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Jenkyns covers just enough for the layman to understand and the educated to learn a few new things. I had some problems with presentation of some items, generally good, though. Jenkyns is the ideal instructor: well-informed, enthusiastic, organized. He's able to convey the material to the reader who is a novice in this area without condescension; his references to people and events outside the area of classical literature are drawn from high culture Wagner, Shakespeare, Wilde rather than pop culture.

This should not be taken to mean that Jenkyns is in any way uptight: he gives full attention to the bawdy, scurrilous, and polysexual elements of the works he discusses. Typing that last list reminds me of one minor irritation with the book: this Oxford professor for some reason eschews the Oxford comma. The author gives his own assessment of the various works he discusses and, logically if perhaps somewhat controversially, includes the books of the New Testament among Graeco-Roman literature in the period he covers.

Literature Book Review: Poetics (Penguin Classics) by Aristotle, Malcolm Heath

While Jenkyns discusses almost years of literature written in Greek and Latin, the book itself, like Jonson's Shakespeare, contains "little Latin and less Greek", with almost no quotations from the works in their original language. This is occasionally frustrating as, by Jenkyn's own description, the content and art of Greek and Latin verse was highly dependent on skilled use of meter, but examples of metrical conventions and inventiveness are described second hand without explicit examples.

I can't quite mark this as a fault, as it's very possible that such detailed technical digression may well have served as a thorny obstacle on the otherwise clear and navigable path the author has prepared for the reader. The book does have, however, a more serious failing related to the language issue. The purpose of this book is obviously to serve as an introduction to classical literature for the Anglophone reader with little or no Greek or Latin, but Jenkyns provides no discussion of translations nor any bibliography.

Having been guided so expertly through the history of the first millennium of Western literature, the reader is left to their own devices as to going deeper into the subject.


  • ISBN 10: 0140446516?
  • ISBN 10: 0140446516.
  • Active perception in the history of philosophy : from Plato to modern philosophy.

Jenkyns, in fact, seems reluctant to mention other modern authors or works in the field under discussion. Although his endnotes carefully detail the sources of his quotations from the works of the Classical authors, no post-Classical works are cited in them. In introducing Aristotle he quotes two lengthy and contradictory assessments, neither of which is sourced.

These are the two quotations on pp. Whitehead " and "Aristotle was the greatest intellect of the ancient world, and perhaps of any age.

Aristotle's Theory of Imitation

Homer - The Iliad and The Odyssey 2. Herodotus and Thucydides 4. Virgil Georgics introduces story of Orpheus and Eurydice 9. Epilogue A short meditation on the meaning of "classical" and the heritage of the Greeks and Romans. Mentions Augustines Confessions as first "confessional memoir". Sep 19, Francisco rated it really liked it.

Literature Book Review: Poetics (Penguin Classics) by Aristotle, Malcolm Heath - video dailymotion

A nifty little tour of Ancient Greek and Roman literature, which really should have been the title of the book, it is also necessarily slightly superficial. Still it is interesting enough to keep your interest going and it really picks up as you move away from the more famous Homeric and ancient Greek works and into lesser known authors of the Hellenistic and Roman world. It is then in this later part of the book that you get some surprises, the accepted idea that Romans did little more than imi A nifty little tour of Ancient Greek and Roman literature, which really should have been the title of the book, it is also necessarily slightly superficial.

It's actually more interesting to read about Virgil's Georgics or Juvenal's Satires than the Aeneid, you know that one already. It is in some ways similar to the Oxford Short Introduction on Classics by Mary Beard, but it is more focused on a whistle stop tour of the works and authors themselves and being over twice the size of it is a more exhaustive list of those than the smaller volume. An accessible read and one that's recommended if you have any interest in the subject at all.

This is a sprightly intro for someone new to and a lively, provocative "refresher" for someone more familiar with what is called classical literature. Jenkyns does not simply list and describe: he also judges, and often with brio and flare. I warmed to his evident appreciation of Aeschylus, Lucretius, Horace, Petronius, Tacitus, and Apuleius, and I thought his incorporation of early Christian texts a valuable and bold move.

One feels that Jenkyns is more a reader than a critic, in the sense th This is a sprightly intro for someone new to and a lively, provocative "refresher" for someone more familiar with what is called classical literature.

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One feels that Jenkyns is more a reader than a critic, in the sense that his reactions are humane and vital, never pedantic. He is scholarly but never dare I say academic. Jan 10, William Marler rated it really liked it. This books covers a huge amount of writers in a short volume, and I did find it a little difficult to keep up on occasion. However, I still found it really enjoyable and am sure will appreciate it even more a second time round. Sep 08, Stephen Sharkey rated it it was amazing. Brilliant, lucid, inspiring. Prof Jenkyns taught me in my college days or at least he did his best to teach me and it's wonderful to have his wisdom and insight distilled in this short, beautifully written gem.

I love this series of books - they are designed with an elegant simplicity, beautifully laid out in a lovely typeface with a clarity that makes reading them a pleasure. If you want to sort your Epicurus from your Euripides or your Petronius from your Plutarch, this is the book for you.

Though inevitably in a fairly rapid run through like I love this series of books - they are designed with an elegant simplicity, beautifully laid out in a lovely typeface with a clarity that makes reading them a pleasure. Though inevitably in a fairly rapid run through like this there is a danger of writers, especially the minor ones, merging together, I can't imagine anyone doing a better job than Richard Jenkyns.

I am working my way through these new Pelicans as they come out, even if the subjects don't particularly appeal, because things that I imagined I wasn't that interested in can turn out to be fascinating, and knowledge allows you to make connections. For instance, reading about Xenophon's "Ananbasis" and the soldiers' cry of "The Sea.

The Sea! Indeed, it was the measure by which someone was considered educated or cultured.

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It seems utterly bizarre now. The past really is a foreign country. Speaking of connections: the next book in this series is "Who Governs Britain".


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You cannot pass this course if you miss more than two classes, miss an assignment, or plagiarize. Academic Honesty You must be scrupulously honest in documenting the work that you have drawn from others. Like other institutions, CSUN maintains a strict academic honesty policy. Plagiarism is illegal and dishonest. All cases of academic dishonesty must be reported to the Dean, who may suspend or permanently dismiss you from CSUN.

You will receive a course grade of F if you plagiarize in E Work is due on the date it appears. NOTE: these reflections will continue, one post per week, - words. Classical Literary Criticism "Introduction" Plato. Ion Plato. Republic 2, 3, 10 Aristotle. Poetics Longinus. On the Sublime. Your first short paper assignment asks that you write an analysis of any YouTube clip based on our classical antiquity readings i. Avoid summarizing your YouTube clip and instead illuminate the classical theory by demonstrating how the theory explains the text.

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Draw from our readings and class discussions. The selections from Plato illustrate the poetic philosopher's surprising exclusion of poets from his ideal republic. In his response, Poetics , Aristotle draws on the works of the great Greek playwrights to defend the value of the art. 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. Longinus's On the Sublime explores the nature of inspiration in poetry and prose. This volume is a work of great value and interest to classicists, students, and writers.

In her Introduction, Penelope Murray compares and contrasts the viewpoints of these formidable critics as well as their impact on the Western tradition. This edition also includes a new bibliography and chronology and comprehensive notes to each of the texts. More search options. Try adding this search to your want list. Millions of books are added to our site everyday and when we find one that matches your search, we'll send you an e-mail. Best of all, it's free. Did you know that since , Biblio has used its profits to build 12 public libraries in rural villages of South America?

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