Desire: Flaubert, Proust, Fitzgerald, Miller, Lana Del Rey – by Per Bjørnar Grande

“A common theme in films, novels, or plays is how desire works in characters and how it creates and changes their destinies.” So begins this work by Norweigen professor and Girard scholar Per Bjørnar Grande in this Breakthroughs in Mimetic Theory series by Michigan State University Press, a series supported by Imitatio, a project of […]

Fascism: Contagion, Community, Myth – by Nidesh Lawtoo

Fascism tends to be relegated to a dark chapter of European history, but what if new forms of fascism are currently returning to the forefront of the political scene? In this book, Nidesh Lawtoo furthers his previous diagnostic of crowd behavior, identification, and mimetic contagion to account for the growing shadow cast by authoritarian leaders […]

A Short Treatise on the Metaphysics of Tsunamis – by Jean-Pierre Dupuy

In 1755 the city of Lisbon was destroyed by a terrible earthquake. Almost 250 years later, an earthquake beneath the Indian Ocean unleashed a tsunami whose devastating effects were felt over a vast area. In each case, a natural catastrophe came to be interpreted as a consequence of human evil. Between these two events, two […]

Shakespearean Cultures: Latin America and the Challenges of Mimesis in Non-Hegemonic Circumstances

by João Cezar de Castro Rocha In Shakespearean Cultures, René Girard’s ideas on violence and the sacred inform an innovative analysis of contemporary Latin America. Castro Rocha proposes a new theoretical framework based upon the “poetics of emulation” and offers a groundbreaking approach to understanding the asymmetries of the modern world. Shakespearean cultures are those whose […]

The Sacrifice of Socrates: Athens, Plato, Girard – by Wm. Blake Tyrrell

When Athenians suffered the shame of having lost war from their own greed and foolishness, around 404 BCE the public’s blame was directed at Socrates, a man whose unique appearance and behavior, as well as his disapproval of the democracy, made him a ready target. The Sacrifice of Socrateswas subsequently put on trial and sentenced […]

René Girard’s Mimetic Theory – by Wolfgang Palaver

A systematic introduction into the René Girard’s mimetic theory of the French-American literary theorist and philosophical anthropologist René Girard, this essential text explains its three main pillars (mimetic desire, the scapegoat mechanism, and the Biblical “difference”) with the help of examples from literature and philosophy. This book also offers an overview of René Girard’s life […]

A Refuge of Lies: Reflections on Faith and Fiction – by Cesáreo Bandera

Erich Auerbach’s seminal Mimesis: The Representation of Reality in Western Literature was published more than sixty years ago and is deservedly considered a classic. The book brought into focus the fundamental difference that exists between the two basic approaches to the textual representation of reality in Western culture. These two “styles,” as Auerbach called them, were archetypically […]

Politics and Apocalypse – by Robert Hamerton-Kelly

Apocalypse. To most, the word signifies destruction, death, the end of the world, but the literal definition is “revelation” or “unveiling,” the basis from which renowned theologian René Girard builds his own view of Biblical apocalypse. Properly understood, Girard explains, Biblical apocalypse has nothing to do with a wrathful or vengeful God punishing his unworthy […]