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Mimesis By Erich Auerbach

Mimesis
by Erich Auerbach

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Dealing with literary criticism, the author aims to show how, from antiquity to the twentieth century, literature progressed toward ever more naturalistic and democratic forms of representation. The exploration of how great European writers from Homer to Virginia Woolf depicted reality has taught generations how to read Western literature.
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Mimesis Summary


Mimesis: The Representation of Reality in Western Literature - Fiftieth-Anniversary Edition by Erich Auerbach

A half-century after its translation into English, Erich Auerbach's "Mimesis" still stands as a monumental achievement in literary criticism. A brilliant display of erudition, wit, and wisdom, his exploration of how great European writers from Homer to Virginia Woolf depicted reality has taught generations how to read Western literature. 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. A German Jew, Auerbach was forced out of his professorship at the University of Marburg in 1935. He left for Turkey, where he taught at the state university in Istanbul. There, he wrote "Mimesis", publishing it in German after the end of the war. Displaced as he was, Auerbach produced a work of great erudition that contains no footnotes, basing his arguments instead on searching, illuminating readings of key passages from his primary texts. His aim was to show how, from antiquity to the twentieth century, literature progressed toward ever more naturalistic and democratic forms of representation. This essentially optimistic view of European history now appears as a defensive - and impassioned - response to the inhumanity he saw in the Third Reich. 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. For many readers, both inside and outside the academy, "Mimesis" is among the finest works of literary criticism ever written.

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Mimesis Reviews


"The compass and the richness of the book can hardly be exaggerated. This is true too of the originality of Mr. Auerbach?s critical method which is at once encyclopedic and microscopic, combining the disciplines of philology, literary criticism, and history."--The New York Times "One of the most important and readable books in literary criticism of the past 15 years ... The author, beginning with Homer and the Bible, traces the imitation of life in literature through the ages ...touching upon every major literary figure in western culture on the way."--Publishers Weekly "One of the great works of literary scholarship... Auerbach's method ... is to fasten with fastidious sensitivity on some stray phrase or passage in order to unpack from it a wealth of historical insight. It is his combination of scholarly erudition and critical astuteness which is most remarkable."--Terry Eagleton, London Review of Books "Written with the authority that comes from deep learning and full of information worth knowing. 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. It's the only preface I know of that I wish were longer, serving as both an analysis of Auerbach and a ramework placing him in his scholarly and historical context... Princeton's reissue of Mimesis is both timely and symbolic."--Guy Davenport, Los Angeles Times Book Review "[Mimesis] offers not just an eminent reading of the Western canon, but a mighty lesson on how to write... I don't think a more significant or useful book of criticism has been written in the half-century since Mimesis was published. What's more, I can't imagine that anything like it will ever be written again... [In] producing such a rich, strong book on how to read, Auerbach composed a virtual manual on how to write, one I've referred back to again and again since the day, almost two decades ago, when I first happened upon it."--Jim Lewis, Slate Magazine

About Erich Auerbach


Erich Auerbach, before his death in 1957, was Sterling Professor of Romance Languages at Yale University.

Additional information

GOR001953965
Mimesis: The Representation of Reality in Western Literature - Fiftieth-Anniversary Edition by Erich Auerbach
Erich Auerbach
Used - Very Good
Paperback
Princeton University Press
2003-04-07
616
069111336X
9780691113364
N/A
Book picture is for illustrative purposes only, actual binding, cover or edition may vary.
This is a used book - there is no escaping the fact it has been read by someone else and it will show signs of wear and previous use. Overall we expect it to be in very good condition, but if you are not entirely satisfied please get in touch with us.