What is it about repetition? My need to repeat things over and over? At least three times I repeat a thing! I like to blame genetics — we did always run a joke into the ground when we were kids. There’s a series of jokes one group of friends knows so well that we just give the punchlines (“Terrible!” “Dung!” “Tang!” “A stick!” although the order can vary).
I brought up the Crane quote three different times in the last twenty-four hours. I used an offhand comment from yesterday at least three times (or maybe four), the last time in a piece I sent off to an editor a little while ago (the Crane quote got in there, too — amazing what you can cram into 500 words!). Slightly different nuances in each iteration — maybe all the repetition is about trying to get it right. That’s it — it’s just revision!