Evolution of Desire: A Life of René Girard

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Product Details

Michigan State University Press
Publish Date
6.0 X 8.9 X 1.0 inches | 1.1 pounds
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About the Author

CYNTHIA L. HAVEN writes regularly for The Times Literary Supplement, and has also contributed to 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.


It is my humble opinion that, when the dust finally settles, René Girard will be considered one of the truly great thinkers of the twentieth century. Do I exaggerate? Read Cynthia Haven's beautifully written biography and be your own judge. Here is a book that gives us Girard in all his genius and his generosity. I can't recommend it enough.
--Morgan Meis, contributor at The New Yorker and 2013 Whiting Award winner

René Girard's provocative theories on violence, religion, desire, and scapegoating are intensely relevant to contemporary American society. Cynthia Haven offers an account of Girard's life and ideas that is as compelling as a good detective story. It should receive the widest possible readership.
--David Streitfeld, Pulitzer Prize-winning writer for The New York Times

Evolution of Desire chronicles the personal history of one of the past century's seminal thinkers, illuminating the intellectual history that followed in his wake. Written with flair and wit, the book is intelligent and lucid, discerning and compelling.
--Daniel Medin, Associate Professor of Comparative Literature and English, American University of Paris, juror for the 2016 Man Booker International Prize

Evolution of Desire is essential reading for Girard devotees and a perfect opening party for newcomers. Rich with details and ideas, Haven's book gives everything it promises and something more: a personal account of a close friend. She manages to say so much, while still keeping the narration on a deeply personal level. Highly recommended.
--Maria Stepanova, Russian poet, journalist, and publisher of Colta