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Mimesis

Mimesis is a term used in literary criticism and philosophy that carries a wide range of meanings which include imitatio, nonsensuous similarity, representation, the act of expression, the act of resembling, the presentation of the self. In ancient Greece, mimesis was an idea that governed the creation of works of art, in particular, with correspondence to the physical world understood as a model for beauty and the good. Plato contrasted imitation, with diegesis, or narrative. After Plato, the meaning of mimesis shifted toward a literary function in ancient Greek society, its use has changed and been reinterpreted many times since. One of the best-known modern studies of mimesis, understood as a form of realism in literature, is Erich Auerbach's Mimesis: The Representation of Reality in Western Literature, which opens with a famous comparison between the way the world is represented in Homer's Odyssey and the way it appears in the Bible. From these two seminal texts, the Odyssey being Western and the Bible having been written by a variety of Mid-Eastern writers, Auerbach builds the foundation for a unified theory of representation that spans the entire history of Western literature, including the Modernist novels being written at the time Auerbach began his study.

In art history, "mimesis", "realism" and "naturalism" are used interchangeably, as terms for the accurate "illusionistic", representation of the visual appearance of things. Mimesis has been theorised by thinkers as diverse as Plato, Philip Sidney, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Adam Smith, Gabriel Tarde, Sigmund Freud, Walter Benjamin, Theodor Adorno, Erich Auerbach, Paul Ricœur, Luce Irigaray, Jacques Derrida, René Girard, Nikolas Kompridis, Philippe Lacoue-Labarthe, Michael Taussig, Merlin Donald, Homi Bhabha. Both Plato and Aristotle saw in mimesis the representation of nature, including human nature, as reflected in the dramas of the period. Plato wrote about mimesis in The Republic. In Ion, he states that poetry is inspiration; because the poet is subject to this divine madness, instead of possessing "art" or "knowledge" – techne – of the subject, the poet does not speak truth. As Plato has it, truth is the concern of the philosopher; as culture in those days did not consist in the solitary reading of books, but in the listening to performances, the recitals of orators, or the acting out by classical actors of tragedy, Plato maintained in his critique that theatre was not sufficient in conveying the truth.

He was concerned that actors or orators were thus able to persuade an audience by rhetoric rather than by telling the truth. In Book II of The Republic, Plato describes Socrates' dialogue with his pupils. Socrates warns we should not regard poetry as being capable of attaining the truth and that we who listen to poetry should be on our guard against its seductions, since the poet has no place in our idea of God. In developing this in Book X, Plato told of Socrates' metaphor of the three beds: one bed exists as an idea made by God. So the artist's bed is twice removed from the truth; those who copy only touch on a small part of things as they are, where a bed may appear differently from various points of view, looked at obliquely or directly, or differently again in a mirror. So painters or poets, though they may paint or describe a carpenter, or any other maker of things, know nothing of the carpenter's art, though the better painters or poets they are, the more faithfully their works of art will resemble the reality of the carpenter making a bed, nonetheless the imitators will still not attain the truth.

The poets, beginning with Homer, far from improving and educating humanity, do not possess the knowledge of craftsmen and are mere imitators who copy again and again images of virtue and rhapsodise about them, but never reach the truth in the way the superior philosophers do. Similar to Plato's writings about mimesis, Aristotle defined mimesis as the perfection, imitation of nature. Art is not only imitation but the use of mathematical ideas and symmetry in the search for the perfect, the timeless, contrasting being with becoming. Nature is full of change and cycles, but art can search for what is everlasting and the first causes of natural phenomena. Aristotle wrote about the idea of four causes in nature; the first, the formal cause, is like an immortal idea. The second cause is the material cause; the third cause is the efficient cause, that is, the process and the agent by which the thing is made. The fourth, the final cause, is the purpose and end of a thing, known as telos. Aristotle's Poetics is referred to as the counterpart to this Platonic conception of poetry.

Poetics is his treatise on the subject of mimesis. Aristotle was not against literature as such. Aristotle considered it important that there be a certain distance between the work of art on the one hand and life on the other. Without this distance, tragedy could not give rise to catharsis. However, it is important that the text causes the audience to identify with the characters

Cheviot, Victoria

Cheviot is a locality in Victoria, Australia in the Shire of Murrindindi local government area. The nearest town is Yea; the locality was named after a nearby pastoral run called Cheviot Hills, which in turn was named after the locality on the English-Scottish border. It was called Ross Creek. From 1889 until 1978 there was an active railway station here on the now historic and abandoned Cheviot railway station which took route on the Mansfield-Tallarook line. Cheviot Post Office opened on 9 April 1890 after the arrival of the railway, closed in 1944; the rails have gone but an old goods shed survives, to the northeast the Cheviot Tunnel provides an excellent example of brick workmanship of the nineteenth century. A Ross Creek Post Office opened on 14 October 1865 and closed in 1969

Hendrick van Uylenburgh

Hendrick Gerritszoon van Uylenburgh was an influential Dutch Golden Age art dealer who helped launch the careers of Rembrandt, Govert Flinck, Ferdinand Bol and other painters. Van Uylenburgh came from a Frisian family and emigrated with this family to Kraków when he was a boy, he was trained as a painter and worked as an art buyer for the Polish king. Around 1612 he moved to Danzig and in 1625 returned to the Netherlands, settling in the bustling capital of Amsterdam. Van Uylenburgh took over the business of Cornelis van der Voort and became an art dealer, employing painters in his own studio. In 1631 Rembrandt moved into van Uylenburgh's house to work in Van Uylenburgh's studio. Rembrandt became chief painter of the studio and in 1634 married Van Uylenburgh's first cousin Saskia van Uylenburgh. In 1647 Van Uylenburgh had to move to a new location on Dam square, because Nicolaes Eliaszoon Pickenoy sold the house; when his house on Dam square was appropriated to build a new city hall, Van Uylenburgh relocated to Westermarkt square.

His son Gerrit van Uylenburgh took over the family business after Van Uylenburgh's death and burial in the Westerkerk church in 1661. Gerrit went bankrupt in 1675 following accusations that he had sold forged art to Frederick William, Elector of Brandenburg. In 2006 the Rembrandt House Museum presented an exhibition around Hendrick van Uylenburgh and his son Gerrit; the exhibition was shown at the Dulwich Picture Gallery in London. Telegraph.co.uk: A modern 17th-century art dealer