaard. I went to Denmark’s capital in order to get closer to a vanished writer, a person now gone and replaced by his textual remnants. Words incite motions: I was there, standing right in front of the Vor Frue Kirke, in response to certain pages once read and pondered. My trip was a tribute to the affective consequences of libraries- books can be-come maps, passions, curiosities, displacements, attractions, resistances, temporalities. Ink in-flects life. In addition, after being in Europe I was planning on spending the upcoming summer back in the United States, learning the Danish language at the Kierkegaard Center in St. Olaf Col-lege, Minnesota. I’d reached the point where translation was no longer enough- I demanded a direct acquaintance with the original sound of Kierkegaard’s multiple voices. After many years of conversations and reasonings and debates, our friendship had turned into a relationship. 

Author Biography

Leo Cabranes-Grant, University of California-Santa Barbara

Leo Cabranes-Grant is a Professor at the Departments of Theater and Dance and Spanish and Portuguese (of the last of which he is also Chair) at University of California-Santa Barbara. He teaches Renaissance and Baroque theatre and Latin American and Caribbean performance with an emphasis on intercultural relations. He is also an award winning scholar, poet, and playwright. His book From Scenarios to Networks. Performing the Intercultural in Colonial Mexico was published by Northwestern University Press in 2016. He was also the Editor of Theatre Survey, a journal published by Cambridge University Press for the American Society for Theatre Research (ASTR). At the moment he is working on a book that explores the performative dimensions of Kierkegaard's thought. 


Kierkegaard, Søren. 2009. Repetition and Philosophical Crumbs. Translated by M.G. Piety. Ox-ford: Oxford University Press.

Kierkegaard, Søren. 1983. Fear and Trembling. Repetition. Translated by Howard V. and Edna H. Hong. Princeton: Princeton University Press.

Nymann Eriksen, Niels. 2000. Kierkegaard’s Category of Repetition. Berlin: Walter de Gruyter.




How to Cite

Cabranes-Grant, Leo. 2017. “To Repeat or Not To Repeat: That Is the Question”. Performance Philosophy 3 (3):809-14.