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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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Aug 29, Fania rated it it was amazing.

It is his combination of scholarly erudition and critical astuteness which is most remarkable. I’ve read only first two chapters for an exam.

Mimesis: the representation of reality in Western literature

This becomes increasingly difficult the further our historical environment is removed from that of the Biblical books; and if these nevertheless maintain their claim to absolute authority, it is inevitable that they themselves be adapted through interpretative transformation.

Each major work is explored through an extended representative quote in the original language and in English translation. All of these essays would work on their own, and be respected pieces in their fields. Top Reviews Most recent Top Reviews. 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. Res Gestae by Ammianus Marcellinus.

Jan 24, Michel Van Goethem rated it it was amazing. Paperback50th Anniversary Editionpages. But the book is not easy. My only complaint is that, while he draws great insights out of Biblical texts, he is unnecessarily polemical in ways that are not important to his argument.


These items are shipped from and sold by different sellers. Far from seeking, like Homer, merely to make us forget our own reality for a few hours, it seeks to overcome our reality: Still masterly, in the better sense. This new expanded edition includes a substantial essay in introduction by Edward Said as well as an essay, never before translated into English, in which Auerbach responds to his critics.

Review “The compass and the richness of the book can hardly be exaggerated. Just a moment while we sign you in to your Goodreads account.

Write a customer review. This book is particularly enjoyable as an academic work that is not laden with footnotes and unnecessary references to mimesid material. This essentially optimistic view of European history now appears as a defensive–and impassioned–response to the inhumanity he saw in the Third Reich.

Explore the Home Gift Guide. The Homeric poems present a definite complex of events whose boundaries in space and time are clearly delimited; before it, beside it, and after it, other complexes of events, which do not depend upon it, can be conceived without conflict and without difficulty.

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Mimesis: The Representation of Reality in Western Literature

Still, none of this really detracts from the great value tne his work. Each chapter is organized around a work of literature beginning with Homer and concluding with Virginia Woolf.


Bernard of Clairvaux ; St. This is a deeply impressive book, and offers new ways of thinking about literature.

View all 10 comments. And it is most concretely visible now in the unprejudiced, precise, interior and exterior representation of the random moment in the lives rfality different people.

Feb 03, Hadrian rated it it was amazing Shelves: If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support? Yes, Mimesis is magisterial, but it is also thrilling to read, inspiring, and more relevant than ever: Account Options Sign in. Read it realify five or representatioon years. The claim of the Old Testament stories to llterature 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.

Modern realism takes longer to get going, needing to proceed through a labyrinth of expressions from Shakespeare’s limited mixing of styles to neo-classicism in the 18th century, and leading to the birth of modern realism in the Romantic movement.

The human condition is contained within the lowest human being and not abstracted into an Everyman.