Originally published in 1971,The Bush Garden features Northrop Frye’s timeless essays on Canadian literature and painting, and an introduction by bestselling author Lisa Moore.
In this cogent collection of essays written between 1943 and 1969, formidable literary critic and theorist Northrop Frye explores the Canadian imagination through the lens of the country’s artistic output: prose, poetry, and paintings. Frye offers insightful commentary on the works that shaped a “Canadian sensibility,” and includes a comprehensive survey of the landscape of Canadian poetry throughout the 1950s, including astute criticism of the work of E. J. Pratt, Robert Service, Irving Layton, and many others.
Written with clarity and precision,The Bush Garden is a significant cache of literary criticism that traces a pivotal moment in the country’s cultural history and the evolution of Frye’s thinking at various stages of his career. These essays are evidence of Frye’s brilliance, and cemented his reputation as Canada’s — and the world’s — foremost literary critic.
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.
Lisa Moore is the acclaimed author of the novels Caught, February, and Alligator. Caught was a finalist for the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize and the Scotiabank Giller Prize and is now a major CBC television series starring Allan Hawco. February won CBC’s Canada Reads competition, was longlisted for the Man Booker Prize, and was named a New Yorker Best Book of the Year and a Globe and Mail Top 100 Book. Alligator was a finalist for the Scotia Bank Giller Prize, won the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize (Canada and the Caribbean region), and was a national bestseller. Her story collection Open was a finalist for the Scotia Bank Giller Prize and a national bestseller. Her most recent work is a collection of short stories called Something for Everyone. Lisa lives in St. John’s, Newfoundland.
Excerpt: The Bush Garden: Essays on the Canadian Imagination (by (author) Northrop Frye; introduction by Lisa Moore)
The question of Canadian identity, so far as it affects the creative imagination, is not a “Canadian” question at all, but a regional question. An environment turned outward towards the sea, like so much of Newfoundland, and one turned towards inland seas, like so much of the Maritimes, are an imaginative contrast: anyone who has been conditioned by one in his early years can hardly be conditioned by the other in the same way. Anyone brought up on the urban plain of Southern Ontario or the gentle pays farmland along the south shore of the St. Lawrence may become fascinated by the great sprawling wilderness of Northern Ontario or Ungava, may move their and live with its people and become accepted as one of them, but if he paints or writes about it he will paint or write as an imaginative foreigner. And what can there be in common between an imagination nurtured on the prairies, where it is a centre of consciousness diffusing itself over a vast flat expanse stretching to a remote horizon, and one nurtured in British Columbia, where it is in the midst of gigantic trees and mountains leaping into the sky all around it, and obliterating the horizon everywhere?
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
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
Northrop Frye's Student Essays, 1932-1938
The Northrop Frye Quote Book
Other titles by Lisa Moore
How a Mega Dam Became a Predatory Formation
The Democracy Cookbook
Recipes to Renew Governance in Newfoundland and Labrador
Something for Everyone
These Festive Nights
Writers on Writing in Canada
Caught (TV tie-in edition)
New Writing Made in Newfoundland
Brick Books Classics 5