Northrop Frye's Student Essays, 1932-1938

By Northrop Frye, edited by Robert D. Denham

© 1997

'Frye was a person of uncommon gifts, and very little that came from his pen is without interest.' So writes Robert Denham in his introduction to this unique collection of twenty-two papers written by Northrop Frye during his student years. Made public only after Frye's death in 1991, all but one of the essays are published here for the first time.

The majority of these papers were written for courses at Emmanuel College, the theology school of Victoria College at the University of Toronto. Essays such as 'The Concept of Sacrifice,' 'The Fertility Cults,' and 'The Jewish Background of the New Testament' reveal the links between Frye's early research in theology and the form and content of his later criticism. It is clear that even as a theology student Frye's first impulse was always that of the cultural critic. The papers on Calvin, Eliot, Chaucer, Wyndham Lewis, and on the forms of prose fiction show Frye as precociously witty, rigorous, and incisive - a gifted writer who clearly found his voice before his last undergraduate year.

David Lodge wrote in the New Statesman: 'There are not many critics whose twenty-year-old book reviews one can read with pleasure and instruction, but Frye is an exception to most rules.' Northrop Frye's student essays provide pleasure and instruction through their comments on the Augustinian view of history, on beauty, truth, and goodness, on literary symbolism and tradition.

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Product Details

  • Series: Collected Works of Northrop Frye
  • World Rights
  • Page Count: 576 pages
  • Dimensions: 6.2in x 1.5in x 9.2in
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  • PUBLISHED APR 2014

    From: $48.75

    Regular Price: $65.00

    ISBN 9781442626867
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Quick Overview

This unique collection of twenty-two papers was written by Northrop Frye during his student years. Made public only after Frye's death in 1991, all but one of the essays are published here for the first time.

Northrop Frye's Student Essays, 1932-1938

By Northrop Frye, edited by Robert D. Denham

© 1997

'Frye was a person of uncommon gifts, and very little that came from his pen is without interest.' So writes Robert Denham in his introduction to this unique collection of twenty-two papers written by Northrop Frye during his student years. Made public only after Frye's death in 1991, all but one of the essays are published here for the first time.

The majority of these papers were written for courses at Emmanuel College, the theology school of Victoria College at the University of Toronto. Essays such as 'The Concept of Sacrifice,' 'The Fertility Cults,' and 'The Jewish Background of the New Testament' reveal the links between Frye's early research in theology and the form and content of his later criticism. It is clear that even as a theology student Frye's first impulse was always that of the cultural critic. The papers on Calvin, Eliot, Chaucer, Wyndham Lewis, and on the forms of prose fiction show Frye as precociously witty, rigorous, and incisive - a gifted writer who clearly found his voice before his last undergraduate year.

David Lodge wrote in the New Statesman: 'There are not many critics whose twenty-year-old book reviews one can read with pleasure and instruction, but Frye is an exception to most rules.' Northrop Frye's student essays provide pleasure and instruction through their comments on the Augustinian view of history, on beauty, truth, and goodness, on literary symbolism and tradition.

Continue Reading Read Less

Product Details

  • Series: Collected Works of Northrop Frye
  • World Rights
  • Page Count: 576 pages
  • Dimensions: 6.2in x 1.5in x 9.2in
  • Author Information

    Northrop Frye (1912-1991) was one of the twentieth century's most influential English scholars and literary critics. Northrop Frye was a professor in the Department of English at Victoria University in the University of Toronto from 1939 until his death. His works include Words with Power and Anatomy of Criticism.



    Robert D. Denham is the John P. Fishwick Professor of English Emeritus at Roanoke College and the editor of eleven volumes of the Collected Works of Northrop Frye.