Responding to the theme of this special issue’s engagement with the work of Leo Bersani, “Un/reading” tracks the itinerary of a single quotation across the four appearances it makes in published work between 2011 and 2018. While it is easy to query whether Bersani was aware of the citational redundancy, this essay focuses on the pedagogy of reading it suggests, not only in terms of Bersani’s own thought but for the critical humanities more generally. The quote in question posits the absolute necessity and impossibility of psychoanalysis in its attempt to “theorize an untheorizable psyche.” By focusing on the role that repetition plays in Bersani’s work, including his interest in nondialectical understandings of contradiction, this essay studies the elegant and cogent model of reading found in Bersani’s work in order to value the critical intuitions he repeated in order to hone.

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