A Girardian reading of the Kullervo myth

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A Girardian reading of the Kullervo myth
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     A Girardian reading of the Kullervo myth Merlijn de Smit – Stockholm university    Girard's ideas    Mimetic desire and rivalry: our desires are not directed towards an object but a model whom we want to imitate i!e! mimetic" mimetic desire turns into mimetic rivalry and reci#rocal violence!   $ultural %in&differentiation: a culture is a network of significant distinctions %hierarchy kinshi# etc!& which kee#s mimetic desire and rivalry in check %incest taboo" e#osure of infant twins&! System constantly under stress!   Sca#egoat: latent reci#rocal violence in a society '#urged' by directing it collectively towards a sca#egoat – a stand(in for the #roblems that beset a society!    )he Sca#egoat   A sca#egoat embodies the crisis within a society %reci#rocal violence cultural indifferentiation& and his death or e#ulsion must close off  the cycle of violence!  $rimes of which a sca#egoat is accused: taboo seual transgressions %incest& taboo violence %against children fratricide #arricide& general mayhem %#estilence failed cro#s&!  Good sca#egoats are outsiders in terms of kinshi# %or#hans& or social status %strangers lowest social orders but also kings&!   As an embodiment of violence a sca#egoat is untouchable: must be killed collectively %lynched stones run off a cliff& i!e! by *no one in #articular*!    Myth  Girard: myths are built around actual sca#egoating events!  +n myth sca#egoat is really guilty of the crisis and his death of e#ulsion really brings release: therefore sca#egoat may be deified seen as tribal founder seen as not(really(killed %dying and rising gods& etc!  Sca#egoating may be rituali,ed %  pharmakos  in  Athens& as may be social crisis #receding it %festivals with inverted social order fools as kings for a day etc!&!   Animal sacrifice is vicarious human sacrifice %Abraham and the ram& which is a rituali,ed sca#egoating!    -edi#us .ob $hrist  -edi#us: ty#ical mythical sca#egoat! Guilty of #arricide and incest bringing #lague to )hebes" outsider king" *marked man* %clubfooted&" maiming and e#ulsion by *no one in #articular* %-edi#us himself&!  .ob: in Girard's reading *comforters* really #ersecutors trying to find a good reason to land the first blow! /ut .ob #rotests and insists on his innocence a##ealing to God(against(God!  $hrist: embodies a God(of(0ictims rather than a God of sacrifice and sca#egoating rituals" by undergoing and e#osing sca#egoating mechanisms while being *without sin*!
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