The Poetics of Aristotle: Its Meaning and Influence

Cooper, L. The Poetics of Aristotle. Its Meaning and Influence. Boston, 1923.


“The Poetics  of Aristotle is brief, at 1st sight hard and dry, and yet one of the most illuminating and influential books ever produced by the sober human mind. After 22 centuries it remains the most stimulating and helpful of all analytical works dealing with poetry—and poetry is the most vital and lasting achievements of man. This pregnant treatise, dating from sometime before the year 323 BC, is indeed short and condensed. Castelvetro’s famous ‘exposition’  of its fills 768 pages, and runs to something like 384,000 words. The Poetics  itself contains perhaps 10,000 words. In the great Berlin edition of Aristotle it takes up only 30 columns of prints, or 15 pages;  in the last notable edition of the Poetics,  that of Bywater,  the text occupies 45 pages out of 431. The poetics makes about a hundredth part of the extant works of Aristotle.”

Hathi Trust Digital Library (Free Online Version)