August 26, 2011

Aristotle’s Poetics — the Great Grand-Pappy of Writing Texts

Filed under: Aristotle's Poetics,Writing,Writing Tools — Tags: , , , , — Brian Triber @ 8:15 pm

Image by Kelson
[Public domain],
via Wikimedia Commons
Aristotle.

Following John Quincy Adams’ Lectures on Rhetoric and Oratory, and Gustav Freytag’s Technique of the Drama, I decided to work backwards to the text on writing that still inspires books on how to write: Aristotle’s Poetics.

While Adams covers primarily speech writing of all sorts, and Freytag covers 17th century German Drama, Aristotle addresses ancient Greek drama in three forms: Epic, Tragic, and Comic (which he gives a precursory nod to, and then summarily dismisses). Keep in mind that as one reads the text, there are several substitutions of terms that need to be kept in mind. First, whenever Aristotle refers to the poet, what he is really referring to is the playwright. Secondly, references to the “climax” should actually be considered to refer to a crisis. There are other odd semantical differences between ancient Greek and modern English dramatic definitions,l, but they are fairly obvious to the reader.

The only other major point behind editing and posting this work is that, while the work and translation are both in the public domain, and widely available, including on sites like Project Gutenberg, none of the available versions have the original Greek in the translated text. THe online texts, instead, contain Greek text spelled out with anglicized letters: for instance “{delta omega rho omicron nu}” instead of “&deta;ωρον”, which is both very distracting and does a disservice to the translation.

So, without further ado, enjoy my edition of Aristotle’s Poetics.

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July 4, 2011

Freytag’s “Technique of the Drama” — Chapter I, Part 2 now available.


Image by Gabor [Public domain],
via Wikimedia Commons
Gustav Freytag.

Chapter I, Part 2 of Gustav Freytag’s Technique of the Drama is now available on the Technique of Drama page.

This section covers the following topics on playwriting and stage drama: What is Dramatic? — Explanation. Effects. Characters. The action. The dramatic life of the characters. Entrance of the dramatic into the life of men. Rareness of dramatic power.

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July 3, 2011

Freytag’s “Technique of the Drama” — Chapter I, Part 1 now available.


Image by Gabor [Public domain],
via Wikimedia Commons
Gustav Freytag.

Chapter I, Part 1 of Gustav Freytag’s Technique of the Drama is now available on the Technique of Drama page.

This section covers the following topics on playwriting and stage drama: How the drama originates in the mind of the poet. Development of the idea. Material and its transformation. The historian and the poet. The range of material. Transformation of the real, according to Aristotle.

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Freytag’s “Technique of the Drama” — Biographical Note & Introduction now available.


Image by Gabor [Public domain],
via Wikimedia Commons
Gustav Freytag.

The Biographical Note and the Introduction to Gustav Freytag’s Technique of the Drama are now available on the Technique of Drama page.

The Biographical Note discusses Freytag’s schooling and works. The Introduction covers the following topics on playwriting and stage drama: Technique of the drama not absolute. Certain craftsman’s skill of earlier times. Condition of present time. Aristotle’s Poetics. Lessing. The great dramatic works as models.

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