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More than half a century after its translation into English, Erich Auerbach's Mimesis remains a masterpiece of 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. This Princeton Classics edition includes a substantial introduction by Edward Said as well as an essay in which Auerbach responds to his critics.

La selección definitiva de los ensayos culturales y literarios de Edward W. Said realizada por el propio autor.

Este libro reúne ensayos sobre temas culturales y literarios escritos por Edward W. Said a lo largo de tres décadas de intenso trabajo intelectual y político. Vistos en conjunto y con la perspectiva crítica que concede el tiempo, estos textos -seleccionados por el propio autor como compendio de su carrera humanista- nos ofrecen la oportunidad de contemplar la evolución y formación de un combativo profesor, un hombre de palabra y acción, así como el desarrollo de una vocación por el conocimiento del mundo llevada hasta sus últimas consecuencias.

De sus reflexiones sobre la cultura popular, que le llevan a calificar a Tarzán de «exiliado permanente» o evocar la figura de la bailarina del vientre Tahia Carioca, al machismo y la tauromaquia de Hemingway, pasando por las diferencias que distinguen ciudades como Alejandría y El Cairo, o sus indispensables capítulos sobre música (Gould, Boulez, Wagner, Beethoven y Bach), el autor de Orientalismo expone en estos artículos su punto de vista inteligente y siempre contrario a la edificación de cánones literarios.

Reseña:
«El retrato de una vida intelectual ejemplar en la cual rigor y claridad se unen con coraje y compromiso [...] Esta es, con toda seguridad, una de las obras más importantes de la cultura y las humanidades que América ha producido en los últimos años.»
Martha C. Nussbaum, The New York Times Book Review

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