Aristotle's Poetics

ISBN-10: 0809005271
ISBN-13: 9780809005277
Edition: N/A
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Description: Introduced by Francis Fergusson, the Poetics, written in the fourth century B.C., is still an essential study of the art of drama, indeed the most fundamental one we have. It has been used by both playwrights and theorists of many periods, and  More...

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Book details

List price: $12.00
Publisher: Farrar, Straus & Giroux
Publication date: 1/1/1961
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 128
Size: 4.25" wide x 7.25" long x 0.50" tall
Weight: 0.242
Language: English

Introduced by Francis Fergusson, the Poetics, written in the fourth century B.C., is still an essential study of the art of drama, indeed the most fundamental one we have. It has been used by both playwrights and theorists of many periods, and interpreted, in the course of its two thousand years of life, in various ways. The literature which has accumulated around it is, as Mr. Fergusson points out, "full of disputes so erudite that the nonspecialist can only look on in respectful silence." But the Poetics itself is still with us, in all its suggestiveness, for the modern reader to make use of in his turn and for his own purposes. Francis Fergusson's lucid, informative, and entertaining Introduction will prove invaluable to anyone who wishes to understand and appreciate the Poetics. Using Sophocles' Oedipus Rex, as Aristotle did, to illustrate his analysis, Mr. Fergusson pints out that Aristotle did not lay down strict rules, as is often thought: "The Poetics," he says, "is much more like a cookbook than it is like a textbook of elementary engineering." Read in this way, it is an essential guide not only to Sophoclean tragedy, but to the work of so modern a playwright as Bertolt Brecht, who considered his own "epic drama" the first non-Aristotelian form.

Aristotle, 384 B.C. - 322 B. C. Aristotle was born at Stagira, in Macedonia, in 384 B.C. At the age of 17, he went to Athens to study at Plato's Academy, where he remained for about 20 years, as a student and then as a teacher. When Plato died in 347 B.C., Aristotle moved to Assos, a city in Asia Minor, where a friend of his, Hermias, was ruler. After Hermias was captured and executed by the Persians in 345 B.C., Aristotle went to Pella, the Macedonian capital, where he became the tutor of the king's young son Alexander, later known as Alexander the Great. In 335, when Alexander became king, Aristotle returned to Athens and established his own school, the Lyceum Aristotle's works were lost in the West after the decline of Rome, but during the 9th Century A.D., Arab scholars introduced Aristotle, in Arabic translation, to the Islamic world. In the 13th Century, the Latin West renewed its interest in Aristotle's work, and Saint Thomas Aquinas found in it a philosophical foundation for Christian thought. The influence of Aristotle's philosophy has been pervasive; it has even helped to shape modern language and common sense. Aristotle died in 322 B.C.

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