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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W Studying westren progressive combination of tragic seriousness with the everyday. This becomes increasingly difficult the further our historical envir “If the text of the Biblical narrative, then, is so greatly in need of interpretation on the basis of its own content, its claim to absolute authority forces it still further in the same direction. 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.

I’ve returned to it again and again for 30 years. Still masterly, in the better sense. So little are the Homeric heroes presented as developing or having developed, that most aurbach them—Nestor, Agamemnon, Achilles—appear to be of an age fixed from the very first. Maybe the most impressive work of literary criticism ever written, not least because of the circumstances under which it was composed: Not surprisingly the most accessible chapters are the first Homer and the Old Testament and the last Virginia Woolf which are not presented as translations Liberal arts education has changed radically since this book was first published in German over sixty years ago.

But this process nearly always also reacts upon the frame, which requires enlarging and modifying.

Mimesis: The Representation of Reality in Western Literature – Wikipedia

The book’s insights are inexhaustible. His aim was to show how from antiquity to the twentieth century literature progressed toward ever more thw and democratic forms of representation.


Amazon Advertising Find, attract, and engage customers. His aim was to show how wesgern antiquity to the twentieth century literature progressed toward ever more naturalistic and democratic forms of representation.

It is not clear that all editions included the translations.

Mimesis: the representation of reality in Western literature

Far from seeking, like Homer, merely to make us forget our own reality for a few hours, it seeks to overcome our reality: Each chapter is organized around a work of literature beginning with Homer and concluding with Virginia Woolf. I’ve enjoyed the first one “Odysseus’s Scar” the most. Kf read only first two chapters for an exam.

I think a lot of that is because Auerbach grounds all of his chapters in specific, concrete texts. Refresh ljterature try again. Princeton University Press Amazon. There’s a problem loading this menu right now.

There he wrote Mimesis, publishing it in German after the end of the war. Apr 24, Dayla rated it really liked it Recommends it for: But I think erpresentation the whole he makes a compelling case, and this work deserves 5 stars if only for its sheer breadth of ambition and imagination.

Mimesis: The Representation of Reality in Western Literature

Auerbach proceeds chronologically, starting with Homeric and Hebraic literature and continuing through the modernist novels of Woolf, Proust, and Joyce. Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.

Selected pages Title Page. I’ll stick to Bloom and his kind. To explore this question, Erich Auerbach brings to bear the authority of truly encyclopedic learning and the persuasiveness of a supple, humane literary intelligence.

To the consternation of his colleague, Ernst Curtius, Auerbach’s work is marked by an openly anti-rhetorical position. Amazon Rapids Fun stories for kids on the go.


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. Because there are very few modern readers who will have a similar level of erudition as Auerbach it would be helpful for the book to be reissued with appropriate footnotes.

The poor beggar Odysseus is only masquerading, but Adam is really cast down, Jacob really a refugee, Joseph really in the pit and then a slave to be bought and sold. This one, however, does. The Representation of Reality in Western Literature. Amazon Inspire Digital Educational Resources. The first chapter is mind-bending, in the better sense again.

From there we go forth through the later Romans, the medieval romances and passion plays, courtly romance, Montaigne’s essays and the role of the author, Don Quixote, the 19th century Germans, the French authors of Balzac, Stendhal, and Flaubert, and concludes with the high modernists of Joyce, Woolf, and Proust. I don’t think a more significant or useful book of criticism has been written in the half-century since Mimesis was published.

I wish this book was published in two or three volumes. This new expanded edition includes A half-century after its translation into English, Erich Auerbach’s “Mimesis” still stands as a monumental achievement in literary criticism. But what a road, what a fate, lie between the Jacob who cheated his father out of his blessing and the old man whose favorite son has been torn to pieces by a wild beast!