Time is a Flat Circle


What does Time is a Flat Circle mean?

Time is a flat circle is a memorable quote from the detective series True Detective, uttered by Rust Cohle.

It is used to express the fact that as humanity progresses through time, we Circle Back to the same deeds, mistakes, and problems that we have experienced before.


What's the origin of Time is a Flat Circle?

Although the “Time is a flat circle” quote originates from Rust Cohle (portrayed by Matthew McConaughey) in True Detective, the idea itself was taken from Friedrich Nietzsche.

Nietzsche articulates and describes the idea of eternal reoccurrence specifically in two of his works: Thus Spoke Zarathustra and The Gay Science.

Although he did not write the exact words “Time is a flat circle”, the phrase is an adequate metaphor to explain it in a TV series – which it was used for in 2014, during Season 1 of True Detective.

Spread & Usage

How did Time is a Flat Circle spread?

“Time is a flat circle” became a viral expression among fans of the series, who made numerous references to the quote online.

The first YouTube upload, revolving around the concept was uploaded to the platform by MEDUSA on December 7th, 2014.

Image macros and GIFs of the quotes are also frequent on the web.

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