Mimesis and Militarism

Related to the Armenia-Azerbaijan War



Pure your heart

Devote your heart and soul to the Friend

Be an Armenian or a Turk

Offer your life to the Friend

(translation of a line by Armenian ashiqs of the Isfahan region)











What is Mimetic Theory?

Mimesis and Violence -An Introduction to the Thought of Rene Girard

Leon Aslanov

“Patriotic and nationalistic rhetoric bristle most conspicuously in times of war, when the base human instinct to group together in the face of the threat posed by the enemy takes hold and language becomes ever more of a tool to communicate this instinctual desire to form a robust group identity in both social and physical terms. Indeed, words and expressions used in this context of war do not spring forth out of a void, but have been developed and deployed as “rhetorical commonplaces” in order to legitimise certain action in the name of a given ideology. I will proceed by outlining the rhetorical commonplaces and analytical concepts used in the Armenian and Azerbaijani languages to foment feelings and ideas of patriotism and nationalism. The outlined words and concepts are presented as rhetorical commonplaces used most frequently with exclusionary sentiments. I will also mention some of the etymological roots of words used to refer to patriotic and/or nationalistic concepts, not simply out of linguistic intrigue, but to show that sounds, words and meanings are shared across languages and that they can shift in meaning and use across cultures.”
Leon Aslanov