René Girard is famous for claiming that there is no such thing as spontaneous desire: we don’t fall for people because they are beautiful or smart or funny or kind; we fall for them because somebody else fell for them first. This all sounds extremely exciting, in that very French kind of way.  But does anyone actually believe it?


I like literary history as much as the next person.  It’s just that mine is made up of human beings, not logs.


In a series of inspiring posts, Cécile Alduy has been putting forward an argument against narrativity.


György Lukács is not, in general, a very funny writer. But this is priceless:


Consider this a memo from a dying tribe.


Joshua Landy's picture
Joshua Landy
Joshua Landy is the Andrew B. Hammond Professor of French and Professor of Comparative Literature at Stanford University, where he co-directs the Initiative in Philosophy and Literature. His books include Philosophy as Fiction: Self, Deception, and Knowledge in Proust (Oxford, 2004), How to Do Things With Fictions (Oxford, 2012), and (as coeditor) The Re-Enchantment of the World: Secular Magic in a Rational Age (Stanford, 2009).