The Secular Scripture and Other Writings on Critical Theory, 1976–1991

By Northrop Frye, Joseph Adamson, and Jean Wilson

© 2005

Northrop Frye’s The Secular Scripture was first published in 1976 and was soon recognized as one of his most influential works, reflecting an extensive development of Frye’s thoughts about romance as a literary form. This new edition in the Collected Works of Northrop Frye series brings The Secular Scripture together with thirty shorter pieces pertaining to literary theory and criticism from the last fifteen years of Frye’s life.

Frye’s study illuminates the enduring attraction and deep human significance of the romance genre in all its forms. He provides a unique perspective on popular fiction and culture and shows how romance forms have, by their very structural and conventional features, an ability to address both specific social concerns and deep and fundamental human concerns that span time and place. In distinguishing popular from elite culture, Frye insists that they are both ultimately two aspects of the same “human compulsion to create in the face of chaos.” The additional late writings reflect Frye’s sense at the time that he was working “toward some kind of final statement,” which eventually saw the light of day, only months before his death, as Words with Power (1990).

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Product Details

  • Series: Collected Works of Northrop Frye
  • World Rights
  • Page Count: 625 pages
  • Dimensions: 6.5in x 1.8in x 9.6in
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  • PUBLISHED JUL 2006

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    Regular Price: $138.00

    ISBN 9780802039453
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Quick Overview

his new edition in the Collected Works of Northrop Frye series brings The Secular Scripture together with thirty shorter pieces pertaining to literary theory and criticism from the last fifteen years of Frye’s life.

The Secular Scripture and Other Writings on Critical Theory, 1976–1991

By Northrop Frye, Joseph Adamson, and Jean Wilson

© 2005

Northrop Frye’s The Secular Scripture was first published in 1976 and was soon recognized as one of his most influential works, reflecting an extensive development of Frye’s thoughts about romance as a literary form. This new edition in the Collected Works of Northrop Frye series brings The Secular Scripture together with thirty shorter pieces pertaining to literary theory and criticism from the last fifteen years of Frye’s life.

Frye’s study illuminates the enduring attraction and deep human significance of the romance genre in all its forms. He provides a unique perspective on popular fiction and culture and shows how romance forms have, by their very structural and conventional features, an ability to address both specific social concerns and deep and fundamental human concerns that span time and place. In distinguishing popular from elite culture, Frye insists that they are both ultimately two aspects of the same “human compulsion to create in the face of chaos.” The additional late writings reflect Frye’s sense at the time that he was working “toward some kind of final statement,” which eventually saw the light of day, only months before his death, as Words with Power (1990).

Continue Reading Read Less

Product Details

  • Series: Collected Works of Northrop Frye
  • World Rights
  • Page Count: 625 pages
  • Dimensions: 6.5in x 1.8in x 9.6in
  • 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.



    Joseph Adamson is a professor in the Department of English and the Comparative Literature Program at McMaster University.



    Jean Wilson is an associate professor in the Department of Modern Languages and Linguistics and the Comparative Literature Program at McMaster University.

  • Table of contents

    Preface

    Credits and Sources

    Abbreviations

    Introduction

    1. The Secular Scripture: A Study of the Structure of Romance
      1. The Word and World of Man
      2. The Context of Romance
      3. Our Lady of Pain: Heroes and Heroines of Romance
      4. The Bottomless Dream: Themes of Descent
      5. Quis Hic Locus? Themes of Ascent
      6. The Recovery of Myth
    2. Romance as Masque
    3. Letter to the Editor of Parabola
    4. The Responsibilities of the Critic
    5. Comment on Peter Hughes’s Essay
    6. Literature, History, and Language
    7. On Translation
    8. Extracts from The Practical Imagination: Stories, Poems, Plays
    9. Vision and Cosmos
    10. Literature as a Critique of Pure Reason
    11. Approaching the Lyric
    12. The Survival of Eros in Poetry
    13. The Ouroboros
    14. Literary and Linguistic Scholarship in a Postliterate World
    15. The End of History
    16. Myth as the Matrix of Literature
    17. The Koiné of Myth: Myth as a Universally Intelligible Language
    18. The Symbol as a Medium of Exchange
    19. The Expanding World of Metaphor
    20. Extracts from The Harper Handbook to Literature
    21. Letter to the Editor of PMLA
    22. Lacan and the Full Word
    23. Literature and the Visual Arts
    24. The Journey as Metaphor
    25. Framework and Assumption
    26. Maps and Territories
    27. Epilogo
    28. Auguries of Experience
    29. Literary and Mechanical Models
    30. Literature as Therapy
    31. Response to Papers on “Northrop Frye and Eighteenth-Century Literature”

    Notes

    Emendations

    Index

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