Berry Vorstenbosch

Berry Vorstenbosch will offer general support and is the webmaster for the Summer School website. You can contact him for any logistic or administrative problem, as well as for questions concerning the website. - Here is his story of how he became involved:

Being in my early 50s I can still wake up with the feeling:”What do you want to become when you grow up?” Having spent time studying mathematics, physics, finally graduating in the English course – reading voraciously in literature, philosophy, theology, music theory – I finally ended up as an IT-professional.

Reason not really in control
If ever there were going to be an intellectual contribution to the world from my side, it would be related to the notion that “reason is not really in control”. My first reading of Plato’s dialogues long time ago immediately gave me the feeling: this has nothing to do with how people interact. In the beginning, believing it to be my sole & original idea, I was groping for words: herd instinct, status, prestige, the importance of examples like parents or teachers. I also considered words like value and conscience, trying desperately to wire all this to some Jungian psychology.

Resistance
Then René Girard came along. I encountered his works somewhere in 1984, starting to read his texts (chapters from Mensonge and La Violence) in a small study cycle, having as its members, among others, Hans Weigand and Michael Elias, two of the founding fathers of the Dutch Girard Society. Initially I felt quite some resistance, but gradually I learned, certainly after having read Des Choses Cachées, that I had reached an end. It dawned upon me... Mimetic Theory is just basically it.

TV-quiz programmes
In 1990 I got my Master’s degree on a thesis employing Girard’s insights to Virginia Woolf’s novel To the Lighthouse. I left the university and embarked on a professional career – first as a maker of questions for tv-quiz programmes. At this moment I have been an IT-professional for some 12 years, specialized in the maintenance of websites. My contacts with the Dutch Girardians were scarce though friendly and fruitful.

Hanging on
During the last 20 years I have kept on reading and rereading Girard. I still can be resistant towards Girard’s approach, but the feeling Mimetic Theory is just basically it has never abandoned me.  I feel very grateful to René Girard for his tenacity, for the way he “hung on”, the way he expanded his vision in all kinds of directions, leaving a body of work which is so rich in content and vision. Also I am happy there is such a thing as an MT community in which one can share what, in my early days, proved so difficult to articulate and get across to others.

Music & James Alison
Two years ago I joined the Dutch Girard Society, and felt happy to restart discussions with other members on what always has been part & parcel of my mind.  At the moment I am most interested in the pertinence of MT to music and in the work of James Alison. Also I am very happy to help the European Summer School  along – for which my employer allowed me to go on sabbathical. The number of texts I published is small, but I have 20 years of survival in business-space which certainly enhances one’s insight in mimetic behaviour. And then, of course, I learned quite a lot about websites and computers.

My role will be the one of general support. So if you have any question that does not directly concern the content of the curriculum send a mail to Dit e-mailadres wordt beveiligd tegen spambots. JavaScript dient ingeschakeld te zijn om het te bekijken..

Publications:
 - Wat de ander mij aandoet. Emmanuel Levinas, René Girard en de alteriteit
 - Against the grain: Mimetic Theory and the case of Boris Godunov
 - Mimetische Theory & Le sacre du printemps van Igor Stravinsky