Evolution of Desire
A Life of René Girard
René Girard (1923–2015) was one of the leading thinkers of our era—a provocative sage who bypassed prevailing orthodoxies to offer a bold, sweeping vision of human nature, human history, and human destiny. His oeuvre, offering a “mimetic theory” of cultural origins and human behavior, inspired such writers as Milan Kundera and J. M. Coetzee, and earned him a place among the forty “immortals” of the Académie Française. Too often, however, his work is considered only within various academic specializations. This first-ever biographical study takes a wider view. Cynthia L. Haven traces the evolution of Girard’s thought in parallel with his life and times. She recounts his formative years in France and his arrival in a country torn by racial division, and reveals his insights into the collective delusions of our technological world and the changing nature of warfare. Drawing on interviews with Girard and his colleagues, Evolution of Desire: A Life of René Girard provides an essential introduction to one of the twentieth century’s most controversial and original minds.
Publication Date: April 1st, 2018
346 pages| 6 in x 9 in
CYNTHIA L. HAVEN writes regularly for The Times Literary Supplement, and has also contributed to The New York Times, The Nation, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, and many others. She is also the author of several books, including volumes on Nobel poets Czeslaw Milosz and Joseph Brodsky.