Well, actually, Aristotle...
June 29, 2016 6:45 AM   Subscribe

Has anyone ever argued, more or less, that Aristotle's famous theory of tragedy in Poetics is severely flawed? That he totally or largely failed to understand the tragic poetry of his own culture?

I'm particularly curious to know if any ancient writers attacked it.

I am having a hard time finding anything but respectful nods to the text's canonicity, and my searches for "criticism of Aristotle's Poetics" seem useless, because the book's title appears on so many pages with the phrase "literary criticism".
posted by thelonius to Writing & Language (3 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
I would search for "reception" instead of "criticism."

I'm at work right now, but this dissertation from 1995 may be a fun place to start: http://philpapers.org/rec/KYRAPI.
posted by schroedingersgirl at 7:32 AM on June 29, 2016 [1 favorite]

Nietzsche's Birth of Tragedy is pretty much this.

I know you're interested in ancient authors, which he isn't, but your basic question ask if "anyone ever argued", so I'm putting it out there.
posted by paper chromatographologist at 7:50 AM on June 29, 2016 [4 favorites]

This blogger says the first philosopher to disagree with Aristotle's Poetics was the Stoic philosopher and tragedian, Seneca, who lived 400 years after Aristotle, but it's just a glancing mention.

Critic Gregory A. Staley discusses how Seneca's work fits - or doesn't - into the Aristotelian framework.

Here's a fascinating take on the relevance of Aristotle's Poetics to screenwriting analysis.
posted by cartoonella at 8:30 AM on June 29, 2016 [2 favorites]

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