The Two Cocks (J. de La Fontaine)

Posted: November 15, 2014 in November 2014

Mimetic Margins

Benoît Chantre, co-author of René Girard’s Achever Clausewitz (Battling to the End), made a reference to the fable of Les Deux Coqs (The Two Cocks) by Jean de La Fontaine (1621-1695) at a conference in Paris. René Girard gave a lecture at the Centre Pompidou (March 30, 2005) a good week after he became one of the “immortals” of the Académie française (March 17, 2005). Benoît Chantre humorously and aptly ended the gathering by quoting some lines of the famous French poet, one of Girard’s predecessors in the Academy.

The fable is about mimetic rivalry between two men (“cocks”) over a woman (a “hen”) – indeed a rivalry that sparked more than one (“Trojan”) war in human history. Note that, at the end, La Fontaine suggests a new potential cycle of mimetic rivalry, this time of women over a man…

Deux Coqs vivaient en paix:…

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