In 1946 Albert Camus traveled to South America. During this journey, he took random notes published posthumously, in which he produced irregular (and sometimes brutal) remarks on both cities visited and on persons he met.
Perhaps the best way of outlining a brief definition of what I propose to call Shakespearean countries is resorting to V. S. Naipaul’s The Mimic Men, whose title already suggests a Girardian reading of the work of the Nobel Prize.
There is an uncanny and even fascinating relationship between mimetic theory and the topic of cannibalism. In one of his most influential books, La Violence et le sacré (1972), when René Girard has to produce an authentic tour de force in order to prove the “unity of all rites,” he resorts to ritual cannibalism.
In the work of the most distinguished Latin American authors there is a disquieting circumstance, namely, the virtual omnipresence of a particular semantic field centered upon the concepts of copy, imitation, emulation, plagiarism, and influence.
I would like to start my contribution at Arcade by proposing a distinction between “comparative literature as content” and “comparative literature as form.”