Deceit, Desire and the Novel : Self and Other in Literary Structure, (Johns Hopkins Univ Pr, 1965)
It is imperatively necessary to begin the reading of Girard with this first book, even though it is not the most easy to understand. The mechanism of the mimetic desire is entirely revealed here. Many things which will be approached thereafter, in particular in the anthropology of the Violence and the Sacred, could be correctly apprehended only if the reader seized well the connections composing the triangle subject-model-object, the different ways Girard considers the internal mediation, the transfiguration of the object, the contagion of the rivalries and the collapse of the differences. Deceit, Desire and the Novel : Self and Other in Literary Structure is the theoretical base of the work of René Girard, impossible to by pass, but it is also an amazing and revolutionary literary critic's exercise. This book is called MRVR in the pages of this site.

Resurrection from the Underground : Feodor Dostoïevski (Crossroad Pub Co) René Girard has a particular interest for Dostoïevski. The mimetic triangle and the omnipotence of the rival populate the totality of the work of the author of Crime and Punishment. By following step by step the life and work, René Girard shows how Dostoïevski - as from The Letters from underground - gradually brings out the perfect identity of the doubles. It is this slow work of the knowledge of the ignorance which is unveiled by Girard until the redemption of The Brothers Karamazov.

Violence and the Sacred, (Johns Hopkins Univ Pr, 1977)
Do the hypotheses put in light in MRVR can be found in the oldest texts of the humanity ? Taking support on the Greek tragedy, René Girard is going to bring out the identity between violence and mimesis. Consequently, how the men could escape the exponential and destroying circularity of the revenge ? The answer of René Girard is unambiguous: while turning the collective violence born from a paroxistic crisis of the differences against an only one, a scapegoat, and by investing this last one, at the same time, with the responsibility of the crisis and of its resolution, thus creating the ambivalence of the sacred. Naturally impossible to by pass this work where Girard proposes to us a simple explanation of the creation of the humanity by itself, while bringing out two new hypotheses for future developments : the sacrificial crisis and the principle of ignorance, which determine the efficiency of the mechanism of the scapegoat. This book is called VS in the pages of this site.

Things hidden since the foundation of the world, (Stanford Univ Pr, 1987)
This book of conversations is, at first, a complement of the anthropology developed in VS. René Girard reconsiders the most disputed aspects of his general theory of the culture, lightning thus some passages of Violence and the Sacred, also opening new ways to the mimetic hypotheses. It is also the book in which René Girard intends demonstrating the specificity of the Gospels message, lengthily prepared by the Ancient Testament. The preaching of Christ would be the only one to have revealed the violent origin of humanity and its cultural perpetuation. The defeat of the preaching and the Passion, which sacrifices the most innocent of all, would open the way to the slow knowledge of the ignorance about scapegoating. I think it is an extremely difficult book, susceptible to disturb seriously readers who would not have taken the care to read and understand MRVR and VS. This book is called DCC in the pages of this site.

Next >

The hypothesisThe Girard's anthropology • The Gospels revelation
Debates (in french only) • Bibliography • LinksE-mail