Aristotle: in twenty-three volumes. Poetics, Longinus - On the sublime, Demetrius - On style

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Harvard University Press, 1995 - Literary Collections - 533 pages
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This volume brings together the three most influential ancient Greek treatises on literature. Aristotle's Poetics contains his treatment of Greek tragedy: its history, nature, and conventions, with details on poetic diction. Stephen Halliwell makes this seminal work newly accessible with a reliable text and a translation that is both accurate and readable. His authoritative introduction traces the work's debt to earlier theorists (especially Plato), its distinctive argument, and the reasons behind its enduring relevance.

The essay On the Sublime, usually attributed to "Longinus" (identity uncertain), was probably composed in the first century CE; its subject is the appreciation of greatness ("the sublime") in writing, with analysis of illustrative passages ranging from Homer and Sappho to Plato. In this edition, Donald Russell has revised and newly annotated the text and translation by W. Hamilton Fyfe, and supplied a new introduction.

The treatise On Style, ascribed to an (again unidentifiable) Demetrius, was perhaps composed during the second century BCE. It is notable particularly for its theory and analysis of four distinct styles (grand, elegant, plain, and forceful). Doreen Innes' fresh rendering of the work is based on the earlier Loeb translation by W. Rhys Roberts. Her new introduction and notes represent the latest scholarship.

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Review: Poetics: WITH On the Sublime AND On Style

User Review  - Christopher Gontar - Goodreads

Aristotle's Poetics could be seen as a symbol of much else that is rotten in our culture. Yet the academia that has clung to this book for centuries surely has, aside from merely a source of ... Read full review

Review: Poetics: WITH On the Sublime AND On Style

User Review  - Mary - Goodreads

As I've already commented on the other two, I'm sure, I'll just say that Demetrius' book on style is surprisingly modern. Sure few of us would draw the lines of language where he does, but the idea ... Read full review



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About the author (1995)

Other works by the renowned classical scholar, translator, and literary critic Francis Fergusson include "The Idea of a Theater: A Study of Ten Plays," "Sallies of the Mind: Essays," "Trope and Allegory: Themes Common to Dante and Shakespeare," and "Dante's Drama of the Mind: A Modern Reading of the "Purgatorio.
Translator and scholar S. H. Butcher served as editor for the Dover Thift Edition of the "Poetics," as well as for the "Orationes, Volume 1" by Demosthenes. Butcher is also the author of "Aristotle's Theory of Poetry and Fine Art,"

Longinus" is the name given to the author of "On the Sublime" (c. 1st century a.d.), a treatise that defines the characteristics of the lofty style in literature, using Homer, Plato and Demosthenes as the chief examples. Translated by Nicolas Boileau in 1674, it greatly influenced literary theory until the early nineteenth century and is of lasting importance as a brilliant critique of classical literature.

Stephen Halliwell is Professor of Greek, University of St. Andrews.

Donald A. Russell is Emeritus Professor of Classical Literature, University of Oxford, and Emeritus Fellow of St. John's College, Oxford.

Doreen C. Innes is Fellow in Classics, St. Hilda's College, Oxford.