Today’s Solutions: July 22, 2024

An aphorism by James Geary, author of The World in a Phrase and Geary’s Guide to the World’s Great Aphorists.


James Geary | April 2009 issue
It doesn’t quite make sense. Why is repetition so interesting? Variety delights even as it disperses, but the thrill of the familiar persists. It’s like rehearsing a play; an actor gives depth and freshness to a role only by reciting the same lines over and over again, day after day after day. In the same way, practicing the piano is intensely boring—until you practice long enough. Repeating things makes them easy, and inclines them to give up their secrets. “Everything has been said before,” French author André Gide wrote, “but since nobody listens we have to keep going back and beginning all over again.” Perhaps that’s it. Maybe we’re just not paying attention. But it still doesn’t quite make sense. Why is repetition so interesting?
James Geary is the author of The World in a Phrase and Geary’s Guide to the World’s Great Aphorists
Visit his site at ­jamesgeary.com.

Why is repetition so interesting?

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