Northrop frye

Frye went to Toronto to compete in a national typing contest in After a brief stint as a student minister in Saskatchewanhe was ordained to the ministry of the United Church of Canada.

Northrop frye

Frye's enormous influence derived from his insistence that literary criticism is a symbolically co-ordinated discipline that outlines the shape of the human imagination itself photo by Andrew Danson.

A professor of English at Victoria College at the University of Toronto sinceFrye achieved international recognition for his literary theories, expounded in his study of William Blake's prophecies, Fearful Symmetryhis grammar of mythic form, Anatomy of Criticismand his 2-volume study of how the Bible provided the symbolic underpinnings of Western literature, The Great Code These works, particularly Anatomy, made Frye one of this century's leading literary theorists and resulted in his receiving honorary degrees from many of the major universities in the Western world. Surname Tool Database Link List

Raised in Moncton, Frye first came to Toronto to compete in a national typing contest in He enrolled at Victoria College and, except for 2 years of study at Merton College in Oxford, he remained associated with the college throughout his life, becoming chancellor in While a graduate student, Frye decided to write a definitive study of Blake's prophetic poems, then considered incoherent, even aberrant.

In Fearful Symmetry, Frye showed that Blake deliberately used a regular pattern of symbolism which reflected Milton and ultimately on the Bible. In Anatomy of Criticism, Frye expanded this idea by outlining a verbal universe of repeated archetypes and symbolism and rhetoric that binds all literature together.

This universe is divided between desired and abhorred visions, the former expressed by comedy and romance, the latter by tragedy and irony. Blighted Winter Frye's evangelical Methodist background influenced his view that there is in human culture an inherent impulse towards affirming the sunnier vision and implementing it in the world.

Northrop frye

Ironically his own view of Canadian literature was notoriously sunk in gloom. Frye contended that like the poetry of his own mentor, E. Prattit is the product of a "garrison mentality" of beleaguered settlers who huddled against the glowering, all-consuming nothingness of the wilderness. Its birth lay in a blighted winter, rather than vibrant spring.

Despite his insistence on the ultimate visionary process of literary studies, Frye has demanded the kind of discipline in study he experienced himself in music, which has an intensely integrated theory. He teaches that literature is not a grab bag of thousands of individual works but an integrated universe of recognizable forms.

He always saw a close association of disciplined recognition of form with major literary talent, such as that of his own preferred subjects, Spenser, Shakespeare, Milton, Blake, Yeats and Eliot.


He spurned a predominantly evaluative approach in criticizing literature because evaluation tends to say more about the critic than the work studied. This led him into endless international controversy, which has obscured his fundamental purpose in trying to establish an objective and universally accepted terminology for literature studies.

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Mythic Trend Frye's impact was strongest in the mids, when a new generation of American scholars, notably Harold Bloom and Geoffrey Hartman, were influenced by the ideas of Anatomy. They were attracted by Frye's insistence that literary criticism was not a poor cousin of philosophypsychologylinguistics or aesthetics but a symbolically co-ordinated discipline which outlines the shape of the human imagination itself.

As such, it has its own authority, which can be useful in the study of other arts and social sciences. While Frye believed his ideas could also help creative writers focus their work, the notion was often abused in the Canadian writing community.

The prestige of Frye's thinking nevertheless reinforced a significant mythic trend in Canadian poetry in the s and s, particularly in the work of such former students as Jay Macpherson, James Reaney and Margaret Atwood.

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Frye's own work, which is quite theoretical, is best approached through his lectures in The Educated Imagination Northrop Frye was the quiet critic in the corner, away from the crowd, holding tight to powerful ideas that would change the way people thought about literature.

Never one to brag or command attention, Frye spent his entire professional life teaching at the University of Toronto, where he proposed the idea that all books are based on timeless myths.

TweetSumo TweetThe Great Code: The Bible and Literature by Northrop Frye Harvest Books, (original printing, ) pages (hardcover) Available at: Powell’s Books Studying the genius of Northrop Frye’s work is its own industry.

The now deceased professor () from Victoria College has influenced generations of scholars and The Great Code: The Bible [ ]. History, politics, arts, science & more: the Canadian Encyclopedia is your reference on Canada. Articles, timelines & resources for teachers, students & public.

Herman Northrop Frye CC FRSC (July 14, – January 23, ) was a Canadian literary critic and literary theorist, considered one of the most influential of the 20th century.. Frye gained international fame with his first book, Fearful Symmetry (), which led to the reinterpretation of the poetry of William lasting reputation rests principally on the theory of literary.

Northrop Frye: Northrop Frye, Canadian educator and literary critic who wrote much on Canadian literature and culture and became best known as one of the most important literary theorists of the 20th century. Frye was educated at the University of Toronto, .

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