Download PDF by Matthew Potolsky: Mimesis (The New Critical Idiom)

By Matthew Potolsky

Potolsky's booklet is an *exceedingly* transparent and fascinating creation to mimesis. which will comprehend the relevance of Plato's concept of mimesis for (say) Baudrillard and Deleuze (as good as mimesis in Aristotle, Girard, Freud, and Lacan, etc.) then this can be the booklet for you. hugely prompt.

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We are now more accustomed to understanding character as the key to literary art, but Aristotle ranks plot higher, chiefly because it is only through actions and choices that character is revealed. Action, for Aristotle, is a basic unit of human understanding. But even more crucially, plot epitomizes the rationality of tragic mimesis. Plot is not simply a mimesis of action but of action ordered and structured to achieve certain ends. Unlike the theatrical staging associated with spectacle, which Aristotle sees as irrational, plot is governed by reason.

Each artist, and each artistic genre, emphasizes one human type and the actions appropriate to it. Epic and tragedy present people as better than they are in life, whereas comedy presents them as worse. Aristotle stresses that the moral standing of artistic subjects does not immediately affect the moral standing of the audience. Moral distinctions are markers of poetic genre, and cannot be unproblematically compared to moral distinctions in life. If mimesis can diverge from a strict reproduction of life, then it does far more than mirror the real.

Socrates elucidates this point with the example of a man who has lost a son. Although this man would be grieved by his loss, reason instructs him not to express his emotion in public. He is divided between his emotions and his intellect, between what Socrates characterizes as a childish and irrational desire to indulge in his pain and a mature recognition that he must stoically accept what fate has brought him. Tragedy, however, encourages us to indulge in suffering. It is easier to imitate violent emotion than rational contemplation.

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