Headnote.    I wish to thank Professor Rosamond sprague and A. J. Love for inviting me to participate in the stimulating summer reading of Aristotle's Poetics that eventually led to this essay's writing. This essay will appear in the journal Intertexts in spring 2001. Thanks to its editor, Professor Paul Allen Miller, for his kind efforts to improve it.

1. James William Johnson's excellent article on "Lyric" in The New Princeton Encyclopedia of Poetry and Poetics, for example, opens along these lines (713-15).

2. My understanding of kátharsis as orgasmic release draws on an excellent and original article by Velvet Yates, "A Sexual Model of Catharsis" (35-57). But I diverge from Yates in my attempt to understand "release" metaphorically and in intellectual terms: just as the orgasm affords a shift (in Aristotelian terms) from excess to stability and balance, so the tragic catharsis affords a shift from emotional engagement to rational apprehension, a moment attended by aesthetic delight. My reading also benefits from A. D. Nuttall's elegant and provocative Why Does Tragedy Give Pleasure? which, however, aside from his very pointed arguments against Martha Nussbaum's unusual reading of catharsis in an educational context in her The Fragility of Goodness: Luck and Ethics in Greek Tragedy and Philosophy, pursues a primarily psychological reading of the term catharsis. Also useful is D. W. Lucas's edition with commentary, Appendix II, "Pity, Fear, and Katharsis" (273-290); and Ingram Bywater's commentary on this passage in his superb edition (152-61).

3. See Clifford Geertz, "Blurred Genres: The Refiguration of Social Thought." For the elmination of the "autonomy" of fiction (or "poetry") relative to communication (or "ordinary language"), see Mary Louise Pratt, Toward a Speech Act Theory of Literature. For some of my arguments against cultural studies, see my "Notes Toward a New Formalist Criticism: Reading Literature as a Democratic Exercise. For another articulation of my argument in favor of the distinction between fiction and communication, see my "Literariness, Markedness, and Surprise in Poetry," and "Poetry Plays, Dances, Sings; Poetry Does Not Communicate."

4. Clarence Willis Eastman's edition has useful textual notes to the two poems (154). My impression is that Goethe must have put the two poems together in 1815 because of the similarity of their theme and thus presented them loosely as "companion poems"; and that the use of the title "Wanderers Nachtlied" for the originally untitled poem (called "Ein gleiches" in 1815 and after) is a matter either of a later editor's intervention or even of Adorno's own inference.