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Literary Criticism Canadian

The Diaries of Northrop Frye, 1942-1955

by (author) Northrop Frye

edited by Robert D. Denham

Publisher
University of Toronto Press, Scholarly Publishing Division
Initial publish date
Oct 2001
Category
Canadian, Literary
  • Hardback

    ISBN
    9780802035387
    Publish Date
    Oct 2001
    List Price
    $180.00
  • eBook

    ISBN
    9781442681118
    Publish Date
    Oct 2001
    List Price
    $197.00

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Description

With the publication of Fearful Symmetry in 1947, Northrop Frye gained wide renown as a literary theorist, a reputation that continued to build throughout his lifetime. This volume in the Collected Works provides a transcription of the seven books of diaries that Frye kept intermittently from 1942 until 1955. During the period of the final six diaries, 1949 - 1955, Frye was at work on Anatomy of Criticism, and he refers frequently to many of the essays written during this period that became a part of the book that brought him international acclaim.

For Frye, diary-writing was a tool for recording "everything of importance" and this ruled out very little. His entries contain a large measure of self-analysis and self-revelation, and in this respect are confessional -- we see his sanguine humour, dark moods and claustrophobia, along with the more self-congratulatory aspects of his character. But the volume also serves as a chronicle. Peering over Frye's shoulder, we watch him teach his classes, plan his career, record his dreams, register his frank reactions to the hundreds of people who cross his path, eye attractive women, reflect on books, music and movies, ponder religious and political issues, consider his various physical and psychological ailments, practise the piano, visit bookstores, frequent Toronto restaurants, and record scores of additional activities, mundane and otherwise.

The volume is fully annotated and contains a directory that identifies the more than 1200 people who make an appearance. Published here for the first time, these chronicles provide an unprecedented view of the life and times of this now-legendary scholar.

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