Frases de Erich Auerbach

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Erich Auerbach

Data de nascimento: 9. Novembro 1892
Data de falecimento: 13. Outubro 1957

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Erich Auerbach foi um filólogo alemão e estudioso de literatura comparada assim como crítico de literatura. Seu trabalho mais conhecido é Mimesis, uma história da representação na literatura ocidental dos tempos antigos até os modernos.

Auerbach, que era judeu, foi estudante da tradição filólogica alemã e se tornaria eventualmente, junto com Leo Spitzer, um dos seus maiores representantes. Depois de participar de combates na Primeira Guerra Mundial, conseguiu seu doutorado em 1921 e se tornou membro da Faculdade de Filologia na Universidade de Marburg, publicando seu aclamado estudo chamado Dante: Poeta do Mundo Secular. Com a ascensão do Nacional Socialismo, entretanto, Auerbach foi forçado a abandonar essa posição em 1935. Exilado da Alemanha, ele residiu em Istambul, Turquia, onde escreveu Mimesis: A Representação da Realidade na Literatura Ocidental , considerado sua obra-prima.

Ele posteriormente mudou-se para os Estados Unidos em 1947, ensinando na Universidade Estadual da Pennsylvania e então trabalhando no Instituto de Estudos Avançados; finalmente investiu-se como Professor de Filologia Românica na Universidade de Yale em 1950, uma posição que manteve até sua morte em 1957. Enquanto esteve lá, foi orientador de doutorado de Fredric Jameson.

Citações Erich Auerbach

„The concept of God held by the Jews is less a cause than a symptom of their manner of comprehending and representing things“

— Erich Auerbach
Context: The genius of the Homeric style becomes even more apparent when it is compared with an equally ancient and equally epic style … God, in order to speak to Abraham, must come from somewhere, must enter the earthly realm from some unknown heights or depths. Whence does he come, whence does he call to Abraham? We are not told. He does not come, like Zeus or Poseidon, from the Aethiopians, where he has been enjoying a sacrificial feast. Nor are we told anything of his reasons for tempting Abraham so terribly. He has not, like Zeus, discussed them in set speeches with other gods gathered in council; nor have the deliberations in his own heart been presented to us; unexpected and mysterious, he enters the scene from some unknown height or depth and calls: Abraham! 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. True enough—but this constitutes no objection. For how is the Jewish concept of God to be explained? Even their earlier God of the desert was not fixed in form and content, and was alone; his lack of form, his lack of local habitation, his singleness, was in the end not only maintained but developed even further in competition with the comparatively far more manifest gods of the surrounding Near Eastern world. The concept of God held by the Jews is less a cause than a symptom of their manner of comprehending and representing things. p. 7

„The excursus upon the origin of Odysseus’ scar is not basically different from the many passages in which a newly introduced character, or even a newly appearing object or implement, though it be in the thick of a battle, is described as to its nature and origin; or in which, upon the appearance of a god, we are told where he last was, what he was doing there, and by what road he reached the scene; indeed, even the Homeric epithets seem to me in the final analysis to be traceable to the same need for an externalization of phenomena in terms perceptible to the senses. Here is the scar, which comes up in the course of the narrative; and Homer’s feeling simply will not permit him to see it appear out of the darkness of an unilluminated past; it must be set in full light, and with it a portion of the hero’s boyhood. … To be sure, the aesthetic effect thus produced was soon noticed and thereafter consciously sought; but the more original cause must have lain in the basic impulse of the Homeric style: to represent phenomena in a fully externalized form, visible and palpable in all their parts, and completely fixed in their spatial and temporal relations. Nor do psychological processes receive any other treatment: here too nothing must remain hidden and unexpressed. With the utmost fullness, with an orderliness which even passion does not disturb, Homer’s personages vent their inmost hearts in speech; what they do not say to others, they speak in their own minds, so that the reader is informed of it. Much that is terrible takes place in the Homeric poems, but it seldom takes place wordlessly: Polyphemus talks to Odysseus; Odysseus talks to the suitors when he begins to kill them; Hector and Achilles talk at length, before battle and after; and no speech is so filled with anger or scorn that the particles which express logical and grammatical connections are lacking or out of place.“

— Erich Auerbach
p. 5

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