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Classical Literary Criticism Paperback – 17 May 2000
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From the Back Cover
In her Introduction Penelope Murray shows how many of the most fruitful approaches to understanding literature in the Western tradition derive from these canonical texts. Plato is often regarded as the most poetic of the great philosophers, but he mistrusted the god-like power of poets to work on our feelings and famously banished them from his ideal Republic. Aristotle responded by defending the value of art in his Poetics. His analysis of tragedy, with its key concepts of mimesis, catharsis and hamartia, has influenced generations of critics from the Renaissance onwards. Horace's The Art of Poetry is a vivid practitioner's guide that promotes a style of poetic craftsmanship rooted in wisdom, ethical insight and decorum, while Longinus' remarkable On the Sublime explores the nature of inspiration in poetry and prose.
This edition also features a new bibliography and chronology as well as comprehensive notes to each of the texts.
About the Author
T. S. Dorsch was Professor of English at the University of Durham. He died in 1991.
Penelope Murray is Senior Lecturer in Classics at the University of Warwick.
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Top international reviews
It affords solid translations of key texts that introduce students to a number of key considerations in understanding poetry: the role of inspiration and the problem of censorship (Plato); the importance of craft, the relationship between literature and philosophy, and the psychological power of tragedy (Aristotle); the need for decorum and the educative function of poetry (Horace); and the function of style (Longinus). This makes it a useful book whether using it to study the beginnings of literary theory or to ponder larger questions about poetry and poetics. I return to it often.
Not bad for this reasonably priced volume.