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Literary Criticism Canadian

Northrop Frye on Literature and Society, 1936-89

by (author) Northrop Frye

edited by Robert D. Denham

University of Toronto Press
Initial publish date
May 2002
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    May 2002
    List Price
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Apr 2002
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Drawn from previously unpublished essays, talks, reviews and papers, this volume of Northrop Frye's collected works spans some fifty years of his long writing career. The earliest item is a paper on The Canterbury Tales dating from Frye's student days at Oxford. The latest was written in 1989, on the occasion of his receiving his thirty-sixth honorary degree from the University of Bologna.

The center-piece of the collection is Frye's lengthy and ambitious essay, "Rencontre." Intended as an introduction to a never-published anthology of English literature, it is unique in Frye's oeuvre, being the only example of a sustained, continuous encounter with an entire literary tradition. "Rencontre" is a masterwork in its own right. Other important essays include: "Shakespeare and the Comedy of Humours," "The Literary Meaning of 'Archetype,'" and "Blake's Jerusalem."

Frye was a profound and original thinker whose stature has not yet been fully realized. The writings collected here not only exemplify his extraordinary mind and elegant prose style - they show a far-sightedness and range that has not been seen before.

About the authors

Northrop Frye (1912-1991) was one of Canada's most distinguished men of letters. His first book, Fearful Symmetry, published in 1947, transformed the study of the poet William Blake, and over the next forty years he transformed the study of literature itself. Among his most influential books are Anatomy of Criticism (1957), The Educated Imagination (1963), The Bush Garden (1971), and The Great Code (1982). Northrop Frye on Shakespeare (1986) won the Governor General's Award for Non-Fiction. A professor at the University of Toronto, Frye gained an international reputation for his wide-reaching critical vision. He lectured at universities around the world and received many awards and honours, including thirty-six honorary degrees.

Northrop Frye's profile page

Robert D. Denham is John P. Fishwick Professor of English, Emeritus, at Roanoke College in Salem, Virginia. Before that he was Professor of English and Chair of the department at Emory & Henry College, and in the mid-1980s he served as Director of English Programs and Director of the Association of Departments of English for the Modern Language Association in New York City. Denham received his M.A. in religion and art and his Ph.D. in English (with honors) from the University of Chicago. He has devoted much of his professional life to writing about Northrop Frye and editing his work.

Robert D. Denham's profile page

Other titles by Northrop Frye

Other titles by Robert D. Denham