(Roughly) Daily

Special Edition: Out of the Frye-ing pan…

Today would be Northrop Frye‘s 100th birthday.  His first book,  Fearful Symmetry (1947), led the resurgence of interest in the poetry of William Blake; his  Anatomy of Criticism (1957)– the first postulation of a systematic theory of literary criticism– is considered a foundational work of Twentieth Century scholarship… and they’re simply representative of his 35 other books, half-dozen edited collections, and numerous chapters and articles.

Reading Frye, like reading Erich Auerbach, is to be reminded, as Richard Handler put it, “how amazingly unschooled and unread most of us are and continue to be. And how much we’ve forgotten of our own inheritance from Western culture, the Bible itself, the common code for a civilization, being the prime example.”  Indeed, that most stringent of judges, Harold Bloom, considered Frye “the foremost living student of Western literature.”  Frye died in 1991.

Written by LW

July 14, 2012 at 1:01 pm

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 964 other followers

%d bloggers like this: