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Mimesis: The Representation of Reality in Western Literature (Englisch) Taschenbuch – 7. April 2003

4.7 von 5 Sternen 3 Kundenrezensionen

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Produktbeschreibungen

Pressestimmen

"The compass and the richness of the book can hardly be exaggerated. This is true too of the originality of Mr. Auerbach?s critical method which is at once encyclopedic and microscopic, combining the disciplines of philology, literary criticism, and history."--The New York Times "One of the most important and readable books in literary criticism of the past 15 years ... The author, beginning with Homer and the Bible, traces the imitation of life in literature through the ages ...touching upon every major literary figure in western culture on the way."--Publishers Weekly "One of the great works of literary scholarship... Auerbach's method ... is to fasten with fastidious sensitivity on some stray phrase or passage in order to unpack from it a wealth of historical insight. It is his combination of scholarly erudition and critical astuteness which is most remarkable."--Terry Eagleton, London Review of Books "Written with the authority that comes from deep learning and full of information worth knowing. Princeton's 50th anniversary edition of Mimesis has an introduction by the late literary and cultural critic Edward Said that by itself is worth the price of the book. It's the only preface I know of that I wish were longer, serving as both an analysis of Auerbach and a ramework placing him in his scholarly and historical context... Princeton's reissue of Mimesis is both timely and symbolic."--Guy Davenport, Los Angeles Times Book Review "[Mimesis] offers not just an eminent reading of the Western canon, but a mighty lesson on how to write... I don't think a more significant or useful book of criticism has been written in the half-century since Mimesis was published. What's more, I can't imagine that anything like it will ever be written again... [In] producing such a rich, strong book on how to read, Auerbach composed a virtual manual on how to write, one I've referred back to again and again since the day, almost two decades ago, when I first happened upon it."--Jim Lewis, Slate Magazine

Synopsis

A half-century after its translation into English, Erich Auerbach's "Mimesis" still stands as a monumental achievement in literary criticism. 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. 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. A German Jew, Auerbach was forced out of his professorship at the University of Marburg in 1935. He left for Turkey, where he taught at the state university in Istanbul. There, he wrote "Mimesis", publishing it in German after the end of the war. 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. His aim was to show how, from antiquity to the twentieth century, literature progressed toward ever more naturalistic and democratic forms of representation.

This essentially optimistic view of European history now appears as a defensive - and impassioned - response to the inhumanity he saw in the Third Reich. 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. For many readers, both inside and outside the academy, "Mimesis" is among the finest works of literary criticism ever written.

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Format: Taschenbuch
In the 30 odd years since I read this book it has never been far from my thoughts. It has changed my understanding of how people think and how they look at their world. I cannot do true justice its impact.
We are apt to think that people are the same wherever and whenever they lived. This is probably a legacy of our democratic, universalistic heritage. It is also what gets us in trouble when we get involved abroad in changing other nations and their societies. Auerbach shows us that humankind is not and has not been alike in its thoughts, aspirations and character but has distinctly changed and varied over time and place.
By closely reading, analyzing and comparing texts of different periods through time, the author demonstrates how the structure of language interacts with the structure of thought, how the way one writes delimits ones vision. This is a more radical thought than its converse that the way we think affects how we write. To Auerbach, an early medieval religious writer, because of the way that Late Latin worked, could not think the way a classical author could. This seems intuitively wrong to a person who has knowledge of one language, but if you have ever tried to translate anything beyond the simplest sentence, you can appreciate what Auerbach means. This is one of those books that stay with you for a lifetime.
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Format: Taschenbuch
Altho published in the 50's, the chapters on genesis, and his (refreshing) "construction" of how Western literature changed with uderlying philosophical assumtions is a classic. The best is his technique of using examples, from the bible to Shakespear, which perfectly demonstrates his theory. The book is deep but not difficult to read. His style is conversive and the theoretical concept is nailed down with passages from literary works. I highly reccomend it, especially the first 4 chapters, for anyone who wants to connect and see a synthesis of western classics they've read.
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From the look of it, one would expect this to be a dull, dry, academic book, but it's really a lot of fun. Auerbach quotes extensively from the books you probably always meant to read and uses them in a meaningful and entertaining way. His point is that over the last three thousand years or so, the West has changed the ways in which it views reality--and that the "modern" viewpoint is not necessarily the only way in which the world can be presented. Good book!
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Die hilfreichsten Kundenrezensionen auf Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 4.8 von 5 Sternen 22 Rezensionen
5.0 von 5 Sternen A scholarly masterpiece 17. Oktober 2016
Von Dren Geer - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch Verifizierter Kauf
An extraordinary book on the development of realism in literature from Dante to the present. A scholarly book and not for the casual reader.
5.0 von 5 Sternen A classic on classics 5. November 2016
Von Martin Larsson - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch Verifizierter Kauf
A number of excellent analysis of classical books. A must-have for anybody interested in literary theory.
4 von 5 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen Mimesis: The Representation of Reality in Western Literature 16. Dezember 2008
Von Yooperfriend - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch Verifizierter Kauf
Although Auerbach wrote Mimesis 50 years ago, and a great deal of research has been produced since then, his book is still a masterwork, and provides many valuable insights for a range of texts. I highly recommend this book.
0 von 1 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Five Stars 28. Januar 2015
Von FPB - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch Verifizierter Kauf
a necessity for anybody who reads at all let alone literature majors.
23 von 28 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen Makes you think--expand your horizons 2. Mai 1999
Von Ein Kunde - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch
From the look of it, one would expect this to be a dull, dry, academic book, but it's really a lot of fun. Auerbach quotes extensively from the books you probably always meant to read and uses them in a meaningful and entertaining way. His point is that over the last three thousand years or so, the West has changed the ways in which it views reality--and that the "modern" viewpoint is not necessarily the only way in which the world can be presented. Good book!
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