Giovanna Cordibella

Auerbach reader of Huizinga. The Handwritten Notes on The Autumn of the Middle Ages and the genesis of Mimesis, X

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The first translation of "The Autumn of the Middle Ages" was published in Germany in 1924. Erich Auerbach has been a reader of Johann Huizinga's "Meisterwerk" - the German "Herbst" is a book which could be found in his libraries even during his exile in Turkey. This paper analyzes firstly the productive und mutual interactions between Auerbach's and Huizinga's works in the Thirties. Secondly, the focus is placed upon the role which the process of reading and reflecting Huizinga's "Autumn" played in the genesis of "Mimesis", specifically of chapter X. The study involves a review of the handwritten notes which Auerbach took during the systematic reading of Huizinga's work and which were found in his personal copy of the "Herbst". Thus, the paper is an important contribution to the study of the genesis of Auerbach's concept of «creatural realism».


  • Erich Auerbach
  • Johann Huizinga
  • Mimesis
  • Handwritten Notes
  • Creatural Realism


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