"Leur crime : un enragé vouloir de nous apprendre à mépriser
les dieux que nous avons en nous."

René Char - La Parole en archipel (Gallimard - 1962)
* Hypothesis
* The triangle of the desire
* External & internal mediation
* The loss of the differences
* Mimetic rivalry

The desire never stops to the only observation of the differences: it wants to become the so fascinating Other, and so to reduce all what distinguishes itself from its model, because everything in this last one says to the subject : do like me.

    "The desire according to the Other is always the desire to be the Other. There is only single metaphysical desire but the particular desires which concretize this primordial desire vary ad infinitum. " (MRVR p.101)

It is naturally what does Don Quixotte with Amadis de Gaule: to become a perfect knight, it is enough to imitate the acts of a perfect knight. It is also what will do, for example, all little children in their learning of social behaviours, cleanliness or language. By imitating their parents or teachers, and this with a fearsome precision, they make like the adults, better, they become adults.

In these two cases, there is not a real interference between the spheres of intentions and actions of the subject and the model; Rene Girard will speak then about external mediation. Quixotte can indeed imitate completely what he thinks of being the behavior of his hero, what separates one of the other remains invariant in spite of the exploits of the knight. The model Amadis does not indicate anything in particular and the failures of Quixotte do not lead to any consequence since he can easily pass to other thing. In the same way the young children imitate with more close their teachers, one even encourages them there, but inside a educationnal frame which maintains a certain distance between subject and model, prohibiting confusion. If many little girls want to become schoolmistress, it is later, and all is in this "later".


The estrangement between the subject and the model which characterizes the external mediation is not a simple question of physical or temporal distance, but is also due to the nature of the differences separating, originally, one and the other.

    "Although the geographical estrangement can constitute a factor of it, the distance between the mediator and the subject is initially spiritual. D.Q. and Sancho are always close physically but the social and intellectual distance which separates them remains unsuperable." (MRVR, page 22).

However, unless evolve in the void which is one of the romantic illusions, the desire inevitably will come into contact with other desires. It will do it more easily and quickly if those are near, i.e. are interested in the same objects. Thus, nothing separates Mr. de Rênal and Valenod, which clashes both to dominate the social life of Verrières and which are thus very attentive to what is and what does the other : Julien Sorel is not the possible tutor to the one or the other one. He is whose will allow his employer to obtain an advantage in this prestige rivalry.

This proximity of desires and the rivalry which it involves is going to characterize what Girard will name at first the internal mediation and which will become afterward the mimetic desire.

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