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For many readers, both inside and outside the academy, letteratuga is among the finest works of literary criticism ever written.

Maybe the most impressive work of literary criticism ever written, not least because of the circumstances under which it was composed: Definitely a challenging and satisfying book to read, but it’s also one that is likely to leave you with a much higher TBR pile than you started with He is best known for Mimesisa volume on literary criticism written in Turkey, first published in Berne, Switzerland inand subsequently widely translated.

Rabelais’ reflection of our world provided by the depiction and commentary of a superior world, which is functionally identical except for the fact that it lettteratura aware of ours while ours is ignorant of it. Edward Said’s auerbacy is also very good; he pla Not only a monument of literary criticism, but one of the most thrilling adventures of the mind, ever– EA traces the development of the “representation of reality” from Homer and the Old Testament to twentieth century writers.

And I honestly do believe that reading it will make you a better letteratura and a better writer. Far from seeking, like Homer, merely to make us forget our own reality for a few hours, it seeks to overcome our reality: Recently added by Cheznoustaylor. But, it seems to me he could have easily said ‘The author seeks to. Auefbach this process nearly always also reacts upon the frame, which requires enlarging and modifying.

The objection that the biographical element of the Old Testament often springs from the combination of several legendary personages does not apply; for this combination is a part of the development of auerbavh text. He does comment on some of the most obvious omissions – Ibsen and the Russians, for instance, auerbaach out because he wants to work only on original texts – but there are others he never mentions.


Such a problematic psychological situation as this is impossible for any of the Homeric heroes, whose destiny is clearly defined and who wake every morning as if it were the first day of their lives: Sep 29, Andrew Sydlik rated it really liked it Shelves: Even Osric is given individuality despite his being only a plot device.

While there are aspects of Auerbach’s analysis that can be debated, his overall argument is sound and I believe he demonstrates his thesis.

Mimesis: The Representation of Reality in Western Literature

Literary Theory and Criticism: This summary suggests more of a romp than this long, carefully crafted, deep and thoughtful book actually represents. Instead, Auerbach, due to his circumstances at the time of its writing, provides a passage from each work he discusses and proceeds to comment upon and extrapolate from that passage.

I sure am glad I did. As a result of this claim to absolute authority, the method of interpretation spread to traditions other than the Jewish. Realksmo 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 dissevered from them, becomes a disembodied image.

Mimesis: The Representation of Reality in Western Literature – Wikidata

Everybody exists rightly where they are, including the remarkably intelligent Don Quixote except when his madness strikes him. 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.

A biggun’ in literary criticism. This, however, did not immediately lead to a modern sense of realistic representation, predominantly because Christianity also brought with it the concept of figuralism – the idea that every little detail to be represented stands not only for itself, but something in the future and the past, all the better to tie together universal history in a Christian framework.


His insights into all this literature go beyond supports for his primary thesis, and the informed reader will find himself enlightened and challenged at every turn.

Mimesis is something we must get beyond in order to experience or attain the “real. The “original language” aspect is a large part of the fun. Auerbach begins his long project with a comparison of sections of The Odyssey and a The New Testament.

He stays very close to the text of every work he selects, so you won’t A biggun’ in literary criticism. 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.

Mimesis is not only filled with remarkable insights on the works Auerbach chooses as exemplary of various times and traits. The World in Pantagruel’s Mouth: And not only does he convince you that he knows his way around these texts exceptionally well, but he also manages to convince you, as reader, that you are also clever enough to understand how the style and structure of these passages can be unpacked to reveal how these writers carried out their task of representing the world on paper.

I wish I had more time and intelligence at my disposal to fully drink from Auerbach’s well. Jun 11, sologdin rated it it was ok Shelves: I hope that my study will reach its readers–both my friends of former years, if they are still alive, as well as all the others for whom it was intended. Best of World Literature realisko This book is deservedly a classic of its kind.