"Ils veulent manger de l'homme, et en même temps craignent d'être mangés,
aussi est-ce avec la plus grande suspicion qu'ils s'observent..." "
Luxun - Journal d'un fou
* The triangle of the desire
* External & internal mediation
* The loss of the differences
* Mimetic rivalry
(1) For example, read in the press: "The hatred that all
have for Bill Gates badly dissimulates their admiration for his insolente
success ". Who would say these business leaders are schizophrenes ?
The model has a radical way to hold back the distance
with the subject: to prohibit the
possession of the object to his desire. To the message do like me which irradiated from model
adds a completely opposite one: do not do like me.
"Le sujet éprouve donc pour son modèle un sentiment déchirant
formé par l'union de deux contraires qui sont la vénération la plus soumise et la
rancune la plus intense. C'est là le sentiment que nous appelons haine.
It is in Dostoïevski that René Girard finds the most succeeded expression of this situation, because there is no more object and the model is whoever. When he writes the letter to his tourmentor, the man in the underground passes instantaneously from the most violent hatred to the most servile love, permanently oscillating between the two poles arising from his desire to be the one who humiliated him. René Girard's major theoretical contribution is to have extracted the truth of this circularity from the novelistic : it is because he is a model that the Other is a rival, but it is also because he is a rival that he is a model.
René Girard refuses to exclude both terms in two different
fields of the reality and which would reserve this double
contradictory requirement (that Gregory Bateson named the
double bind) to the only duly labeled schizophrenes(1).
These two states engendred by the mimetic desire coexist and the
subject oscillates permanently between them. For the subject, if the
model refuses the object to him, it is quite simply that he does not
deserve it (thus returning him to his initial inferiority, his
unworthiness). Never the subject wants to see a rival in his model
(and never this one will admit that he is in rivalry with the subject) but
the obstacle that he proposes to him now fixes the efforts of his desire to
conquer it. The more the object is forbidden, the more its value and that of the
mediator increases and thus more its conquest becomes essential.
"Obstacles and contempt redouble the desire because they confirm the superiority of the mediator". (MRVR p.204)
In the famous chapter about Sadism and Masochism (I will write soon an annex to this approach)
in MRVR, René Girard shows that this permanent search for the inaccessible object - and thus of the defeat
or the victory of the rival always renewed - characterizes these two types of behaviors.
Because we should not forget a thing: when one or the other catches the object
of the rivalry, he can only be disappointed. " It was only that?.. ", the illusion
passed and the desire must still go towards a new object, more reticent to its possession.
We live in a formidable age Jean-Marc Reiser - Editions Albin Michel
The Hypothesis • Girard's Anthropology • The Gospel Revelation
Debates (only in French) • Bibliography • Links