Educated Imagination and Other Writings on Critical Theory, 1933-1962

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University of Toronto Press, 2006 M01 1 - 553 páginas

In 1933, Northrop Frye was a recent university graduate, beginning to learn his craft as a literary essayist. By 1963, with the publication of The Educated Imagination, he had become an international academic celebrity. In the intervening three decades, Frye wrote widely and prodigiously, but it is in the papers and lectures collected in this installment of the Collected Works of Northrop Frye, that the genesis of a distinguished literary critic can be seen. Here is Frye tracing the first outlines of a literary cosmology that would culminate in The Anatomy of Criticism (1958) and shapeThe Great Code (1982) and Words with Power (1990).

At the same time that Frye garnered such international acclaim, he was also a working university teacher, lecturing in the University of Toronto's English Language and Literature program. In her lively introduction, Germaine Warkentin links Frye's evolution as a critic with his love of music, his passionate concern for his students, and his growing professional ambition. The writings included in this volume show how Frye integrated ideas into the work that would consolidate the fame that Fearful Symmetry (1947) had first established.

 

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Herman Northrop Frye was born in 1912 in Quebec, Canada. His mother educated him at home until the fourth grade. After graduating from the University of Toronto, he studied theology at Emmanuel College for several years and actually worked as a pastor before deciding he preferred the academic life. He eventually obtained his master's degree from Oxford, and taught English at the University of Toronto for more than four decades. Frye's first two books, Fearful Symmetry (1947) and Anatomy of Criticism (1957) set forth the influential literary principles upon which he continued to elaborate in his numerous later works. These include Fables of Identity: Studies in Poetic Mythology, The Well-Tempered Critic, and The Great Code: The Bible and Literature. Frye died in 1991.

Germaine Warkentin is a professor emeritus of the Department of English at Victoria College, University of Toronto.

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