Groundhog Day


Phil Connors begins to rescue himself from an eternity of Groundhog Days by reading books and learning to play the piano

It’s Groundhog Day, which, thanks to the 1993 movie, now has an association with the nightmare of eternal recurrence.

Frye on progressive repetition in “The Quality of Life in the 70s”:

I said before that the question of what is news raises another question: what is it that really happens?  I said too that most of our lives is spent in repetition and routine, the world of non-news.  But there are two kinds of repetition.  There is the repetition of ordinary habit, three meals a day, going to the job, driving the car, and all the continuous activities that preserve our sense of identity.  There is also the repetition of practice, as when we learn to play the piano or memorize the alphabet or the multiplication table.  This is directed and progressive repetition, and it si the basis of all education.  The ability to think is just as much a matter of habit and practice as the ability to play the piano.  Whenever anything that we see, or pick up in conversation, or get as an idea, is added to and becomes a part of an expanding body of experience, we are continuing our education.  In that sense we may say that nothing is really happening in the world except the education of the people in it. . . Education, then, is not a preparation for real life: it is the encounter with real life, and the only way in which the reality can be grasped at all.  (CW 11, 294-5)

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