Northrop frye essays

Similarly, nothing is more striking in rhetorical criticism than the absence of any consideration of genre: The thing that has established it is the simultaneous development of several different schools of modern criticism, each making a distinctive choice of symbols in its analysis.

The dark one is as a rule passionate, haughty, plain, foreign or Jewish, and in some way associated with the undesirable or with some kind of forbidden fruit like incest. But it is more difficult to use "thought," or even "thought-content," for the representational aspect of pattern, or gross meaning, because "thought" also describes what we are here trying to distinguish it from.

It can trace influence with great plausibility, whether it exists or not, but confronted with a tragedy of Shakespeare and a tragedy of Sophocles, to be compared solely because they are both tragedies, the historical critic has to confine himself to general reflections about the seriousness of life.

Frye identifies these formulas as the "conventional myths and metaphors" which he calls " archetypes " Spiritus Mundi One may discuss the question whether great works of prose deserve to be called poetry in some more extended sense, but the answer can only be a matter of taste in definitions.

In this setting, literature represents the natural cycle of birth, growth, maturity, decline, death, resurrectionrebirth, and the repetition of the cycle.

And it is clear that any poem may be examined, not only as an imitation of nature, but as an [95] imitation of other poems. In the formal phase, poetry exists between the example and the precept.

Symbols so understood may here be called signs, verbal units which, conventionally and arbitrarily, stand for and point to things outside the place where they occur.

Northrop Frye Critical Essays

One direction is outward or centrifugal, in which we keep going outside our reading, from the individual words to the things they mean, or, in practice, to our memory of the conventional association between them. The paradoxical techniques of meta physical poetry are based on a sense of the breakdown of the internal relation of art and nature into an external one.

In the second place, the poem is one of a class of similar forms. Claiming with John Stuart Mill that "the artist. In both cases we deal with symbols, but when we attach an external meaning to a word we have, in addition to the verbal symbol, the thing represented or symbolized by it.

All this was much clearer before the assimilation of literature to private enterprise concealed so many of the facts of criticism. Criticism, Frye explains, is essentially centripetal when it moves inwardly, towards the structure of a text; it is centrifugal when it moves outwardly, away from the text and towards society and the outer world.

We, who have experienced Shakespeare and Racine, can add the corollary that tragedy is something bigger than a phase of Greek drama. But it does indicate a certain unity in the nature that poetry imitates, and in the communicating activity of which poetry forms part. Academic and writing career[ edit ] Frye rose to international prominence as a result of his first book, Fearful Symmetrypublished in The form of a poem, that to which every detail relates, is the same whether it is examined as stationary or as moving through the work from beginning to end, just as a musical composition has the same form when we study the score as it has when we listen to the performance.

Literary meaning may best be described, perhaps, as hypothetical, and a hypothetical or assumed relation to the external world is part of what is usually meant by the word "imaginative. Genuine criticism "progresses toward making the whole of literature intelligible" Anatomy 9 so that its goal is ultimately knowledge and not evaluation.

But literal meaning, we have seen, is variable and ambiguous.

When a critic meets St. The two scales may be often confused or identified, but translating imagery into examples and precepts is a quite distinct process from following images into other poems.

Ritual and dream, therefore, are the narrative and significant content respectively of literature in its archetypal aspect.Striking out at the conception of criticism as mere opinion or ritual gesture, Northrop Frye wrote this work on the assumption that criticism is a structure of thought and knowledge in its own right.

In four essays on historical, ethical, archetypical, and rhetorical criticism, Frye reconceives.

(Herman) Northrop Frye – Canadian critic and editor. Frye has exerted tremendous influence in the field of literary criticism and in the area of. Anatomy of Criticism: Four Essays (Princeton University Press, ) is a book by Canadian literary critic and theorist, Northrop Frye, which attempts to formulate an overall view of the scope, theory, principles, and techniques of literary criticism derived exclusively from literature.

Northrop Frye - The Anatomy Of Criticism the simple is the opposite of the commonplace Full Text / Complete Text On-Line / E-Text.

SECOND ESSAY: Ethical Criticism: Theory of Symbols. Introduction The other matter concerns the use of the word "symbol," which in this essay means any unit of any literary structure that can be.

Northrop Frye

Northrop Frye, in full Herman Northrop Frye, (born July 14,Sherbrooke, Que., Can.—died Jan. 23,Toronto, Ont.), Canadian educator and literary critic who wrote much on Canadian literature and culture and became best known as one of the most important literary theorists of the 20th century.

The Northrop Frye Centre, part of Victoria College at the University of Toronto, was named in his honour, as was the Humanities Stream of the Vic One Program at Victoria College and the Northrop Frye Centre for Comparative .

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