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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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. And I honestly do believe that reading it will make you a better reader and a better writer.

Mimesis: the representation of reality in Western literature

A scene like Peter’s denial fits into no antique genre. I’ve returned to it again and again for 30 years.

I will have to look for an annotated version. 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 the inner world and the lower classes evinced in later Western literature. Its pages are best taken in small bites, carefully chewed and digested — I read only ten pages a day, finding that I needed to ruminate upon and assimilate those pages before I was ready for another meal.

Alexa Actionable Analytics for the Web. Mimesis Erich Auerbach Snippet view – To say that it constitutes virtually a history of Western literature is to omit adding that it writes that history in a way that is still new and stimulating, with nothing of the manual about it, a synchronic kind of history with which we are only just now catching up. For many readers, both inside and outside the academy, “Mimesis” is among the finest works of literary criticism ever written.


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. Aug 29, Fania rated it it was amazing. Dante’s Comedy is particularly key for Auerbach in this argument. 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 the text.

He stays very close to the text of every work he selects, so you won’t A biggun’ in literary criticism. Amazon Rapids Fun stories for kids on the go. For a theory book especially, this is quite clear and illuminating.

Paul and the Church Fathers reinterpreted the entire Jewish tradition as a succession of figures prognosticating the appearance of Christ, and assigned lf Roman Empire its proper place in the divine plan of salvation.

Aug 11, Parke rated it it was amazing. However, I’m sure I’ll come back and finish the book at some point, wesern it is definitely worth it.

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 is something we must get beyond in order to experience or attain the “real.

Mimesis: the representation of reality in Western literature

This essentially optimistic view of European history now appears as a defensive–and impassioned–response to the inhumanity he saw in the Third Reich. The protagonist’s tthe, mental agility, ability to think beyond the foreground is all very well ewstern in the literature itself.


The book is too bulky to haul around that is why I would like to see it in volumes. It’s an undeniably dense book, but one that can be understood even if you’re not familiar with literary theory I’m definitely not and even if you haven’t read all the works he spotlights.

I should really give it another try. He also champions the diarist Saint-Simon who o about the late seventeenth and early eighteenth century French court. As you can see from all the stars I threw at it in my rating, I lean more towards the former camp.

This is an outstanding work of literary criticism. Still, none of this really detracts from the great value of literahure work. Read more Read less. Apr 24, Dayla rated it really liked it Recommends it for: Everybody exists rightly where they are, including the remarkably intelligent Don Quixote except when his madness strikes him.

Mimesis: The Representation of Reality in Western Literature by Erich Auerbach

Like the Biblical writers whose faith in wewtern so-called “tyrannical” truth of God produces an authentic expression of reality, Flaubert’s “faith in the truth of language” ch. The author proceeds slowly and carefully with precise and nuanced readings of the texts and deep insight into the world that gave birth to the text. Explore the Home Gift Guide. Nov 04, Seana rated it it was amazing. I would love to do this again some day with other intelligent, well reallity, interested, and interesting people.