Northrup Frye on Literary Criticism Book Review

Northrup Frye on Literary Criticism
A review of Northrup Frye's "Anatomy of Criticism".
# 154039 | 1,257 words | 0 sources | 2014 | CA
Published by on Oct 23, 2014 in Literature (German)

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From the Paper:

"This is a review of Northrup Frye's 1957 classic, Anatomy of Criticism, which is still considered, after over half a century, to be a standard text on literary criticism. After introductory remarks, the review provides an overview of the Introduction and the four sections of the book. In the introduction, Frye sets out the basis of his theory of literary criticism, namely, that criticism is a science, and can--and should--be studied systematically following sound objective principles. The rest of the book seeks to lay out these objective principles in detail under four broad areas: (1) history; (2) ethics; (3) archetype; and (4) rhetoric. Frye takes up such topics as the modes of writing, symbolism, myth, and genre. His text is well organized and illustrated with examples from all periods of Western literature, revealing an impressive knowledge of the entire range of the Western canon. However, the book does not include examples from Russian, Polish, or other Slavic literature, even though English translations have long been available to English-speaking readers. This neglect might be seen as a shortcoming of the book, since it implies that the categories that Frye identifies and describes may not apply to literature as a whole, but only to those works that he examines. Thus, it might be said that the title promises more than it delivers. The review concludes with the comment that the book is entertaining and highly readable, the arguments are persuasive (as far as they apply to the Western canon), and Frye provides a fresh way of viewing the literary experience for those not familiar with literary criticism."

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