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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History of the Franks by Gregory of Tours. 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.

And very often, indeed generally, this element of development gives the Old Testament stories a historical character, even when the subject is purely legendary and rpresentation.

Mimesis: the representation of reality in Western literature

Views Read Edit View history. 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 is aware of ours while ours is ignorant of it. A brilliant display of erudition, wit, and wisdom, his exploration representtaion how great European writers from Homer to Virginia Woolf depicted reality has taught generations how to read Western literature.

AmazonGlobal Ship Orders Internationally. If certain elements survived which did reapity immediately fit in, interpretation took care of them; and so the reader is at every moment aware of the universal religio-historical perspective which gives the individual stories their general meaning and purpose.

Each chapter benefits from close readings of the texts, and extensive quotations in the original language. Auerbach’s critical method which is at once encyclopedic and microscopic, combining the disciplines loterature philology, literary criticism, and history. The idea put forth by Auerbach is that literature is an imitation of the contemporary society from which it was spawned.


The most striking insight is his revelation of how large a part religion and metaphysical thinking has played a part in literature, for certain doctrinal concepts and spiritual attitudes had realiy effects on the ways in which writers depicted reality.

Mimesis: the representation of reality in Western literature – Erich Auerbach – Google Books

Shopbop Designer Fashion Brands. These items are shipped from and sold by different sellers. This is true too of the originality of Mr.

Get fast, free rfpresentation with Amazon Prime. Worth it for the discussion of Odysseus’ return to Ithaca alone–but the whole book is thought-provoking and illuminating.

Mar 02, Bruce rated it it was amazing. The book’s insights are inexhaustible. There are no longer even exotic peoples. Books by Erich Auerbach.

Mimesis: the representation of reality in Western literature

Augustineand writers of the seventeenth century, like Racineare criticized for adherence to the rhetorical doctrine of “styles” with their corresponding subject matters: Written while Auerbach representafion teaching in IstanbulTurkeywhere he fled after being ousted from his professorship in Romance Philology at the University of Marburg by the Nazis in[1] it was first published in by A.

Oct 23, Mateo R. And I honestly do believe that reading it will make you a better ln and a better writer.

As a result of this claim to absolute authority, the method of interpretation spread to traditions other than the Jewish. As a hte, the Old Testament is incomparably less unified than the Homeric poems, it is more obviously pieced together—but the various components all belong to one concept of universal history and its interpretation.


But what a road, what a fate, lie between the Jacob who cheated his father out realigy his blessing and the old man whose favorite son has been torn to pieces by a wild beast!

Is this feature helpful? For many readers, both inside and outside the academy, Mimesis is among the finest works of literary criticism ever written. Dante, Cervantes, and morel Wonderful translation–reads like a dream.

Res Gestae by Ammianus Marcellinus.

Mimesis: The Representation of Reality in Western Literature

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

To explore this question, Erich Auerbach brings to bear the authority of truly encyclopedic learning and the persuasiveness of a supple, humane literary intelligence. Discover Prime Book Box for Kids.

Thank you for your feedback. The part on Odysseus’s scar is legendary excuse the pun. For they are bearers of the divine will, and yet they are fallible, subject to misfortune and humiliation—and in the midst of misfortune and in their humiliation their acts and words reveal the transcendent majesty of God.

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.