This collection of a dozen major essays is vintage Frye - the fine distillation of a lifetime of originative thinking about literature and its context. The essays in Spiritus Mundi are arranged in three groups of four essays each.
The first are about the "contexts of literature", the second are about the "mythological universe", and the last are studies of four of the great visionary or myth-making poets who have been enduring sources of interest for Frye: Milton, Blake, Yeats, and Wallace Stevens.
About the author
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.
A virtuoso performance in the 'variation form'." - English Language Notes
"Northrop Frye never ceases to remind us that he is one of the most civilized and delightful Scholar-teachers publishing today...[Spiritus Mundi]...an essential purchase for the literary scholar." - Book Forum
"Frye's rare qualities - ease and grace of expression, an inclusive rather than an exclusive view of literature...make all his work worth reading, but general readers may find short essays such as these most accessible and illuminating." - Library Journal
Other titles by Northrop Frye
The Educated Imagination
The Return of Eden
Five Essays on Milton's Epics
The Valley of Vision
Blake as Prophet and Revolutionary
Design for Learning
Reports Submitted to the Joint Committee of the Toronto Board of Education and the University of Toronto
University of Toronto Installation Lectures, 1958
The Bush Garden
Essays on the Canadian Imagination
Northrop Frye's Uncollected Prose
The Secular Scripture and Other Writings on Critical Theory, 1976–1991
Modern Classics: The Great Code
The Bible and Literature