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Northrop Frye (1912 - 1991)

Related: American literature - literary theory

Anatomy of Criticism: Four Essays. (1957) - Northrop Frye [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]


Herman Northrop Frye (July 14, 1912 January 23, 1991) was a Canadian literary critic, one of the most distinguished of the 20th century. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Northrop_Frye [May 2005]

Genre theory

In The Anatomy of Criticism the formalist literary theorist Northrop Frye (1957) presented certain universal genres and modes as the key to organizing the entire literary corpus. --http://www.aber.ac.uk/media/Documents/intgenre/intgenre1.html [Jun 2006]

Anatomy of Criticism: Four Essays (1957) - Northrop Frye

Product Description:
Striking out at the conception of criticism as restricted to mere opinion or ritual gesture, Northrop Frye wrote this magisterial work proceeding on the assumption that criticism is a structure of thought and knowledge in its own right. In four brilliant essays on historical, ethical, archetypical, and rhetorical criticism, employing examples of world literature from ancient times to the present, Frye reconceived literary criticism as a total history rather than a linear progression through time.

Literature, Frye wrote, is "the place where our imaginations find the ideal that they try to pass on to belief and action, where they find the vision which is the source of both the dignity and the joy of life." And the critical study of literature provides a basic way "to produce, out of the society we have to live in, a vision of the society we want to live in."

Harold Bloom contributes a fascinating and highly personal preface that examines Frye's mode of criticism and thought (as opposed to Frye's criticism itself) as being indispensable in the modern literary world. --via Amazon.com

Anatomy of Critism is a book by Northrop Frye.
It lays out Frye's theory on comedy. He presents names for common comic steorotypes. He lays out his Green World Theory. His theory deal mostly with classical drama, and some philosophers say his character types have no bearing on modern times.

Yet, we see them everyday. Modern sitcoms are full of Frye's 'alazon' the braggart. Even as young children we are presented with the quintessential example of Frye theory, cartoons. A lot of Frye's theory can revel the strong roots of comic running through Western Civilization. Also read Bergson's Laughter; their theories work well together. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anatomy_of_Criticism [Mar 2005]

Ten years later he expanded his vision, arguing in Anatomy of Criticism that there are certain archetypes and symbols used throughout literature. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Northrop_Frye [Mar 2005]

Northrop Frye in his Anatomy of Criticism deals extensively with what he calls myths of Spring, Summer, Fall, and Winter. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Narrative_structure [Mar 2005]

see also: criticism - literature - literary criticism - lit crit - Harold Bloom - narrative

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