Aristotle, Poetics (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Arist. Poet.].
<<Arist. Poet. 1460a.1 Arist. Poet. 1460a.20 (Greek) >>Arist. Poet. 1460b.1

1460a.20that is, by using a fallacy. When B is true if A is true, or B happens if A happens, people think that if B is true A must be true or happen. But that is false. Consequently if A be untrue but there be something else, B, which is necessarily true or happens if A is true, the proper thing to do is to posit B, for, knowing B to be true, our mind falsely infers that A is true also. This is an example from the Washing. [Note]

What is convincing though impossible should always be preferred to what is possible and unconvincing. Stories should not be made up of inexplicable details; so far as possible there should be nothing inexplicable, or, if there is, it should lie outside the story—as, for instance, Oedipus not knowing how Laius died—and not in the play; for example, in the Electra the news of the Pythian games, [Note] or in the Mysians the man who came from Tegea to Mysia without speaking. [Note] To say that the plot would otherwise have been ruined is ridiculous. One should not in the first instance construct such a plot, and if a poet does write thus, and there seems to be a more reasonable way of treating the incident, then it is positively absurd. Even in the Odyssey the inexplicable elements in the story of his landing [Note] would obviously have been intolerable, had they been written by an inferior poet.



Aristotle, Poetics (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Arist. Poet.].
<<Arist. Poet. 1460a.1 Arist. Poet. 1460a.20 (Greek) >>Arist. Poet. 1460b.1

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