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Odysseus on his return is exactly the same as he was when he left Ithaca two decades earlier. He does comment on some of the most obvious omissions – Ibsen and the Russians, for instance, are out because he wants to work only on original texts – but there are others he never mentions. Ranging over works in Greek, Latin, Spanish, French, Italian, German, and English, Auerbach used his remarkable skills in philology and comparative literature to refute any narrow form of nationalism or chauvinism, in his own day and ours.
Still, none of this really detracts from the great value of his work. As a composition, the Old Testament is incomparably less unified than the Homeric poems, it is more obviously pieced together—but the various components all belong to one concept of universal history and its interpretation.
Sep 29, Andrew Sydlik rated it really liked it Shelves: This was for a long time comparatively easy; as late as the European Middle Ages it was possible to represent Biblical events as ordinary phenomena of contemporary life, the methods of interpretation themselves forming the basis for such a treatment. God chose and formed these men to the end of embody ing his essence and will—yet choice and formation do not coincide, for the latter proceeds gradually, historically, during the earthly life of him upon whom the choice has fallen.
A book for those who love books and want to further plumb their depths.
How did he come to leave out Chaucer and Sterne, for instance? That’s a summary that really doesn’t do justice to the work, which is just bursting at the seams with ideas and observations. He moves on to medieval epics from France and Germany, touching upon French romance poetry as well, before arriving at the works of Dante and Boccaccio.
This becomes increasingly difficult the further our historical envir “If the text of the Biblical narrative, then, is so greatly in need of interpretation on the basis of its own content, its claim to absolute authority forces it still further in the same direction. This thing blew my mind. Written while on the run from the NSDAP and without his library though not without a library, as folk history has ithas as its purpose tracing the “complete emancipation” from the doctrine of the ancients regarding literary representation, one which is “more complete, and more significant for later literary forms of the imitation of life, than the mixture of le sublime and le grotesque proclaimed by the contemporary romanticists” All of these essays would work on their own, and be respected pieces in their fields.
A biggun’ in literary criticism.
The Old Testament, on the other hand, presents universal history: E non dipende dal punto di vista in cui mi colloco. Mimesis is not only filled with remarkable insights on the works Auerbach chooses as exemplary of various times and traits.
Mimesis. Il realismo nella letteratura occidentale
Oct 12, Justin Lau rated it really liked it. What’s really wonderful about the case studies is the way that he manages to approach each of the texts he examines with a degree of assurance, knowledge and affection that realiemo normally be enough to convince any reader that it could only come from someone who has spent his entire career studying just that period and that author in particular.
I wish I had occdientale time and intelligence at my disposal to fully drink from Auerbach’s well. Modern realism takes longer to get going, needing to proceed through letteeatura labyrinth of expressions from Shakespeare’s limited mixing of styles to neo-classicism in the 18th century, and leading to the birth of modern realism in the Romantic movement. Though Shakespeare has aristocratic tendencies in making only the most socially noble characters tragic, he is the Cosmic Poet because of the interrelatedness of this world he creates and which renews itself with each character.
For someone like me who takes the more traditional view, it letterstura a jolt of sorts.
Mimesis: il realismo nella letteratura occidentale – Erich Auerbach – Google Books
I think a mikesis of that is because Auerbach grounds all of his chapters in specific, concrete texts. I am not sure when we started mimewis it took us a couple of years. The World in Pantagruel’s Mouth: Each of the great figures of the Old Testament, from Adam to the prophets, embodies a moment of this vertical connection.
As a result of this claim to absolute authority, the method of interpretation spread to traditions other than the Jewish. Each chapter benefits from close readings of the texts, and extensive quotations in the original language. This book is partic Auerbach tracks the development of realism in Western literature from Homer to the twentieth century novel, highlighting the style of the gospels and the thought of Christianity as the decisive influence in the move away from the classical style to the concern with ausrbach inner world and the lower classes evinced in later Western literature.
Mimesis: The Representation of Reality in Western Literature by Erich Auerbach
This new expanded edition includes a substantial essay in introduction by Edward Said as well as an essay, never before translated into English, in which Auerbach responds to his critics. Fleeing the Nazis inthe io German philologist and scholar of comparative literature and criticism Erick Auerbach settled in Istanbul where, without access to his extensive library, he wrote Mimesis — The Representation of Reality in Western Literaturea prime example of what subsequent scholars have come to call historicism.
Achilles and Odysseus are splendidly described in many well-ordered words, epithets cling to them, their emotions are constantly displayed in their words and deeds—but they have no development, and their life-histories are clearly set forth once and for all.
Auerbach, of course, is very much anti-rhetoric. Books by Erich Auerbach. Want to Read Currently Reading Read. The “original language” aspect is a large part of the fun. Auerbach tracks the development of realism in Western literature from Homer to the twentieth century novel, highlighting the style of the gospels and the thought of Christianity as auerach decisive influence in the move away from the classical style to the concern with the inner world and the lower classes evinced in later Western literature.
In reading reviews of Mimesis, I came across Benjamin Walter’s analysis of the book, in which he makes a comparison between Plato’s skeptical and hostile feelings toward mimesis read The occidentalf, Mimesis, is very insightful just by itself. So little are the Homeric heroes presented as developing or having developed, that most of them—Nestor, Agamemnon, Achilles—appear to be of an age fixed from the very first.
Sep 21, Leslie rated it it was amazing Shelves: I’d never really thought mmesis look at the Bible’s narrative structure in contrast to Homer I mean, why would I?
In reading reviews of Mimesis, I came across Benjamin Walter’s analysis of the book, in which he makes a comparison between Plato’s skeptical and hostile feelings toward mimesis read: This leads almost inevitably to Flaubert, Balzac, and Goncourt, which then brings the text at last to the English modernists. View all 6 comments. It is an entertaining read. Both are tremendously influential on Western literature, of course, but Auerbach asserts that the Odyssey is direct about listing facts in the narrative, and the religious narratives have omissions to heighten the sense of mystery and suspense.
Mimesis is something we must get beyond in order to experience or attain the “real.
Maybe the most impressive work of literary criticism ever written, not least because of the circumstances under which it was composed: Refresh and try again. Aug 29, Fania rated it it was amazing. Jun 11, sologdin rated it it was ok Shelves: It is not therefore a multi-layered telling as is common in modern fiction but a simple movement on a linear surface line. And how much wider is the pendulum swing of their lives than that of the Homeric heroes!