this issue
next article in this issue

Document Details :

Title: Homer on Competition
Subtitle: Mimetic Rivalry, Sacrificial Violence and Autoimmunity in Nietzsche
Author(s): VAN COILLIE, Geert
Journal: Bijdragen
Volume: 71    Issue: 2   Date: 2010   
Pages: 115-131
DOI: 10.2143/BIJ.71.2.2051600

Abstract :
The triangular desire and the scapegoat mechanism are the key issues of René Girard’s mimetic theory. The imitative desire to have what the other has conceals the ‘meta-physical’ desire to be the Other. The ‘inter-dividual’ human being does not recognize in his model/rival or in the idol/scapegoat the mimetic ‘counter-part’ of himself. How can Nietzsche’s reading of the ancient Greek agonal or competitive culture be re-interpreted in the context of his ambivalent relationship with Richard Wagner? What is the correlation of Nietzsche’s mental illness and his choice in favour of the violence by Dionysus against the Judaeo-Christian truth of the innocent victim? Nietzsche’s attitude of resentment – from a 'thwarted and traumatized desire' (Girard) – is put in a wider cultural-psychological and ‘anthropo-ethical’ context. The tripartite division of the soul according to Plato, Aristotle’s rhetoric ‘patho-etho-logy’ and the trifunctional hypothesis of Georges Dumézil make up the interpretative framework. Nietzsche’s ‘patho-logy’ – self-knowledge (logos) alienated from desire (pathos) – and the destruction of his moral resilience (ethos) typify an ‘autoimmune crisis’ (Derrida).