Monday, July 19, 2021


The good, the bad, and the quotable:

Positive Mimesis: Well, a children’s book is in the works! Of course, the word “mimetic” will never make an appearance. But “wanting” will be a key theme. I’m in the very early stages of planning out what the story-line will be, but for all of your parents out there: if you have good stories of mimetic desire to share, please let me know! (And I can’t help but think that the words “unless you become like children…”, spoken by one first century Rabbi in Palestine, means that we should all be imitating children more rather than thinking about how we want them to imitate us. Maybe this point will make it into the story…)

Negative Mimesis: Family scapegoats. Does yours have one? I can only recommend Alice Matter (author of the book “Thou Shalt Not Be Aware”) to understand some of the dynamics at work in that situation. The familial dynamics of the scapegoat mechanism are vastly under explored. I almost always hear it discussed at the “macro” level, rarely at the micro level.

Anti-Mimetic Tactic

Take a creative fast. If you’re going to embark on a creative project of any kind (writing a song, a book, a paper, making a product), take a creative fast for at least a week— preferably longer—before starting. For at least a week before you begin, look at no other competitive products, no other writing, no other models. The more obsessively we check ourselves against models—even if our intent is to differentiate ourselves from them—the more they end up shaping our pursuit in the long-run. Taking a creative fast means creating some spiritual distance from models. It doesn’t mean that your work won’t be influenced by models. But if you do it right, you’ll gain the space you need to interact with them without them being on top of you.

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P.S. A special request: If you enjoyed Wanting, would you please leave a quick Amazon ratings/review?



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