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Literary Criticism General

Frye and the Word

Religious Contexts in the Writings of Northrop Frye

edited by Jeffery Donaldson & Alan Mendelson

University of Toronto Press
Initial publish date
Jan 2004
General, General, Religious
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Feb 2004
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  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Jan 2004
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The religious context of Northrop Frye's criticism is virtually inexhaustible in its reach and implication. Frye and the Word draws together leading scholars in the fields of literary studies and hermeneutics, religious studies, and philosophy to construe and debate the late thought and writings of Northrop Frye in their spiritual dimension. The volume provides the first full account and evaluation of the legacy of Frye's works on the Bible and literature, in relation to Frye's work as a whole and to current trends in literary criticism and religious studies.

Frye's trilogy, The Great Code, Words with Power, and The Double Vision, both showed him to be a radical Blakean visionary and carried him forward into an urgent engagement with the imaginative and spiritual dimension as expressed in language, myth and metaphor, tools of recognition, and revelation. Frye struggled to understand and articulate how the Bible enjoyed – for reasons still to be fully appreciated in their literary context – an apparently unequalled spiritual and cultural authority, and what this authority could tell us about our primary concerns as human beings and our still unrealized potential for fulfillment. This collection, then, is about Frye's own engagement with words and the Word, with secular and sacred scripture -- about a unifying principle that lies often unrecognized, if everywhere manifest, in the spiritual and imaginative dimensions of language.

About the authors

Jeffery Donaldson is the author of Palilalia, a finalist for the Canadian Authors Association Award for Poetry, Waterglass, and Once out of Nature. He has also the co-editor of Frye and the Word:  Religious Contexts in the Writings of Northrop Frye. Donaldson teaches poetry and American literature at McMaster University. He lives on the Niagara Escarpment near Grimsby, Ontario. 

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Alan Mendelson is a professor of Religious Studies at McMaster University.

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Other titles by Jeffery Donaldson