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A.M. Gorky Institute
of World Literature
of the Russian Academy of Sciences

IWL RAS Publishing

A.M. Gorky Institute of World Literature
of the Russian Academy of Sciences


Povarskaya 25a, 121069 Moscow, Russia



Types of publications

About the author:

Nicolas Aude, Lecturer, University of Lille, 42 Rue Paul Duez, 59000, Lille, France.

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The article aims to study conceptual metaphor of the “underground” in Rene Girard’s mimetic theory. French literary theorist and anthropologist began to mention the dostoevskian topography developed in Notes from Underground (1864) within his first book Deceit, Desire and the Novel (1961), where he started to shape his views on triangular desire. A study of Dostoevsky’s reception in the works of Girard allows emphasizing the significance of literary works in the very process of theoretical thinking of Girard, even though his books quickly went beyond the framework of traditional literary criticism. The ancient Greek tragedies and novels of Dostoevsky gave Girard an opportunity to argue with Sigmund Freud’s theses, redefine the Oedipus complex model and propose a new hierarchy between fiction and theory in the field of humanities. In his monograph on Dostoevsky published in 1963, Girard himself becomes a true novelist. While he composes a biographical legend, the French critic turns the Russian writer into a literary hero who has been healed of romantic illusions about desire.

  • Keywords: Dostoevsky, Girard, underground, desire, mimesis, imitation, Freud, biography, romance, prestige, rivalry, Christianity, romanticism.


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