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Erich Auerbach (1) (1892–1957)

Author of Mimesis: the representation of reality in western literature

For other authors named Erich Auerbach, see the disambiguation page.

24+ Works 3,019 Members 19 Reviews 2 Favorited

About the Author

At the time of his death Erich Auerbach (1892-1957) was Sterling Professor of Romance Philology at Yale University

Works by Erich Auerbach

Introduction to Romance Languages and Literature (1949) — Author — 81 copies
Figura (1993) 17 copies

Associated Works

Don Quixote (1605) — Contributor, some editions — 29,768 copies
The Flowers of Evil (1936) — Foreword, some editions — 7,368 copies
Candide [Norton Critical Edition, 1st ed.] (1966) — Contributor — 150 copies
The Modern Historiography Reader: Western Sources (2008) — Contributor — 36 copies


17th century (474) 19th century (220) adventure (239) Cervantes (368) chivalry (184) classic (978) classic literature (156) classics (1,116) Colección Quijote (122) criticism (102) Don Quixote (318) ebook (146) fiction (2,940) France (149) French (397) French literature (375) French poetry (134) humor (225) Kindle (122) knights (129) literary criticism (337) literary theory (110) literature (1,383) non-fiction (124) novel (739) Novela (156) own (140) poetry (1,718) read (221) Renaissance (120) Roman (101) romance (99) satire (234) Spain (770) Spanish (791) Spanish literature (1,002) to-read (1,525) translated (107) translation (259) unread (216)

Common Knowledge

Canonical name
Auerbach, Erich
Date of death
Burial location
Evergreen Cemetery, New Haven, Connecticut, USA
Germany (birth)
USA (naturalized)
Berlin, German Empire
Place of death
Wallingford, Connecticut, USA
Places of residence
New Haven, Connecticut, USA
Princeton, New Jersey, USA
State College, Pennsylvania, USA
Istanbul, Turkey
Marburg, Hessen, Germany
University of Greifswald (Ph.D|1921|Romance Languages)
University of Heidelberg (Dr. Phil|1913|Law)
Französisches Gymnasium
literature critic
comparative literature professor
Auerbach, Marie (wife)
Auerbach, Clemens (son)
Yale University
Institute for Advanced Study
Pennsylvania State University
Istanbul University
University of Marburg
Prussian State Library (show all 7)
German Army (WWI)
Awards and honors
Iron Cross Second Class
Short biography
Erich Auerbach was born to a Jewish family in Berlin. After serving in the German military in World War I, he earned a doctorate in philology at the University of Greifswald. He was the librarian at the Prussian State Library and in 1929, joined the faculty at the University of Marburg. He published Dante: Poet of the Secular World (1929), which is now considered a classic. He became one of the best-known philology scholars and comparative literature experts. Dismissed from the university by the Nazi regime in 1935, Prof. Auerbach fled to Istanbul, Turkey. There he taught at the Turkish State University and completed his masterwork, Mimesis: The Representation of Reality in Western Literature (1946). He wrote most of it from memory because he had been forced to leave his papers and books y behind in Germany. In 1947, he moved to the USA, taught at Pennsylvania State University, and was a member of the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, NJ. He was appointed Sterling Professor of Romance Philology at Yale University in 1950, a position he held until his death.

Other works included Literary Language and Its Public in Late Latin Antiquity and in the Middle Ages (1958).



Erich Auerbach in Philosophy and Theory (May 2009)


This is a book that I return to again and again for it is relevant to much of my continuing literary explorations. Erudite and well-reasoned criticism that has become a classic, this is one of the central books in my library.
jwhenderson | 13 other reviews | Dec 25, 2022 |
O crítico explica aqui, em primeiro lugar, os fundamentos da filologia moderna. Em seguida, abre caminho para a filologia românica, da qual era um dos nomes mais destacados, e traça um panorama da formação das línguas línguas derivadas do latim vulgar, dentre as quais o nosso português. Para Auerbach, elas constituem a base da literatura europeia desde a Idade Média até o século XIX. Neste livro, o propósito didático não diminui em nada o interesse de suas páginas, cheias de conhecimento e erudição, nas quais já entreveem as linhas interpretativas de Mimesis, sua obra-prima, escrita na mesma época.… (more)
Walber_Brasil | Mar 17, 2022 |
Not my usual practice to review a book seven years after I have read it, but have just looked in some disbelief at the mostly negative reviews here, including one that sees this book, written in 1942, as an example of unfortunate trends in contemporary criticism. I consider this one of the most brilliant and interesting books I have ever read, both in concept and in detail. Writing in scholarly exile in Istanbul with no access to secondary sources Auerbach explores the subject of “reality” by a close reading of a selected passage in a chronological series of works from the Odyssey to To the Lighthouse and Proust. The scope is breathtaking, the insights always engaging even when one is unfamiliar with the work in question, or unable to read the passage in the original. Not to be missed.… (more)
2 vote
booksaplenty1949 | 13 other reviews | Feb 26, 2022 |


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