Wanting: The Power of Mimetic Desire in Everyday Life — by Luke Burgis

WANTING is a large-scale exposition of mimetic theory and its practical applications, especially the positive potential of mimesis, written by entrepreneur, author, and professor of business Luke Burgis. This book is the most ambitious and engaging explanation of mimetic theory for someone new to Girard’s thought.

The book has a wide, sweeping range, moving from an interview with Paypal co-founder Peter Thiel in the introduction to recounting the story of Zappos.com and the rivalry between Ferruccio Lamborghini and Enzo Ferrari to a three-Michelin-star chef Sebastien Bras, who renounced his stars and told the Michelin Guide not to come back to his restaurant or include him in the guide.

The book is totally unsummarizable since it covers such broad ground and weaves together narrative with more academic explanations of mimetic theory.

The first half of this book covers mimetic desire, distortions of desire (and objects), rivalries, conflict, and the scapegoating mechanism; the second part of the book deals with the transformation of desire. The second half of the book focuses on one can be anti-mimetic, or counteract and resist the forces of negative or destructive mimetic desire and thereby live a more fulfilling life.

Learn more about Wanting.