Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “On Poetics” as Want to Read:
On Poetics
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

On Poetics

3.81  ·  Rating details ·  14,051 Ratings  ·  609 Reviews
Aristotle's much-translated On Poetics is the earliest and arguably the best treatment that we possess of tragedy as a literary form. The late Seth Benardete and Michael Davis have translated it anew with a view to rendering Aristotle's text into English as precisely as possible. A literal translation has long been needed, for in order to excavate the argument of On Poetic ...more
Paperback, 144 pages
Published July 15th 2002 by St. Augustines Press (first published -335)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
Rating details
Sort: Default
|
Filter
Glenn Russell
Nov 28, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition


During the golden age of ancient Greece bards roamed the countryside mesmerizing crowds by reciting the epics of Homer. Thousands of men and women gathered and were moved to tears by tragedies performed outside in amphitheaters during sacred festivals. Such an amazingly powerful and profound experience for an entire population. What was going on here; why were people so deeply affected? Well, one of the sharpest, most analytic minds in the history of the West set himself the task of answering ju
...more
Bookdragon Sean
It’s odd that the most ancient essay on literary criticism is one of the easiest to understand. It is so accessible. If you compare this to works by Nietzsche, Hegel and Freud the extremities of this can easily be seen. Aristotle explains his theory in the most basic language possible with no artful language that distances the reader from it. It is completely comprehensive and virtually impossible not to understand. Aristotle was an advocate of presenting his arguments in the most simplest of la ...more
Trevor
Dec 02, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: philosophy
This is perhaps my favourite philosopher of the Ancient world chatting about literary criticism – it doesn’t really get too much better than this. Plato, of course, wanted to banish all of the artists from his ideal republic. He wanted to do this because the world we live in is a poor copy of the ‘real’ world and so art is but a copy of a copy. Rather than bring us closer to the truth, Plato believed that art took us further away.

It can’t have been easy for Aristotle, Plato’s student, to disagre
...more
Bill  Kerwin
Jul 29, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

If you want to learn about tragedy--or narrative in general--this is still the best place to start.
Riku Sayuj

This is the best commentary I could find on The Poetics. Bywater's is a much better translation and immensely readable, except for the places where he employs the Greek without transliteration. A good strategy could be to keep to Bywater for a first read, and then use Whalley's idiosyncratic and 'deliberately clumsy' translation while studying his notes. We can even supplement it with the Lucas notes.

The best essay length criticism can be had from Lucas and Else, both of which are referred to of
...more
Edward
Introduction
Note on the Texts and Translations
Select Bibliography
A Chronology of Aristotle
Outline of the 'Poetics'


--From Plato, Republic, Books 2, 3, and 10
--Aristotle, Poetics
--From Sir Philip Sidney, An Apology for Poetry
--From P. B. Shelley, A Defence of Poetry
--From D. L. Sayers, 'Aristotle on Detective Fiction'

A Note on Metre
Explanatory Notes
Glossary of Key Terms
Index
Mahdi Lotfabadi
تنها چیزی که بهش فکر میکنم اینه که ارسطو 2 هزار و پونصد سال پیش به چه گفتمانهایی رسیده بوده... واقعاً جالبه! ...more
J.G. Keely
Jan 07, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, lit-crit
There's something terribly edifying when, having created your own rubric for how books should be judged, you happen to pick up the work from which all literary criticism arose and find that you and Aristotle have independently produced the same system for judgment. I know it probably just trickled down to me through cultural osmosis, but it does give me hope that I'm putting the pieces together properly.
Fabian
Aug 23, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Here is a rudimentary tablet of knowledge by one of the greats. First off, it is somewhat incredible to concede the year that this was written, and that almost 2,400 years later we are still eager to explore poetics that are in this aged article so clearly defined.

Aristotle exalts the poet and holds him in the highest esteem. Similarly, I have come to the conclusion that the novelist of literature is the truest of artists, imitating what he sees and ‘painting’ things as how they are, telling it
...more
Teresa Proença
Como obra de estudo é preciosa; como entretenimento não é muito indicada. Porque já estou numa idade em que me interessa mais a diversão que o conhecimento, não me esforcei para a compreender; a partir de metade desisti de ler as abundantes notas de rodapé e desperdicei a oportunidade de apreciar um livro que se mantém vivo há mais de dois mil anos.
Rakhi Dalal
Dec 06, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics
Been reading this again. Aristotle's take on woman Even a woman
may be good, and also a slave; though the woman may be said to be an inferior being, and the slave quite worthless
, reminds me of something similar being said by Krishna in the Bhagwadgita..

I am inclined to reduce the rating here, but will probably do that with a full review.
Davide
May 14, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Letto analiticamente, prendendo fitti appunti, nell'estate del 2004 (vaghi ricordi di una terrazza non lontana dal mare e altri ricordi che non voglio ricordare), poi riletto continuamente.

Ne derivano sempre suggerimenti e curiosità.

Come tutti voi sapete, la poesia [oggi leggi: letteratura] è più filosofica della storia.
Perché la storia tratta del vero, la poesia del verosimile.

E quindi la poesia si occupa dell’universale, mentre la storia racconta i particolari. Appartiene all’universale il fa
...more
Alina Cătărău
Jun 12, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Poetica (Περὶ ποιητικῆς) face parte din categoria operelor aristotelice care se adresează în principal celor care studiază literatură și teatru. Se presupune că această lucrare ar fi fost scrisă în jurul anului 335 Î. Hr. și corespunde primilor ani ai învățământului atenian, dar și perioadei în care tragedia greacă nu mai era jucată, fiind înlocuită de comedie. Faimosul tratat este alcătuit din două cărți: Cartea I este închinată „ramurii nobile a poeziei”, adică epopeii și tragediei, iar Cartea ...more
bup
Feb 15, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2008, audiobook, librivox
Well, I tell you what.

Did you ever see "Dead Poet's Society"? You know that scene where it's the first day of school and Robin Williams has them read that essay out loud, with all sorts of formulae and things for analyzing poetry - where Robin Williams graphs a formula on the board: PxI=G ?

Remember that?

That's the feeling I got with this. It seems to miss the forest for the trees.

OK, it's an analysis of drama and epic poetry. But to what end? Aristotle apparently felt it would be prescriptive to
...more
João Fernandes
Despite the importance this book holds as the first attempt at a guide to art and dramatic critic, I think most of Aristotle's points aren't particularly accurate in the current age.

Fortunately for all of us, Art has evolved past form. The passing of time has allowed artists, from dramatists to writers, to break the conventions of past eras.

So no, Aristotle, comedy is no longer about "inferior people" and tragedy about "great people". Nor is Art very logically constructed.

By all means, read th
...more
Brian
I enjoyed this more than I thought I would. Aristotle examines specific story forms like an ancient doctor analyzing the construction of the human body. He has great advice, and the relevancy to the modern works I've read surprised me.
Corey
May 14, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Vonnegut said that this little essay was all any novelist needed to know and I won't argue with Kurt.
Genni
Jan 09, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: philosophy
Whew. I made it through my first work by Aristotle. If all of his works are written like this, then I don't think it's going to be that bad. My perception was that he was extremely difficult. But just from this work alone, it seems he is just very thorough. A very precise thinker. So if he deals with difficult material, he will do so in such a way that is very clear, and not convoluted. At least, that is the impression so far...

The following example stuck out to me. Let it not be said that Arist
...more
Alina Cătărău
I'm glad that I have finally read Aristotle's Poetics because it is an important essay on writing and performing - actually it's one of the earliest works on literary theory, creative writing and theatre - which shouldn't be read only by actors and those who study literature, but by anyone who considers oneself to be an artist. Besides the wide space dedicated to tragedy and the epic poetry, the Greek philosopher also inserts elements belonging to other arts, such as music and painting.
I'm very
...more
zeynab kaveh
It's hard to believe that this formalist approach to literature was actually written in ancient times. also most of his ideas are not accepted in modern literary criticism but nobody can deny the role which Aristotle played in history of literature and criticism. He really tries to define form and structure of literature, different genres, the laws which literary pieces should be written based on. and though it has not been mentioned in the book but it is clearly a critical response to Plato's a ...more
Mohamad Yoosofi
ظاهراً ارسطو نخستین نظریهپرداز شعر بوده است. البته پیش از او افلاطون دیدگاههایی درباب ادبیات مطرح کرده بوده؛ اما رسالهای مستقل دراینباره ننوشته و از آن رو که رویکرد او به ادبیات، رویکردی نفیکننده بوده است، نمیتوان او را نظریهپرداز این مقوله خواند. ارسطو برپایهی آنچه از ادبیات و شاعری در زمانهی خودش برداشت میکرده، انواع شعر را در سه دسته میگنجاند: حماسه و تراژدی و کمدی. از این سه دسته، کمدی را فرودستترین و تراژدی را متعالیترین گونهی شعری میشمارد؛ چراکه کمدی غالباً برمبنای مسخرگی است و اندیشهی عمی ...more
M.L. Rio
Every writer should read this, because a lot Aristotle's rules for good writing are still on point after 2,300 years.
Evandro
A Poética é um livro precioso. Aristóteles é um taxonomista; tudo descreve como se fosse um médico classificando os órgãos de um ser vivo e atribuindo-lhes as funções devidas. Nesse sentido, o uso errado dos instrumentos de composição artística traria como resultado uma obra literária "doente". O mesmo, penso eu, se aplicaria à filosofia, ao uso dos instrumentos da razão. Quem não usa adequadamente os órgãos do conhecer é um homem doente: seja por debilidade (pouco uso da inteligência), seja por ...more
BookHeroin
Can't say that was easy, but i can't so it was hard either. It's safe to say, like many people who read this book, that i didn't read this for enjoyment. Surprisingly; i find myself really enjoying everything in it. Very educational and interesting.
Anyone who's studying literature or literary criticism NEEDS to read this.
Søs
Sep 23, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Aristoteles er en kæmpe Homer-fanboy og der morer mig
David Withun
Sep 15, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: philosophy
Aristotle lays out a theory of drama and poetry that flatly contradicts that of his old teacher Plato. Whereas Plato saw the purpose of such arts as presenting an image for viewers to imitate, Aristotle instead sees these arts as a kind of mass catharsis, a vicarious partaking of an action and its consequent feelings which purges the viewer of the desire to actually engage in such activities as he views. A particularly interesting piece of fuel for thought which Aristotle provides is his idea th ...more
Ahmad Sharabiani
Aristotelis de arte poetica liber, Aristotle
نخستین بار کتاب با عنوانهای «فن شعر» و «هنر شاعری بوطیقا»؛ در سال 1335 با ترجمه فتح الله مجتبایی، توسط انتشارات اندیشه، و در سال 1337 با عنوان «نامه ارسطاطالیس در باره هنر شعر» با ترجمه حسین افنان منتشر شده است
عنوان: فن شعر؛ اثر: ارسطو؛ مترجم: عبدالحسین زرین کوب؛ تهران، بنگاه نشر و ترجمه، چاپ دوم 1343، در 245 ص؛ کتابنامه دارد؛ چاپ سوم 1353؛ چاپ دیگر: تهران، امیرکبیر، 1369، در 220 ص، چاپ سوم 1381، چاپ چهارم 1382، چاپ پنجم 1385، چاپ ششم 1387؛ چاپ هفتم و
...more
Rikke Bay
I acknowledge the importance of this work and it's meaning throughout the history of literature, but that doesn't mean I have to appreciate it. Really boring if you ask me.
Tanuj Solanki
Apr 30, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ancient-greece
PART 1

The Plots of (Greek) Tragedies


First published in The New Indian Express

It so happens that none of what Aristotle wrote for the public in his time – none of the ‘published’ works – has survived the close to twenty-four hundred years separating him from us. What we have of Aristotle is notes and half-written works, never meant for widespread sharing, perhaps written only to be of use to students as references to larger works.

One of these texts is Poetics, about sixty-odd pages if one measure
...more
Ericka Clouther
Aristotle discusses the forms and best practices of tragedy, comedy, and epic poetry. There’s a strong emphasis on The Iliad, The Odyssey, and parts of The Orestia (which I am familiar with) and some other works with which I am not familiar. His literary critique and description is surprisingly timeless. Also, it’s so short and readable that there’s no reason to put it off if it’s on your reading list.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Goodreads Librari...: need merging 2 20 Apr 13, 2016 09:07AM  
Goodreads Librari...: Please correct these data 4 23 Oct 27, 2013 06:43AM  
Brain Pain: Aristotle - Poetics - Discussion 1 44 Nov 26, 2011 10:29AM  
  • On Great Writing (On the Sublime)
  • Phaedrus
  • Laocoon: An Essay on the Limits of Painting and Poetry
  • The Way Things Are: The De Rerum Natura
  • Anatomy of Criticism
  • Alcestis
  • Euthyphro. Apology. Crito. Phaedo. Phaedrus.
  • A Defence of Poetry
  • Ptolemy's Almagest
  • The Birth of Tragedy
  • On Old Age, On Friendship & On Divination
  • On the Aesthetic Education of Man
  • Plutarch's Lives, Vol 2

Nonfiction Deals

  • Death by Living: Life Is Meant to Be Spent
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Sometimes You Win--Sometimes You Learn: Life's Greatest Lessons Are Gained from Our Losses
    $9.99 $1.99
  • The Rise of Superman: Decoding the Science of Ultimate Human Performance
    $5.99 $1.99
  • The Long Tail: Why the Future Is Selling Less of More
    $9.99 $2.99
  • The Black Count: Glory, Revolution, Betrayal, and the Real Count of Monte Cristo
    $11.99 $1.99
  • Quantum Healing (Revised and Updated): Exploring the Frontiers of Mind/Body Medicine
    $12.99 $1.99
  • Elephant Company: The Inspiring Story of an Unlikely Hero and the Animals Who Helped Him Save Lives in World War II
    $15.99 $1.99
  • Prince Charles: The Passions and Paradoxes of an Improbable Life
    $13.99 $2.99
  • Funny In Farsi: A Memoir Of Growing Up Iranian In America
    $7.99 $1.99
  • Effortless Healing: 9 Simple Ways to Sidestep Illness, Shed Excess Weight, and Help Your Body Fix Itself
    $11.99 $1.99
  • The Case for Faith: A Journalist Investigates the Toughest Objections to Christianity
    $5.99 $2.99
  • The Map That Changed the World: William Smith and the Birth of Modern Geology
    $8.99 $2.99
  • The Brontës: Wild Genius on the Moors: The Story of a Literary Family
    $20.99 $1.99
  • Village of Secrets: Defying the Nazis in Vichy France
    $8.49 $1.99
  • Bad Boy
    $7.74 $1.99
  • The Autobiography of Malcolm X
    $7.99 $1.99
  • Heaven is for Real: A Little Boy's Astounding Story of His Trip to Heaven and Back
    $4.99 $1.99
  • All Over But the Shoutin'
    $11.99 $2.99
  • Love, Loss, and What We Ate: A Memoir
    $11.24 $1.99
“Comedy aims at representing men as worse, Tragedy as better than in actual life.” 113 likes
“With respect to the requirement of art, the probable impossible is always preferable to the improbable possible.” 49 likes
More quotes…