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Lecture

ENG280 - October 17 - Auerbach.docx


Department
English
Course Code
ENG280H1
Professor
Chris Warley

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ENG280 October 17 Kristen Young
Auerbach is basically the Michael Jordan of literature
Mimesis = imitation, representation
In scholarly divisions you either read or know lots of languages
o Auerbach does both (but "wears his learning lightly")
Begins at a moment of the "return back"
The scar is the thing that allows Odysseus to be recognized
Begins by describing the scene, then describes the style
Everything has been externalized (in Homer)
"Homeric procedure" (1031)
o How Auerbach describes how Homer writes
There's no depth, no backstory
The present narration is the only present
o It completely consumes the mind of the reader
The origin of style = Homer
o Constantly bring everything to the light
o Never leave anything unexplained
o There is no mystery, no depth
Everything is fixed in spatial and temporal relations (1032)
Compulsion to make everything visible/externalized is the Homeric procedure
o Don’t need to go back and ask what Homer was thinking because he tells us
The Bible doesn't give us the spatial relations that are present in Homer
The Elohists are not compelled to make everything visible like Homer does
"It will at once be said that this is to be explained by the particular concept of God
which the Jews held and which was wholly different from that of the Greeks." (1034)
o Because the 2 groups had a different concept of religion
Auerbach dismisses God, makes him a concept that can be misinterpreted or
conveyed differently
o Story comes first, interpretation comes second
God is an effect of our representation of the story
Auerbach just reads the passage
o Doesn't try to explain the passage itself
Have to read Auerbach in the same way he reads texts
o Can’t include our superstitions
Mimesis = manner of comprehending and representing things
"God is an effect of how Jews write"
o Representation is first, God is second
o But he's not saying this in a sense because he uses the term "the concept"
The style of writing of a civilization can give you an idea of how they represented life
and culture
o Greeks had to say any and everything
o Jews had a more ambiguous 'trust God' type of reality
Mimesis is about the way it is conceived
o That presents the world view of the culture that is conceiving mimesis
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