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Auerbach’s Augustine: Existential Realism and the Low Style

Jane Newman, visiting professor in the Humanities Council and Old Dominion Fellow, Comparative Literature, UC Irvine

February 12, 2018 · 4:30 pm6:00 pm EST · 205 East Pyne

Department of German

This lecture situates Auerbach in the context of the Christian Existentialism of Marburg during his (pre-Istanbul) time there and then sets his readings of Augustine in conversation with the Augustines of Arendt and Hans Jonas (both influenced by Heidegger’s Augustine, as both Arendt and Jonas of course had also been in Marburg). In the process it will extricate Auerbach out of the critical impasse he has been wedged into between a pre-post colonial Saidianism and a DWM New Critical stance.

The talk also discusses the Catholic New Criticism so prevalent in the U.S. academy at the time, which accounts for the incredible popularity of his Mimesis, deeply informed as it was by Auerbach’s Marburg sojourn, when it was published in English translation in 1953.

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