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The Poetics Paperback – January 14, 2011

ISBN-13: 978-1456544522 ISBN-10: 1456544527

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 74 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (January 14, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1456544527
  • ISBN-13: 978-1456544522
  • Product Dimensions: 7.9 x 4.9 x 0.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 0.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,209,774 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Gustav on April 22, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Do not buy the 2011 Witch Books edition of the Poetics (Amazon says the publisher is CreateSpace, but the book itself says Witch Books). Get the Penguin edition instead.

Amazon has oddly put all editions of Aristotle's Poetics under the same set of reviews. As a result, I read reviews for other editions (possibly including the Penguin and Dover editions, but sometimes it is unclear from the review), but purchased the edition published in 2011 by Witch Books. I obviously wasn't paying close enough attention, because I saw reviews for the Penguin edition and assumed this was the Penguin edition. This was the only non-Kindle version of the Poetics that showed up on the entire first page of search results for "Aristotle Poetics." The Penguin edition only shows up if I specifically search "Aristotle Poetics Penguin."

The Witch Books edition of the Poetics is terrible, and I would suggest that you go out of your way to avoid purchasing it. It is an old translation (presumably in the public domain) by S. H. Butcher, who, we are informed quite strangely in an image of the man's New York Times obituary, died in 1911. The image itself, and all images in the book including the cover, is of a very low digital quality (though the obituary is of such especially low quality that I can't even read the text below the headline), as the publisher apparently did not know how to select images of high enough digital resolution to properly print them on paper. We are also treated to an image of a bust of Socrates. Why a bust of Socrates? Well, after all, Socrates is basically Aristotle.

The book has no introduction and, in case you noticed another reviewer mentioning a "wonderful and wonderfully annotated translation," this is not it and there are no footnotes whatsoever.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Oh, what hubris to think I can comment on, let alone critique, Aristotle! So, let me just say this: if you aspire to write plays, and to understand the basic tenets that form the foundation of effective drama, you must read, understand, and absorb this brief work by Aristotle. I recommend you read this book highlighter in hand, because this seminal reference work is full of key concepts you will want to refresh yourself on often until they become second nature.
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If you are a fan of classic texts and want to find out what Aristotle had to say on drama, by all means buy this. HOWEVER, if you're a screenwriter looking to hone your craft, no honest person can say that this is a guide --interesting peripheral reading, perhaps. I bought it based on a quote by Aaron Sorkin. With all due respect to Mr. Sorkin, although it's a lot cooler to quote Aristotle than it is to quote McKee, Turby, Walter or Ejri, it will help you a LOT more to read any of those books.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By H. Shaw on January 16, 2011
Format: Paperback
"The rules are all in a sixty-four-page pamphlet by Aristotle called Poetics. It was written almost three thousand years ago, but I promise you, if something is wrong with what you're writing, you've probably broken one of Aristotle's rules." --Aaron Sorkin, from "The Meaning of Life" Esquire, January 2011
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