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Reference Quotations

The Northrop Frye Quote Book

edited by John Robert Colombo

foreword by Jean O'Grady

by (author) Northrop Frye

Dundurn Press
Initial publish date
Mar 2014
Quotations, General, Canadian
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Mar 2014
    List Price
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Feb 2014
    List Price

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A collection of quotations from Canada’s greatest literary theorist.
"There is no Canadian writer of whom we can say … that their readers can grow up inside their work without ever being aware of a circumference." Northrop Frye came to that conclusion after a detailed study of the imaginative achievements of Canada’s writers from the earliest period to 1965, when that sentence from his study first appeared in print. Over the decades since then, the statement has come to be regarded as a benchmark of individual and national literary achievement.
The Northrop Frye Quote Book is a specialized dictionary of quotations on all subjects that is based on the thoughts and writings of one person. It is the handiwork of a single contributor, albeit the cogitations of a remarkable one. It is also evidence that there is a Canadian writer of whom it may be said that we can grow up inside his work "without ever being aware of a circumference."

John Robert Colombo has written, translated, edited, or compiled over two hundred books, including seven dictionaries of quotations. He is a graduate of the University of Toronto and a Fellow of the Frye Centre at Victoria University.

Jean O’Grady, a graduate of the University of Toronto, served as the associate editor of The Collected Works of Northrop Frye. She is also the author of the biography of Margaret Addison, the first dean of women at Victoria College.



About the authors

John Robert Colombo, who edited and annotated Worlds in Small, is known as the Master Gatherer for his many compilations of the lore and literature of Canada. Colombo has complied, translated, and written over eighty books. He co-translated into English five books of Bulgarian literature, not to mention books of verse originally written in Hungarian, Romanian, Polish, etc. In the field of native studies he has compiled Windigo, Poems of the Inuit, Songs of the Indians, and Songs of the Great Land. Among his large-scale literary anthologies are The Poets of Canada and Colombo’s Book of Canada. He edited Other Canada, the country’s first anthology of science fiction and fantasy, and beginning with Mysterious Canada, he has written or complied six books of Paranormal Canadiana. These books, plus media appearances, have earned him the title "Canada’s Mr. Mystery."

John Robert Colombo's profile page

Jean O'Grady served as the associate editor of The Collected Works of Northrop Frye. She also worked for nine years as a post-doctoral fellow on The Collected Works of John Stuart Mill, and is the author of the biography of Margaret Addison, the first dean of women at Victoria College.

Jean O'Grady's profile page

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

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