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An inviting and accessible new translation of Aristotle's complete Poetics--the first and best introduction to the art of writing and understanding stories Aristotle's Poetics is the most important book ever written for writers and readers of stories--whether novels, short fiction, plays, screenplays, or nonfiction. Aristotle was the first to identify the keys to plot, character, audience perception, tragic pleasure, and dozens of other critical points of good storytelling. Despite being written more than 2,000 years ago, the Poetics remains essential reading for anyone who wants to learn how to write a captivating story--or understand how such stories work and achieve their psychological effects. Yet for all its influence, the Poetics is too little read because it comes down to us in a form that is often difficult to follow, and even the best translations are geared more to specialists than to general readers who simply want to grasp Aristotle's profound and practical insights. In How to Tell a Story, Philip Freeman presents the most accessible translation of the Poetics yet produced, making this indispensable book more engaging and useful than ever before.