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Both are tremendously influential on Western literature, of course, but Auerbach asserts that the Odyssey is direct about listing facts in the narrative, and the religious narratives have omissions to heighten the sense of mystery and suspense.

Hans Hinterhäuser (Translator of Mimesis. Il realismo nella letteratura occidentale)

If certain elements occiedntale which did not 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. Thus while, on the one hand, the reality of the Old Testament presents itself as complete truth with a claim to sole authority, on the other hand that very claim forces it to a constant interpretative change in its own content; for millennia it undergoes an incessant and active development with the life of man in Europe.

Feb 26, Maria added it. This was somewhat over my head. His commitment to reading closely for the details that shine is something all too lost in most of today’s quickreads. Apr 24, Dayla rated it really liked it Recommends it for: I am not sure when we started but it took us a couple of years.

Preview — Mimesis by Erich Auerbach. Auerbach, auerbxch secular Jew, having fled from Nazi Germany, writes from Istanbul, a largely Muslim city, and his writings mijesis much on the impact of Christianity on world literature.

Mimesis. Il realismo nella letteratura occidentale

Mar 02, Bruce rated it it was amazing. One of the greatest works of criticism in the 20th century and he did it without almost any access to books, notes, or anything else.


Edit to localize it to your language. Aug 29, Fania rated it it was amazing. Google Books — Loading For more help see letteratufa Common Knowledge help page. Feb 27, Haengbok92 rated it it was amazing Shelves: 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 traditional.

Mimesis: The Representation of Reality in Western Literature

I wish I had more time and intelligence at my disposal to fully drink from Auerbach’s well. For a theory book especially, this i Every essay I’ve read so far has been really interesting which is only three. The Representation of Reality in Western Literature.

I was particularly impressed with his analysis of medieval literature and its reaction to classical norms, a topic which I know nothing about, but also his look at Virginia Woolf.

Oct 12, Justin Lau rated it really liked it. However, I’m sure I’ll come back and finish the book at some point, because it is definitely worth it. Goethe and Schiller are brought in only to be hauled over the coals for being too conservative, and most other 19th century German writers are dismissed as too provincial. This book is deservedly a classic of its kind. The first chapter is mind-bending, in the better sense again.

Ol love to hear how a modern literary scholar would view this work. This book is extremely difficult. It’s only been a few years now, but it’s probably time I read it again.

Still masterly, in the better sense. It is not clear that all editions included the translations. Every essay I’ve read so far has been really interesting which is only three. Oct 23, Mateo R. The protagonist’s feelings, mental agility, ability to think beyond the foreground is all very well “painted” in the literature itself. To ask other readers questions about Mimesisplease sign up. Jul 14, Jim Coughenour rated it it was amazing Shelves: Aug 11, Parke rated it it was amazing. But the whole is greater than the parts, and Auerbach’s broader goal is the representation of reality in literature, as well as the recognition of historical context.


Home Groups Talk Zeitgeist. As you can see from all the stars I threw at it in my rating, I lean more towards the former camp. His aim was to show how from antiquity to the twentieth century literature progressed toward ever more naturalistic and democratic forms of representation.

He stays very close to the text of every work he selects, so you won’t get lost in jargon or citations. 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.

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 significant effects on the ways in which writers depicted reality. It’s a work of vast scope, looking at the development of literary realism from Homer to Virginia Woolf, by way of twenty chapter-length case studies covering different periods, each of which looks in close detail at one or two passages from literary texts.

No such thing as flashbacks in the characters’ minds; the narrator leaves aside the present narrative to tell a past narrative.