Poetics Review

Despite the title, Poetics should not be thought of as applying exclusively to poetry.  Rather, it is equal parts literary criticism, and one of the world’s earliest “how to write fiction,” books.  Much like Art of Rhetoric, there were pieces that have become outdated, but much has remained surprisingly relevant to modern literature.  All that is required is a bit of translation.

Memorabilia Review

We wrapped up the last of Xenophon's historical works last week; this week we get to move into his Socratic works, the first of which is Memorabilia. Xenophon wrote this piece as a posthumous defense of his mentor and friend, to exculpate him of the crimes of which he was accused, and to generally exhibit his good character. While Plato's Dialogues get the most attention, Socrates had many other students and inspired many others, including Xenophon, to record vignettes and other writings pertaining to him, and I actually find Xenophon's Socratic writings preferable to the more famous Plato's.