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Classical Literary Criticism: Poetics/Ars Poetica/On the Sublime

3.88 of 5 stars 3.88  ·  rating details  ·  94 ratings  ·  5 reviews
Aristotle's Poetics has long been recognized as a seminal work of literary criticism. His analysis of tragic drama, epic poetry and stylistic devices such as metaphor, and his famous notion of the cathartic purging of the emotions, have defined a critical terminology for generations of later writers. In the Ars Poetica Horace defends the civilizing power of poetry and the ...more
Paperback, 158 pages
Published August 28th 1977 by Penguin Books (first published -20)
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The inclusion of Horace was a little strange but the poem had a few good things to say about the figure of the poet in Rome and showed how a lot of Aristotle and Plato's ideas had been translated to Roman literary thought.

Longinus and the Poetics were both really great. I'm not convinced by Aristotle's conviction that plot has to be central to these plays. His obsession with 'recognition' is somewhat more dubious; it's a necessary step in a fair few tragedies but by no means all of them. There's
A good place to start of you want to read about classical literary criticism. A lot easier to read and understand than I thought it would be!
I found Aristotle's On the Art of Poetry virtually unreadable so eventually I gave up.

Horace's On the Art of Poetry was excellent! Clearly written and conceived with logical advice that is still relevant to any writer today.

I didn't really attempt Longinus's On the Sublime.
Peter Worley
The standard text on storytelling. A must read. Much of it will seem cliched or hackneyed but remember this had never been said before 2 and a half thousand years ago!
A play should have a beginning, a middle and an end. Good advice.
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(Greece: Αριστοτέλης)
(Arabic: أرسطوطاليس)

Aristotle (384–322 B.C.E.) numbers among the greatest philosophers of all time. Judged solely in terms of his philosophical influence, only Plato is his peer: Aristotle's works shaped centuries of philosophy from Late Antiquity through the Renaissance, and even today continue to be studied with keen, non-antiquarian interest. A prodigious researcher and wri
More about Aristotle...

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