Erich Auerbach and the Crisis of German Philology

The Humanist Tradition in Peril

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Avihu Zakai
359 g
235x155x13 mm

This book analyzes and contextualizes Auerbach¿s life and mind in the wide ideological, philological, and historical context of his time, especially the rise of Aryan philology and its eventual triumph with the Nazi Revolution or the Hitler Revolution in Germany of 1933. It deals specifically with his struggle against the premises of Aryan philology, based on völkisch mysticism and Nazi historiography, which eliminated the Old Testament from German Kultur and Volksgeist in particular, and Western culture and civilization in general. It examines in detail his apologia for, or defense and justification of, Western Judaeo-Christian humanist tradition at its gravest existential moment. It discusses Auerbach¿s ultimate goal, which was to counter the overt racist tendencies and völkish ideology in Germany, or the belief in the Community of Blood and Fate of the German people, which sharply distinguished between Kultur and civilization and glorified völkisch nationalism over European civilization. The volume includes an analysis of the entire twenty chapters of Auerbach¿s most celebrated book: Mimesis: The Representation of Reality in Western Literature, 1946.
Provides a comprehensive intellectual biography of Erich Auerbach
Introduction.- Erich Auerbach: Life, Times, and Works.- Dante and the "Discovery of European Representation of Man".- The Crisis of German Philology: Aryan Philology and the Elimination of the Old Testament.- Two Responses to the German Crisis of Philology: Ernst Robert Curtius and Erich Auerbach.- Exile and Interpretation: The Struggle against Aryan Philology and Nazi Barbarism.- Mimesis - An Apologia for Western Judaeo-Christian Humanist Tradition in an Age of Peril, Tyranny, and Barbarism.- Epilogue: Exile, Interpretation, and Alienation.- Appendix 1: Constructing and Representing Reality: Hegel and the Making of Mimesis.- Appendix 2: Exile and Criticism: Edward Said's Interpretation of Erich Auerbach.- Bibliography.- Author Index.- Subject Index.

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