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414 LEITERS IN CANADA 1997 In subsequent chapters Gooch probingly examines his subjects' attitudes to prayer, love, body, death, and afterlife. His discussion of what he calls 'indirection'- Socrates' elenctic questioning and Jesus' parables- is full of judicious observations. Readers who wish to extend their own reflections on these figures will find many helpful pointers in Gooch's essay. One help they will not find is footnotes, an abstention which the author says was forced upon him by the very 'measurelessness' of the literature dealing with both figures. This now fashionable approach to writing philosophy has its benefits- it lightens the writer's scholarly load. But it makes correspondingly greater demands upon his style. Without them he must labour from cover to cover just to say things well, refusing the help of others who may have said them better. That burden is increased in Gooch's case by his subject- figures whose luminous profundity puts even the best writing in the shade. I found not a single typographical error from cover to cover of this wellproduced book. There are, however, stylistic flaws that more vigilant editors could easily have corrected. A pervasive tone of avuncular condescension mars the book. 'Think a little more about that,' we are told. We are instructed about what to 'take seriously,' what to 'stay with,' what to 'ignore/ where to 'begin,' and when to 'lookback.' Differently irritating are the innumerable prospective and retrospective passages declaring what will be or has been done. A trimmer version of this book would have allowed Gooch's pleasantnarrative style to emerge more effectively and his useful comparisons of Socrates and Jesus to be more fully appreciated. (GRAEME HUNTER) Aristotle's Poetics. Translated and with a Commentary by George Whalley. Edited by John Baxter and Patrick Atherton MeGill-Queen's University Press. xxxvi, 186. $55.oo cloth, $19.95 paper In 1970 and 1973, George Whalley published two essays in the University ofToronto Quarterly, the first 'On Translating Aristotle's Poetics,' the second on 'The Aristotle-Coleridge Axis.' Both essays alluded to Professor Whalley's own translation of the Poetics, which must have been complete by the early 1970s, but for various reasons the work itself did not appear in his lifetime, which ended in 1983. Thanks to Jolm Baxter and Patrick Atherton, Whalley's translation and conunentary have been published, flanked by his two essays on Aristotle, which serve as introduction and epilogue. If the aim of translation is to allow the reader to slip into the author's world as though it were his own, then Whalley's translation would be crudely incompetent. Witness his jarring rendering of the first sentence: HUMANITIES 415 'The poietic [artJ1 in itself and the various kinds of it, and what [particular] effect each kind has, and how plots should be put together if the making2 is to prosper3 and how many elements it has and of what kind; and likewise everything else that belongs in this area of inquiry- let us discuss all this, beginning in the natural way with first things.4 ' Even Whalley's title, 'The Poietic Art,' seems half rmtranslated, insisting with its Hellenism 'poietic' on the Greek noun poiesis in Aristotle's text and the verb poiein from which it is derived. The effect was, of course, thoroughly intentional. The infelicities in the translation prevent us from relaxing into a newer and slicker version of the Aristotle we thought we knew. Instead, they throw us back upon the commentary , which stands always ready to analyse Aristotle's language, the nuances of its words in their grammatical relations and their cultural meanings. Whalley refuses to translate mimesis as 'imitation,' and instead keeps the transliterated Greek because the English noun seems to denote an object of some sort, while Aristotle's word refers to a process, not a product. (The various genres that employ imitation are consistently referred to by the Greek plural, as mimeseis.) A note on 'melody' insists that this term is the correct rendering of harmonia} since in Greek music concord was a matter of horizontal relations between successive tones, rather than vertical relations within a simultaneous chord. With translation and commentary on facing pages the reader...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1712-5278
Print ISSN
0042-0247
Pages
pp. 414-416
Launched on MUSE
2014-07-02
Open Access
No
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