Skip to main content Skip to search Skip to search

Biography & Autobiography Literary

Northrop Frye's Student Essays, 1932-1938

by (author) Northrop Frye

edited by Robert D. Denham

Publisher
University of Toronto Press, Scholarly Publishing Division
Initial publish date
Apr 2014
Category
Literary, Canadian
  • Paperback / softback

    ISBN
    9781442626867
    Publish Date
    Apr 2014
    List Price
    $67.00
  • eBook

    ISBN
    9781442620452
    Publish Date
    May 2014
    List Price
    $63.00

Add it to your shelf

Where to buy it

Description

'Frye was a person of uncommon gifts, and very little that came from his pen is without interest.' So writes Robert Denham in his introduction to this unique collection of twenty-two papers written by Northrop Frye during his student years. Made public only after Frye's death in 1991, all but one of the essays are published here for the first time.

The majority of these papers were written for courses at Emmanuel College, the theology school of Victoria College at the University of Toronto. Essays such as 'The Concept of Sacrifice,' 'The Fertility Cults,' and 'The Jewish Background of the New Testament' reveal the links between Frye's early research in theology and the form and content of his later criticism. It is clear that even as a theology student Frye's first impulse was always that of the cultural critic. The papers on Calvin, Eliot, Chaucer, Wyndham Lewis, and on the forms of prose fiction show Frye as precociously witty, rigorous, and incisive - a gifted writer who clearly found his voice before his last undergraduate year.

David Lodge wrote in the New Statesman: 'There are not many critics whose twenty-year-old book reviews one can read with pleasure and instruction, but Frye is an exception to most rules.' Northrop Frye's student essays provide pleasure and instruction through their comments on the Augustinian view of history, on beauty, truth, and goodness, on literary symbolism and tradition.

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