More than half a century after its translation into English,Erich Auerbach’s Mimesis remains a masterpiece of literarycriticism. A brilliant display of erud. More than half a century after its translation into English, Erich Auerbach’s Mimesis remains a masterpiece of literary criticism. A brilliant display. LibraryThing Review. User Review – nbmars – LibraryThing. This book is extremely difficult. In each chapter, Auerbach compares two texts. Usually at least one.
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But when, through too great a change in environment and through the awakening of a critical consciousness, this becomes impossible, the Biblical claim to absolute authority is jeopardized; the method of interpretation is scorned and rejected, the Biblical stories become ancient legends, and the doctrine they had contained, now aerbach from them, becomes a disembodied image. The title, Mimesis, is very insightful just by itself.
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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.
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. Worth it for the discussion of Odysseus’ return to Ithaca alone–but the whole book is thought-provoking and illuminating.
Amazon Drive Cloud storage from Amazon. Rabelais’ reflection of our world provided by the depiction and commentary of a superior world, rewlity is functionally identical except for the fact that it is representatio of ours while ours is ignorant of it.
Res Gestae by Ammianus Marcellinus.
Mimesis: The Representation of Reality in Western Literature – Wikipedia
Top Reviews Most recent Top Reviews. East Dane Designer Men’s Fashion. The first chapter, Odysseus’ scar, is still used by classicists today. 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. But I think on the whole he makes a compelling case, and this work deserves 5 stars if only for its sheer breadth of ambition and imagination.
Mimesis: the representation of reality in Western literature
Feb 03, Hadrian rated it it was amazing Shelves: Everything else that happens in the world can only be conceived as an element in this sequence; into it everything that is known about the world, or at least everything that touches upon the history of the Jews, must be fitted as an ingredient of the divine plan; and as this too became possible only by interpreting the new material as it poured in, the need for interpretation reaches out beyond the original Jewish-Israelitish realm of reality—for example to Assyrian, Babylonian, Persian, and Roman history; interpretation in a determined direction becomes a general method of comprehending reality; the new and strange world which now comes into view and which, in the form in which it presents itself, proves to be wholly unutilizable within the Jewish religious frame, must be so interpreted that it can find a place there.
Time can touch the latter only outwardly, and even that change is brought to our observation as little as possible; whereas the stern hand of God is ever upon.
As a result of this claim to absolute authority, the method of interpretation spread relity traditions other than the Jewish. Despite his treatment of the many major works, Auerbach apparently did not think he was comprehensive enough, and apologized in the original publication in explaining that he had access only to the ‘insufficient’ resources available in the library at Istanbul University where he worked;  Auerbach did not know Turkish and so could not use locally available sources, and did not have access to non-Turkish secondary sources.
Not to neglect the Germans, he discusses the works of Schiller before returning to France and Stendhal.
Princeton’s 50th anniversary edition of Mimesis has an introduction by the late literary and cultural critic Edward Said that by itself is worth the price of the book.
Mimesis: the representation of reality in Western literature – Erich Auerbach – Google Books
Herein lies the reason why the great figures of the Old Testament are so much more fully developed, so much more fraught with their own biographical past, so much more distinct as individuals, than are the Homeric heroes.
But this process nearly always also reacts upon the frame, which requires enlarging and modifying.
Edward Said’s introduction is also very good; he places EA and his work in context and discusses the immense influence this book has had. Auerbach is the dreamguide in literature. It is not clear that all editions included the translations.
Mimesis: The Representation of Reality in Western Literature
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 essentially optimistic view of European history now appears as a defensive–and impassioned–response to the inhumanity he saw in the Third Reich. One nice thing about it is that I can read any section without worrying too much about what comes before or after.
The Representation of Reality in Western Literature. Even Odysseus, in whose case the long lapse of time and the many events which occurred offer so much opportunity for biographical development, shows almost nothing of it.
His insights aerbach all this literature go beyond supports for his primary thesis, and the informed reader will find himself enlightened and challenged at every turn. Still, the effort was aurbach and Said’s introductory essay is excellent. On the most basic level, is my desire to imitate Jennifer Aniston’s clothes something I should get beyond to find my own style, or is my Aniston-mimesis a fundamental expression of my human experience as a person living within an aging society.
The first chapter is mind-bending, in the better sense again. Ranging over works in Greek, Mimwsis, 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.