Sentation still to come with its splintering of totalities into so many local "Idioms Inevitably Auerbach S "Inevitably Auerbach s work as the author himself confesses in an elegiac closing passage is circumscribed as all before and after by the course of time I read this in a readingdiscussion group with Dr Richard Stivers Dr James Van Der Laan Rochelle Stivers and Brian Simpson while in Normal at ISU and Stivers Dr James Van Der Laan Rochelle Stivers and Brian Simpson while in Normal at ISU and 18 months after moving to UrbanaWe read a chapter a month basically and also read whichever book went along with that chapter I am not sure when we started but it took us a couple of ears 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 AuerbachI would love to do this again some day with other intelligent well read interested and interesting people This book is encompassing and mind bending in that specifically uniue way that will make some people revere it like a religious text and will drive other people absolutely nuts As How To Think Like A Manager for the CISSP Exam you can see from all the stars I threw at it in my rating I lean towards the former camp I can very much understand whyhow someone would wind up disagreeing with Auerbach s thesis and even so with his methodology in getting there but at the same time this book has such an open ambitious and kind of lovely approach to literature that I couldn t help but falling in love with it a little And I honestly do believe that reading it will makeou a better reader and a better writerAuerbach s main theme is the issue of how reality is represented in literature particularly how a relatively strict separation of sty Maybe the most impressive work of literary criticism ever written not least because of the circumstances under which it was composed Auerbach a German philologist fired by the Nazis for being a Jew in exile in an Istanbul library as European civilization destroyed itself re imagining the literature that had given it birth The book s insights are inexhaustible I ve returned to it again and again for 30 ears This thing blew my mind MimesisBy Erich Auerbach 1892 1957Auerbach was a German philologue literature critic and author of the German Romantic tradition Mimesis or by the subtitle Imitation of Reality in Western Literature is a work of Philological analysis of selected chapters of outstanding works of literature since the beginning of recordsInstead of providing a definition to explain his aim the author takes the reader to comparisons of historical and linguistic aspects By Homer in the Odyssey the return of Ulysses to Penelope The Old Testament by early Hebraic authors God s test of Abraham s faith Petronius s Satyricon Ammianus Marcellinus report of the arrestation of Petrus Volvomeres Gr goire de Tours Histoire des Francs Rolands Song how he was appointed to lead the rearguard of the French army Chretien de Troyes Yvain the story of one of King Arthurs knights Adam a mystery Christmas play of the 12th century by anonymous Dante Alighieri s I will not to attempt to review a book of this scope I will briefly say that Auerbach s intention was to show how literature through the ages interpret reality He starts with Ancient Greek saga and compares it with Bible epics and shows the different intentions in eachHe moves on to the lore of the middle ages and the impact Christianity had on that literature He also analyzes the enlightenment and gives one of the most piercing and scathing observations about Voltaire s work I must say I enjoyed Auerbach reinforcing what I had always thought about Voltaire namely that the author creates fantasy worlds to prove his enlightenment points Voltaire loved stretching reality out of proportion and depicting people as buffoons as if this really showed how things were and why his personal philosophy held waterAnother observation he makes about several authors from Voltaire s time to the 20th century is how the Bourgeoisie become the universal scapegoats as to what is wrong with the world And who is condemning and holding them in contempt Author and artists from the elite wealthy class who consider it immoral that the middle class should work hard for the material comforts that they the elite were born intoHis final essay is about Virginia Woolf and really all I learned is that I do not find her a particularly interesting writer He uotes great swathes of her To The Lighthouse which seems bogged down in trivial minutiaThis is a valuable read but also a weighty
and I am someone intelligent than me could do better justice in reviewing Mocratic 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 writt. Tragic seriousness with the everydayOdysseus Scar We are ever foregrounded in the present No such thing as Flashbacks In The Characters Minds in the characters minds narrator leaves aside the present narrative to tell a past narrative It is not therefore a multi layered telling as is common in modern fiction but a simple movement on a linear surface line progressive awareness of social strata the backgrounded figural meaning etc Farinate and Cavalcante With Dante comes the vernacular A mediation between elevated epic language and dialogic voices whose individual personalitieslives exist in preserved vividness even in the afterlifeFrate Alberto With Boccaccio comes the exaggeration of that visceral individuality the primacy of sensory experience and depiction The World in Pantagruel s Mouth 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 itL Humaine Condition Montaigne s conflationunity of author and book Idiosyncrasy justified by a changing self reacting to a changing reality The human condition is contained within the lowest human being and not abstracted into an EverymanThe Weary Prince Though Shakespeare has aristocratic tendencies in making only the most socially noble characters tragic he is the Cosmic Poet because of the "Interrelatedness Of This World "of this world creates and which renews itself with each character No shyness to name low things amidst high tragedy all depictions are vividly validated Even Osric is given individuality despite his being only a plot device Shakespearean tragedy is distinct from Greek tragedy on two counts 1 the chronotopic possibility of a story is expanded to any time and place since society now has a sense of history and 2 tragic events stem from the heart of individual characters rather than from puppet personagesThe Enchanted Dulcinea The euanimity of Don uixote s illusion forgoes all uestions of value and tragiccomic strata Everybody exists rightly where they are including the remarkably intelligent Don uixote except when his madness strikes him The theme of the mad country gentleman who undertakes to revive knight errantry gave Cervantes an opportunity to present the world as play in that spirit of multiple perspective non judging and even non uestioning neutrality which is a brave form of wisdom 357 The Brown Stocking Woolf Joyce Proust narrative contingent on consciousness s unpredictability external events divested of hegemony the small and ordinary given primacy In this unprejudiced and exploratory type of representation we cannot but see to what an extent below the surface conflicts the differences between men s ways of life and forms of thought have already lessened The strata of societies and there different ways of life have become inextricably mingled There are no longer even exotic peoples Beneath the conflicts and also through them an economic and cultural leveling process is taking place It is still a long way to a common life of mankind on earth but the goal begins to be visible And it is most concretely visible now in the unprejudiced precise interior and exterior representation of the random moment in the lives of different people 552 If Borges writer of reflections labyrinths and expanses can be called master of the infinite then Auerbach must be that of the finite For Mimesis is a work which not only takes the limitations of literary representation for its subject but is selfsame spawned from finitude tragic and wholly contingent Exiled into a foreign library with but a ramshackle supply of scholarship to consult Auerbach ventures uixotically to trace from sheer erudition the development of historical consciousness through the ages We learn of the epochal struggles to delimit an autonomous realm for the aesthetic the unfathomability of depicting the phenomenal excess of everyday reality up until the modernist present Speaking of his contemporary literary condition Auerbach details the new temporal aesthetic of the novel In the masterpieces of Flaubert then Woolf Proust and Joyce time thickens becomes congealed such that exterior events turn into stations of repose for a multi perspectival subjectivity the uiet dignified sublime of the uotidian moment once and for all abolishes the ancient hierarchies of literary expression and in this movement claims Auerbach lies the potential for an trans linguistic post national aesthetic An optimistic prediction to be sure especially in light of the postmodern crisis of repre. Rbach 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 antiuity to the twentieth century literature progressed toward ever naturalistic and de.
One And I Am
review ¾ eBook, ePUB or Kindle PDF Ô Erich AuerbachFleeing the Nazis in 1935 the 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 Literature
prime example of what subseuent scholars have come to call historicism This is an amazing book fascinating as it is dense as provocative in its ideas as it is impressive For the interested reader I would suggest beginning with Auerbach s four page Epilogue rereading it at the end I wish I had done so it would have clarified Auerbach s four page Epilogue rereading it at the end I wish I had done so it would have clarified Auerbach s for me at the onset and helped me avoid floundering with definitions and connotations especially of reality for the first one hundred pages or soAuerbach proceeds chronologically starting with Homeric and Hebraic literature and continuing through the modernist novels of Woolf Proust and Joyce Throughout the book he strives to follow the process by which literature became progressively realistic by which he means that it deals in a serious way with the day to day life of ordinary people After his initial HomericHebraic chapter he moves on to early Christian religionphilosophy and its writings before tackling the works of Roman authors during the early and middle parts of the first millennium CE 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 His insights into all this literature go beyond supports for his primary thesis and the informed reader will find himself enlightened and challenged at every turn Not that all of Auerbach s arguments are convincing but that hardly matters rarely has there been such a delightful opportunity to learn from and argue with such an erudite thinkerContinuing Auerbach uses an exploration of Rabelais to develop his theme then turning to Montaigne Shakespeare and Cervantes Moli re is next and then Pr vost Not to neglect the Germans he discusses the works of Schiller before returning to France and Stendhal This leads almost inevitably to he discusses the works of Schiller before returning to France and Stendhal This leads almost inevitably to Balzac and Goncourt which then brings the text at last to the English modernistsThis summary suggests of a romp than this long carefully crafted deep and thoughtful book actually represents Its 555 pages are best taken in small bites carefully chewed and digested I read only ten pages a day finding that I needed to ruminate upon and assimilate those pages before I was ready for another meal But what a treat it was to be exposed to a mind and to ideas so stimulating so fresh and so incisive I am so glad that I discovered the book and took the time and effort to immerse myself in it MimesisBy Erich Auerbach 1892 1957Auerbach was a German philologue literature critic and author of the German Romantic tradition Mimesis or by the subtitle Imitation of Reality in Western Literature is a work of Philological analysis of selected chapters of outstanding works of literature since the beginning of recordsInstead of providing a definition to explain his aim the author takes the reader to comparisons of historical and linguistic aspects By Homer in the Odyssey the return of Ulysses to Penelope The Old Testament by early Hebraic authors God s test of Abraham s faith Petronius s Satyricon Ammianus Marcellinus report of the arrestation of Petrus Volvomeres Gr goire de Tours Histoire des Francs Rolands Song how he was appointed to lead the rearguard of the French army Chretien de Troyes Yvain the story of one of King Arthurs knights Adam a mystery Christmas play of the 12th century by anonymous Dante Alighieri s Devine Comedy Farinata and Cavalcante Boccaccio s Decameron Frate Alberto Antoine de la Sale s Madame du Chastel Rabelais Pantagruel Montaigne s Essais the Human condition Shakespeare s Henry IV the tired Prince Cervantes Don uijote Dulcinea bewitched La Bruyere s Caracteres The Hypocrite Abb Prevost s Manon Lescaut Schiller s drama Luise Millerin Stendhal s Rouge et Noire Hotel de la Mole Brothers Goncourt s Germinie Lacerteux Virginia Woolf s To the Lighthouse We can see that the author s selection of literature covers almost three thousand earsHis proposed chapters are presented in its original language It is therefore an advantage for the reader to be multilingual for easy reading and understandingThis book is for me the first purely Philological work with a wealth of culture revealed in each chapter I would highly recommend it to all readers of classics and lovers of literature per se Studying the progressive combination of. 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 criticsA German Jew Aue. .a prime example of what subseuent scholars have come to call historicism This is an amazing book