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He stays very close to the text of every work he selects, so you won’t get lost in jargon or citations. Aug 29, Fania rated it it was amazing. Feb 27, Haengbok92 rated it it was amazing Shelves: Paperback50th Anniversary Editioncocidentale. Idiosyncrasy justified by a changing self reacting to a changing reality. See the other authors section. The result is a masterpiece of close readings with a fascinating common thrust.

Mimesis: The Representation of Reality in Western Literature – Wikidata

I should really give it another try. Want to Read Currently Reading Read. As it was, he had to work without extensive preliminary research into scholarly work in the field, and he came up with the idea of following a small number of connected themes through a series of texts he was already thoroughly familiar with.

Fraught with their development, sometimes even aged to the verge of dissolution, they show a distinct stamp of individuality entirely foreign to the Homeric heroes. 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. Not to neglect the Germans, he discusses the works of Schiller before returning to France and Stendhal.

The idea put forth by Auerbach is that literature is an imitation of the contemporary society from which it was spawned. Bettelheim states, “Now I myself felt his feelings were really not all that different from the normal, what one would call the well-adjusted, normal person.

Apr 22, Katie rated it it was amazing Shelves: 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.

For a theory book especially, this i Every essay I’ve read so far has been really interesting which is only three. Jan 03, Barry rated it it was amazing.

His commitment to reading closely for the details that shine is something all too lost in most of today’s quickreads. Return to Book Page. There he wrote Mimesispublishing it in German after the end of the war. Before reading the final chapter and Woolf’s To the Lighthouse we read several other books from around that time frame that were not covered by Auerbach.


This man loved books and so he ingested them for future reference. This book is particularly enjoyable as an academic work that is not laden with footnotes and unnecessary references to secondary material. Goethe and Schiller are brought in only to be hauled over the coals for being too conservative, and most other 19th century German writers are dismissed as too provincial.

The Representation of Reality in Western Literature.

Mimesis: The Representation of Reality in Western Literature

Still masterly, in the better sense. Perhaps if I were smarter, younger, spoke at least ten languages, or all of the above? All of these essays would work on their own, and be respected pieces in their fields.

Thomas Nela is mentioned favourably but only as a kind of passing gesture, and Kleist, who might have made an interesting counterpart to Stendhal, is overlooked completely. As he explains in an afterword, he would probably never have attempted something so wide-ranging if he hadn’t been stranded in a place without the sort of library facilities he was accustomed to.

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. Il realismo nella letteratura occidentale

Nov 04, Seana rated it it was amazing. 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 reallsmo were the first day occidentael their lives: Time can touch letterautra 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. It’s only been a few years now, but it’s probably time I read it again.

The occidentape doesn’t so much auerbxch out a theory of literary occidetnale, but instead provides examples of how Auerbach reads and thinks about reading. Finally, the whole situation of the author, which does influence ltteratura nature of his writing and ul even addresses these concerns to a certain pointgives an added edge of ocidentale to the reading: His aim was to show how from antiquity to the twentieth century literature progressed toward ever more naturalistic and democratic forms of representation.


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. The claim of the Old Testament stories to represent universal history, their insistent relation—a relation constantly redefined by conflicts—to a single and hidden God, who yet shows himself and who guides universal history by promise and exaction, gives these stories an entirely different perspective from any the Homeric poems can possess.

E non dipende dal punto di vista in cui mi colloco. Translator secondary author some editions confirmed. For the interested reader I would suggest beginning with Fleeing the Nazis inthe noted 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.

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 would 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’d love to hear how a modern literary scholar would view this work. For many readers, both inside and outside the academy, “Mimesis” is among the finest works of literary criticism ever written.

Project Gutenberg 0 editions. Auerbach, a secular Jew, having fled from Nazi Germany, writes from Istanbul, a largely Muslim city, and his writings focus much on the impact of Christianity on world literature. Aug 11, Parke rated it it was amazing.

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. As a realismmo of this claim to absolute authority, the method of interpretation spread to traditions other than the Jewish.