Poetics

OUP Oxford
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'What is poetry, how many kinds of it are there, and what are their specific effects?' Aristotle's Poetics is the most influential book on poetry ever written. A founding text of European aesthetics and literary criticism, from it stems much of our modern understanding of the creation and impact of imaginative writing, including poetry, drama, and fiction. For Aristotle, the art of representation conveys universal truths which we can appreciate more easily than the lessons of history or philosophy. In his short treatise Aristotle discusses the origins of poetry and its early development, the nature of tragedy and plot, and offers practical advice to playwrights. This new translation by Anthony Kenny is accompanied by associated material from Plato and a range of responses from more modern literary practitioners: Sir Philip Sidney, P. B. Shelley, and Dorothy L. Sayers. The book includes a wide-ranging introduction and notes, making this the most accessible and attractive modern edition. ABOUT THE SERIES: For over 100 years Oxford World's Classics has made available the widest range of literature from around the globe. Each affordable volume reflects Oxford's commitment to scholarship, providing the most accurate text plus a wealth of other valuable features, including expert introductions by leading authorities, helpful notes to clarify the text, up-to-date bibliographies for further study, and much more.
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Additional Information

Publisher
OUP Oxford
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Published on
Jan 10, 2013
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Pages
160
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ISBN
9780191635809
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Language
English
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Genres
Literary Criticism / Ancient & Classical
Literary Criticism / Drama
Literary Criticism / Poetry
Philosophy / History & Surveys / Ancient & Classical
Poetry / Ancient & Classical
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Content Protection
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Eligible for Family Library

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By "literary criticism" we usually mean a self-conscious act involving the technical and aesthetic appraisal, by individuals, of autonomous works of art. Aristotle and Plato come to mind. The word "social" does not. Yet, as this book shows, it should--if, that is, we wish to understand where literary criticism as we think of it today came from. Andrew Ford offers a new understanding of the development of criticism, demonstrating that its roots stretch back long before the sophists to public commentary on the performance of songs and poems in the preliterary era of ancient Greece. He pinpoints when and how, later in the Greek tradition than is usually assumed, poetry was studied as a discipline with its own principles and methods.

The Origins of Criticism complements the usual, history-of-ideas approach to the topic precisely by treating criticism as a social as well as a theoretical activity. With unprecedented and penetrating detail, Ford considers varying scholarly interpretations of the key texts discussed. Examining Greek discussions of poetry from the late sixth century B.C. through the rise of poetics in the late fourth, he asks when we first can recognize anything like the modern notions of literature as imaginative writing and of literary criticism as a special knowledge of such writing.


Serving as a monumental preface to Aristotle's Poetics, this book allows readers to discern the emergence, within the manifold activities that might be called criticism, of the historically specific discourse on poetry that has shaped subsequent Western approaches to literature.

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