10 – 11 Jun 2011

Deceit, Desire and the Novel

Mimetic Theory and Literary Studies

There is no ‘authentic’ or spontaneous desire, but only the imitation of other people’s desires: desire is always mediated by the desire of the various models that the individual, more or less consciously, chooses. René Girard’s “mimetic theory”, which has been acknowledged as a break-through contribution to 20th-century critical thinking, was first developed in Mensonge romantique et verité romanesque (Eng. Trans. Deceit, Desire and the Novel, 1965). 2011 marks the 50th anniversary of its publication and we take this anniversary as an opportunity to engage scholars with theoretical approaches to literature in a discussion of mimetic theory and its contemporary and future uses in literary studies, including film and media studies. Participants will reflect upon Deceit, Desire and the Novel and consider its possible applications for their current and future work, as well as propose critiques, amplifications, or new perspectives on the main tenets in that book in particular, but also in Girard’s other works on literature.


ICI Berlin
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Friedrich Balke
Robert Buch
Karen Feldman
Marco Formisano
Gunter Gebauer
Wolfgang Palaver
Jobst Welge

Organized by

ICI Berlin

In English

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