Of all the writings on theory and aesthetics—ancient, medieval, or modern—the most important is indisputably Aristotle’s Poetics, the first philosophical treatise to propound a theory of literature. In the Poetics, Aristotle writes that he will speak of comedy—but there is no further mention of comedy. Aristotle writes also that he will address catharsis and an analysis of what is funny. But he does not actually address any of those ideas. The surviving Poetics is incomplete. Until today. Here, Walter Watson offers a new interpretation of the lost second book of Aristotle's Poetics. Based on Richard Janko’s philological reconstruction of the epitome, a summary first recovered in 1839 and hotly contested thereafter, Watson mounts a compelling philosophical argument that places the statements of this summary of the Aristotelian text in their true context. Watson renders lucid and complete explanations of Aristotle’s ideas about catharsis, comedy, and a summary account of the different types of poetry, ideas that influenced not only Cicero’s theory of the ridiculous, but also Freud’s theory of jokes, humor, and the comic. Finally, more than two millennia after it was first written, and after five hundred years of scrutiny, Aristotle’s Poetics is more complete than ever before. Here, at last, Aristotle’s lost second book is found again.
In this, the fullest, sustained interpretation of Aristotle's Poetics available in English, Stephen Halliwell demonstrates that the Poetics, despite its laconic brevity, is a coherent statement of a challenging theory of poetic art, and it hints towards a theory of mimetic art in general. Assessing this theory against the background of earlier Greek views on poetry and art, particularly Plato's, Halliwell goes further than any previous author in setting Aristotle's ideas in the wider context of his philosophical system. The core of the book is a fresh appraisal of Aristotle's view of tragic drama, in which Halliwell contends that at the heart of the Poetics lies a philosophical urge to instill a secularized understanding of Greek tragedy. "Essential reading not only for all serious students of the Poetics . . . but also for those—the great majority—who have prudently fought shy of it altogether."—B. R. Rees, Classical Review "A splendid work of scholarship and analysis . . . a brilliant interpretation."—Alexander Nehamas, Times Literary Supplement
Editio Maior of the Greek Text with Historical Introductions and Philological Commentaries
Annotation This 'editio maior' of Aristotle's 'Poetics', based on all the primary sources, is a major contribution to scholarship. The introductory chapters provide insights about the transmission of the text to the present day and especially the significance of the Syro-Arabic tradition.
Richard Janko's acclaimed translation of Aristotle's Poetics is accompanied by the most comprehensive commentary available in English that does not presume knowledge of the original Greek. Two other unique features are Janko's translations with notes of both the Tractatus Coislinianus, which is argued to be a summary of the lost second book of the Poetics, and fragments of Aristotle's dialogue On Poets, including recently discovered texts about catharsis, which appear in English for the first time.
With a Critical Text and Translation of the Poetics. With a Prefatory Essay, Aristotelian Literary Criticism
Author: Samuel Henry Butcher
Publisher: Courier Corporation
Category: Literary Collections
This book contains the celebrated Butcher translation of Aristotle's Poetics, faced, page by page, with the complete Greek text (as reconstructed by Mr. Butcher from Greek, Latin and Arabic manuscripts). The editor's 300-page exposition and interpretation follows. In his classic commentary, Butcher discusses with insight, sympathy and great learning Aristotle's ideas and their importance in the history of thought and literature. His scholarly remarks cover art and nature, imitation as an aesthetic term, poetic truth, pleasure as the end of fine art, art and morality, the function of tragedy, the dramatic unities, the ideal tragic hero, plot and character, comedy, and poetic universality. A new 35-page introductory essay, Aristotelian literary criticism, by John Gassner, discusses the validity of Aristotle's ideas today and their application to contemporary literature.--From publisher description.
'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.
Translated and with a Commentary by George Whalley
Publisher: McGill-Queen's Press - MQUP
Category: Literary Criticism
George Whalley's English translation of the Poetics breathes new life into the study of Aristotle's aesthetics by allowing the English-speaking student to experience the dynamic quality characteristic of Aristotle's arguments in the original Greek.