These are the very rough essentials imo. There's more but it all depends on how much you want to read beforehand I guess Old Testament The Iliad Beowulf, Song of Roland, etc. Don Quixote A good chunk of Shakespeare Dostoyevsky Flaubert Stendhal Proust Joyce
>>7583926 Just start reading it. Seriously, one of the reasons it's one of the most approachable texts of literary criticism ever is because Auerbach more or less quotes every section of a text that he's talking about. And the whole point of his argument is that it moves from text to text sequentially and historically. So it's pretty self-executing in terms of how the book works.
A familiarity with works is useful because it allows you to judge the broader import of what he's saying. You'll certainly get more out of it. But IMO absolutely the best way to get into it is to just jump in.
Also I am kind of weirded out but glad to see that this has now gotten a genuine reputation on /lit/, lol
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