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Erich Auerbach (1892-1957)
Related: art theory - literary theory - mimesis - German literary criticism - reality - representation - 1946
"He who represents the course of a human life, or a sequence of events extending over a prolonged period of time, and represents it from beginning to end, must prune and isolate arbitrary. Life has always long since begun, and it is always still going on. And the people whose story the author is telling experience much more than he can ever hope to tell. But the things that happen to a few individuals in the course of a few minutes, hours, possibly even days - these one can hope to report with reasonable completeness." (Auerbach in Mimesis)
Mimesis : The Representation of Reality in Western Literature (Paperback) - Erich Auerbach [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]
German philologist, educator, critic, and literary historian. Auerbach's famous account of the genesis of the novel, Mimesis (1946), has been since its appearance among the most widely read scholarly works on literary history and criticism. René Wellek, Auerbach's colleague at Yale University, wrote: "The work is a strikingly successful combination of philology, stylistics, history of ideas and sociology, of meticulous learning and artistic taste, of historical imagination and awareness of our own age." (from A History of Modern Criticism 1970-1950, Volume 7, 1991) --http://www.kirjasto.sci.fi/auerb.htm [Aug 2005]
Erich Auerbach (1892-1957) was a German philologist, comparative scholar, historian, and critic of literature. His best-known book was Mimesis, a history of representation in literature from ancient to modern times in many languages.
Auerbach was trained in the German philological tradition (and would eventually become, along with Leo Spitzer, one of its best-known scholars). After fighting in World War I, he earned a doctorate in 1921 and in 1929 became a member of the philology faculty at the University of Marburg, publishing a well-received study of Dante Alighieri. But with the rise of the Nazis, Auerbach, who was Jewish, was forced to vacate his position in 1935. Exiled from Germany, he took up residence in Istanbul, where he wrote Mimesis, which is generally considered his masterwork.
He later moved to the United States, in 1947, teaching at Pennsylvania State University and then working at the Institute for Advanced Study of Princeton University; finally he was made a Professor of Romance philology at Yale University in 1950, a position he held until his death in 1957. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Erich_Auerbach [Aug 2005]
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