"What is poetry, how many kinds of it are there, and what are their specific effects?"
Aristotle's Poetics is the most influential book on poetry ever written. A founding text of European aesthetics and literary criticism, it has shaped much of our modern understanding of the creation and impact of imaginative writing, including poetry, drama, and fiction. This brief volume brims with Aristotle's timeless insights into such topics as the nature of tragedy and plot—a veritable gold mine for writers and anyone with a serious interest in literature.
Moreover, this volume boasts a marvelous new translation by our greatest living historian of philosophy, Anthony Kenny, who also provides an illuminating introduction to this classic work. Kenny sheds light on the philosophical underpinnings of Aristotle's literary criticism and he illuminates the ideas about poetry, drama, and tragedy that have influenced writers and dramatists ever since. Kenny also includes excerpts from key responses to Aristotle, ranging from Sir Philip Sidney's Apology for Poetry and Shelley's Defense of Poetry, to Dorothy L. Sayers' Aristotle on Detective Fiction.
As with all of the excellent Oxford World's Classics series, the book also features helpful notes, a glossary of key terms, an index, a useful bibliography, and a chronology of Aristotle's life.