"Cynthia L. Haven’s outstanding new biographical and critical study, Evolution of Desire: A Life of René Girard, is a brilliant survey of his life and thought, but also a document of high importance for understanding what has happened to the conception and teaching of the humanities in the United States and elsewhere since the 1960s, and why Lionel Trilling was right to worry about “the uncertain future of humanistic education,” the title of a 1975 essay. Starting out as a literary critic writing mainly about the 19th-century novel, Girard developed into a wide-ranging cultural critic and anthropologist at Johns Hopkins (1957–68, 1976–80) and then at Stanford (1981–2015). His thinking has had a vast effect throughout the Western world on literary studies, anthropology, sociology, religious studies, theology, and even the writing of history, influencing numerous scholars in these fields, as well as novelists (Milan Kundera, J. M. Coetzee), and leading to associations and journals for the study and application of his thought. Evolution of Desire is itself a distinguished, judicious work of interdisciplinary cultural analysis and synthesis in the current of Girard."
Writer - Critic - Poet - Editor