George Whalley: Aristotle’s Poetics (506 words)


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The translation of Aristotle’s Poetics made by George Whalley is distinctly unlike any other in English. As John Baxter explains in his preface to the work, “in several ways [it] declines to be a translation” in order to make Aristotle “strange, to defamiliarize us, to startle us into new perceptions of the vigour of Aristotle’s thought” (Whalley 1997, x, xii). Thinking of his students who had little or no Greek at their command, Whalley produced a translation with an exhaustive commentary that intends to bring Aristotle’s writing close to the style of a spoken voice and turns away from the tradition of using a latinate style that makes Aristotle sound akin to a nineteenth or twentieth century philosopher. The …

Citation: DiSanto, Michael. "Aristotle’s Poetics". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 29 November 2013 [, accessed 03 August 2020.]

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