Northrop Frye Four Essays

Striking out at the conception of criticism as restricted to mere opinion or ritual gesture, Northrop Frye wrote this magisterial work proceeding on the assumption that criticism is a structure of thought and knowledge in its own right.

Employing examples of world literature from ancient times to the present, he provides a conceptual framework for the examination of litera Striking out at the conception of criticism as restricted to mere opinion or ritual gesture, Northrop Frye wrote this magisterial work proceeding on the assumption that criticism is a structure of thought and knowledge in its own right.

The more he explained—backed by an encyclopedic array of allusions from the Bible as well as every period of literature imaginable—the smaller I felt.…In a (very) old movie called The Incredible Shrinking Man, the main character—as could be anticipated—becomes progressively smaller.

During an early scene—he’s on his second date with a beautiful woman—she wounds him by remarking, brilliantly, “Didn’t you used to be taller?

I…I vividly remember my reaction, when as an undergraduate, I read Northrop Frye’s Anatomy of Criticism as a required text in a course I was taking.

Northrop Frye Four Essays

I recall feeling engulfed as Frye trotted out one network of schematization after another: modes, symbols, myths, genres, accompanied by an endless march of terminology: high mimetic, low mimetic, phases, mythoi, alazons, sparagmos, anagogical, pharmakos, agon, eiron, etc., etc.

” [The film, now that I think about it, may be the ultimate male nightmare.:] This poor guy has one disaster after another until he is being chased around a basement by a cat whose size is now monstrous compared to him.

In the final scene, he has somehow crawled onto a window sill and stands in front of the screen looming before him.

It might take a while to get through and it might require you to convert a lot of Frye's work into shorter notes an Except for the comically inadequate introduction by Harold Bloom, this book is a window to a whole new way of seeing the literary universe.

It might take a while to get through and it might require you to convert a lot of Frye's work into shorter notes and diagrammatic notations, just to keep up with the density of the text, but at the end of it you will be exposed to an almost cosmic vision of Literature, comparable to that at the end of Paradiso.

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