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Biography & Autobiography Literary

Northrop Frye's Late Notebooks,1982-1990

by (author) Northrop Frye

edited by Robert D. Denham

Publisher
University of Toronto Press
Initial publish date
Aug 2000
Category
Literary, Canadian, General
  • Hardback

    ISBN
    9780802047526
    Publish Date
    Aug 2000
    List Price
    $117.00
  • Hardback

    ISBN
    9780802047519
    Publish Date
    Aug 2000
    List Price
    $117.00
  • eBook

    ISBN
    9781442677876
    Publish Date
    Jul 2000
    List Price
    $121.00

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Description

An inveterate notebook keeper, Northrop Frye continually jotted down his ideas and thoughts as he worked through the complex schemes of his criticism. Volumes 5 and 6 of the Collected Works are the notebooks that he kept while writing his two final books, "Words with Power" and "The Double Vision". They provide a record of what he was reading and thinking as he struggled with the implications of those projects. In a sense they are the workshops out of which the books were constructed.

While focusing on the works-in-progress, the 3684 entries presented here range over diverse territory, never failing to surprise, delight, and provoke. In these notebooks, for instance, we find comments triggered by a detective story Frye is reading, a lecture he has to prepare, a glance at the books on his shelves, a quotation he remembers, a letter received, or the memory of a trip. In many respects, the notebooks reveal a Frye who is quite different from the critic who made his reputation with "Fearful Symmetry" and "Anatomy of Criticism", displaying aspects of his personality and thought that are not apparent in his books and essays. The notebooks show us the unbuttoned Frye, a complex man capable of both spiritual transcendence and hard-headed pragmatism. Here, for instance, his criticism of Catholicism is far more acerbic than in anything he published. Likewise, his rejection of both Marxist and feminist ideology is far more pointed than elsewhere.

These two volumes include seven of Frye's handwritten notebooks and five collections of his typed notebooks - all previously unpublished. The material is the record of an extraordinary intellectual odyssey, an odyssey that is, at its base, deeply spiritual.

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