By René Girard
This learn extends past the scope of literature into the psychology of a lot of our modern scene, together with style, advertisements, and propaganda suggestions. In contemplating such features, the writer is going past the area of natural aesthetics and provides an interpretation of a few uncomplicated cultural difficulties of our time.
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Extra resources for Deceit, Desire and the Novel: Self and Other in Literary Structure
Nevertheless it must be recognized that psychological conflicts are more aggravated in Proust's work than in Stendhal's. The differences of perspective reflect essential oppositions. We do not wish to minimize these in order to guarantee a mechanical unity of the writers we consider. On the contrary, we want to emphasize contrasts which will bring out one of our fundamental data: the distance between mediator and subject, whose variations shed light on the mpst diverse aspects of novelistic works.
The distinction be tween passion and vanity serves to vindicate Stendhal and his reader-of the charge of vanity. The mediator remains hidden precisely where his revelation is of the utmost significance, in the existence of the author himself, and so the point of view of 1822 must be characterized as romantic. " It reminds one a little of Gide's dialectic of the natural Self and the social Self in The Immoralist. The Stendhal of whom the critics speak, especially Paul Valery in his preface to Lucien Leuwen, is almost always this "Gide-like" Stendhal of the youthful period.
But neither The Italian Chronicles nor the ecrits intimes belong to the pattern of the great novelistic works. A close look at the structure of the latter will readily show that in them van ity becomes at once the transfiguring desire and the most intense desire. TRIANGULAR" DESIRE 21 the contrast between Fleurissoire and Lafcadio in Laf cadio's Adventures. " He does not therefore totally conceal from himself the prodigious strength of imitated desire. And he is only at the begin ning of an evolution which will end in the pure and sim ple overturning of the initial hierarchy.