In this episode, we’re joined by Per Bjørnar Grande to discuss his book, Desire: Flaubert, Proust, Fitzgerald, Miller, Lana Del Rey. Thanks for tuning in.
Part of MSU Press’s “Breakthroughs in Mimetic Theory” series, Per Bjørnar Grande’s Desire draws on both modern masterpieces and iconic works of contemporary pop culture to shed new light on the frustrating and repetitive nature of human relations in a world of vanishing taboos. In novels and plays by Gustave Flaubert, Marcel Proust, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and Arthur Miller and music by Lana Del Rey, Grande sees desire operating in a complex, slippery way that eludes philosophical and psychoanalytical attempts to pin it down. For Grande, these and other great works of literature corroborate René Girard’s understanding of desire as taking shape “according to the other’s desire.” This mimetic approach frees desire from certain preconceptions of psychology and puts literary criticism in touch with the concrete substance of fictional narratives.

Per Bjørnar Grande is a professor in the Department of Pedagogy, Religion, and Social Studies at the Western Norway University of Applied Sciences.

Desire: Flaubert, Proust, Fitzgerald, Miller, Lana Del Rey, is available at and other fine booksellers. You can connect with the press on Facebook and @msupress on Twitter, where you can also find me @kurtmilb.

The MSU Press podcast is a joint production of MSU Press and the College of Arts & Letters at Michigan State University. Thanks to the team at MSU Press for helping to produce this podcast. Our theme music is “Coffee” by Cambo. 

Michigan State University occupies the ancestral, traditional, and contemporary Lands of the Anishinaabeg – Three Fires Confederacy of Ojibwe, Odawa and Potawatomi people. The University resides on Land ceded in the 1819 Treaty of Saginaw.

Thank you all so much for listening, and never give up books.

MSU Press