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Theophrastus: Characters

3.73 of 5 stars 3.73  ·  rating details  ·  81 ratings  ·  9 reviews
Theophrastus' Characters is a collection of thirty short character-sketches of various types of individuals who walked the streets of Athens in the late fourth century BC. This edition presents a radically improved text for a unique work which had a profound influence on European literature. The translation is designed to be readable and reveals the nuances of the original ...more
Hardcover, 612 pages
Published October 1st 2004 by Cambridge University Press (first published -319)
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Théophraste (-371, -288) est un philosophe grec lesbien qui a étudié à Athènes, puis s’y est fixé après un retour temporaire sur son île, ayant pris la succession d’Aristote dans l’école qu’il avait ouverte sur le mont Lycabette : le Lycée. Il est l’auteur d’une grande quantité d’ouvrages scientifiques et moraux dont seuls quelques-uns ont pu être sauvés des injures du temps, mais il en est un qui est plus particulièrement célèbre en France par le fait que La Bruyère(1645-1696) (view spoiler) ...more
short & sweet. lays out several stock personalities, with pithy summations of the primary characterization. shamelessness, say, is "neglect of reputation for the sake of base gain," whereas penury by contrast is "too strict attention to profit and loss."
Прочетох "Характери" и в двата български превода - на Ал. Балабанов и на проф. Богдан Богданов. Учудвах се на значителните разлики между тях, преди да прочета увода на Ал. Балабанов, част от който е в описанието на това издание тук. Лошо запазен оригинален текст, което кара преводачите на много места да гадаят.
Преводът на Балабанов като текст тече по-леко и по-естествено. От превода на Богданов и по-точно от бележките се научават доста неща за тогавашния бит и реалност. Препоръчвам да се прочета
Бранимир Събев
ХІV. Заплесът

За да определим заплеснатостта, ще кажем, че тя представлява неподвижност на ума, която се проявява и в думи, и в дела. Заплесът например седне да смятат на сметалото, получи резултата, обърне се към съседа си и го пита: “Колко прави?” Ако са за-вели дело срещу него и трябва да иде в съда, забравя да се яви и същия ден отива на
село. А ако иде на театър, заспива, представлението свършва, хората си отиват и той остава сам.
Наяде се много, стане през нощта до клозета и кучето на съсе
Неостаряващи забавни характеристики на типове хора (макар че по-скоро склонности към определено поведение, защото всеки може да бъде суетен, арогантен и черноглед).
Simon Kearney
It was a quick and interesting read. The character types certainly stand the test of time but the book didn't live up to the hype it got in Memo From The Story Department.
J. Guapster
Pupil of Aristotle. Grand-daddy of the entire character sketch genre, especially psychological character sketches.

Later character sketch writers include:
La Bruyere's Characters (1688)
Earle's Microcosmographie (1628)
Addison and Steele
Edgar Lee Masters, Spoon River Anthology (1915).

Genre was later swallowed up by the novel.

Currently re-reading some of these very short works struggling to learn how to write a character sketch of my own.

Mentioned at Highet, p.192
The most interesting thing about these extremely precise character descriptions from 2300 years ago (!) is how they sound like they could have been written today, never mind the specific references to Ancient Greek culture. There isn't a single personality type you'd have trouble attaching to a person in your own life.
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Theophrastus (Greek: Θεόφραστος; c. 371 – c. 287 BC[1]), a Greek native of Eresos in Lesbos, was the successor to Aristotle in the Peripatetic school. He came to Athens at a young age and initially studied in Plato's school. After Plato's death, he attached himself to Aristotle. Aristotle bequeathed to Theophrastus his writings and designated him as his successor at the Lyceum. Theophrastus presid ...more
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