Monday, July 07, 2008

Mimesis and Theory

Product Description

Mimesis and Theory brings together twenty of René Girard's uncollected essays on literature and literary theory, which, along with his classic, Deceit, Desire, and the Novel, have left an indelible mark on the field of literary and cultural studies. Spanning over fifty years of critical production, this anthology offers unique insights into the origin, development, and expansion of Girard's "mimetic theory"—a groundbreaking account of human interaction and of the genesis of cultural forms.

Arranged chronologically in order of publication, the essays run the gamut of Western literary culture, from Racine and Shakespeare to the existentialist writings of Simone de Beauvoir and Jean-Paul Sartre. The authors who have most influenced Girard—Stendhal, Proust, and Dostoevsky—receive extended treatment. In addition, Girard's observations on the changing landscape of literary studies are chronicled in several essays devoted to psychoanalysis, formalism, structuralism, and post-structuralism.

Though at times overshadowed by his work in religious and cultural anthropology, Girard's work in the area of literary studies has been the wellspring of his thought. All of the essays contained in this volume develop the idea that the greatest authors are also the greatest students of human nature, for their artistic intuitions are generally more penetrating than the analyses of the philosophers or the social scientists. Thus Girard does not offer us a theory of literature but literature as theory.


David Nybakke said...

You can learn more on the book HERE at Stanford University Press. Check out the Table of Contents and more.

Athos said...

Very well written, Aramis. When I get done reading Evolution and Conversion, I shd have enough in my book budget to get MAT.

Do you find that Girard has gone further in developing MT in your reading so far?

David Nybakke said...

I am not sure Ath. In the case of Evolution and Conversion I sense that these later books are providing Rene a platform to re-state and clarify some of the complexity of MT and the scapegoat theories.

David Nybakke said...

Actually Ath, as I think about your question more I believe he is waiting for the next book by Walker Hunt Golding to open up territory yet traversed.

Athos said...

I'd be more than honored if he found himself stranded on a desert island, saw a copy, and read page 1 instead of chucking it into the briny deep. But I assure you there's nothing new in TDM.