Anatomy of Criticism: Four Essays by Northrop Frye

By Northrop Frye

Amazing out on the notion of feedback as constrained to mere opinion or ritual gesture, Northrop Frye wrote this magisterial paintings continuing at the assumption that feedback is a constitution of concept and data in its personal correct. In 4 extraordinary essays on old, moral, archetypical, and rhetorical feedback, utilising examples of worldwide literature from precedent days to the current, Frye reconceived literary feedback as a complete heritage instead of a linear development via time.
Literature, Frye wrote, is "the position the place our imaginations locate the perfect that they fight to go directly to trust and motion, the place they locate the imaginative and prescient that is the resource of either the respect and the enjoyment of life." And the serious research of literature offers a uncomplicated means "to produce, out of the society we need to reside in, a imaginative and prescient of the society we wish to reside in."
Harold Bloom contributes a desirable and hugely own preface that examines Frye's mode of feedback and suggestion (as against Frye's feedback itself) as being imperative within the sleek literary world.

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The critic is similarly under no obliga tion to values, as the social conditions favorable to the 7 sociological those at which the social production of great art are not necessarily sciences aim. The critic may need to know something of religion, but by theological standards an orthodox religious poem will give a more satisfactory expression of its content than a heretical one: in criticism, and there is nothing to be gained of the two subjects. standards the by confusing Literature has been always recognized to be a marketable product, its producers being the creative writers and its consumers the cultithis makes nonsense POLEMICAL INTRODUCTION vated readers, with the critics at their head.

Notice that while We tragedy may massacre a whole cast, pathos is usually concentrated on a single character, partly because low mimetic is more society strongly individualized. Again, in contrast to high mimetic tragedy, pathos is increased 38 THEORY OF MODES by the inarticulateness of the victim. The death of an animal is usually pathetic, and so is the catastrophe of defective intelligence that is frequent in modern American literature. Wordsworth, who as a low mimetic artist was one of our great masters of pathos, makes his sailor's mother speak in a flat, dumpy, absurdly inadequate style about her efforts to salvage her son's clothes and "other property" or did before bad criticism made him spoil his poem.

The 20 POLEMICAL INTRODUCTION we may latter call tropical criticism, and it is primarily concerned with the contemporary reader. Biographical criticism concerns itself largely with comparative questions of greatness and personal author It regards the poem as the ity. oratory of its creator, and it feels most when it knows of a definite, and preferably heroic, personal behind the poetry. If it cannot find such a personality, it may to project one out of rhetorical ectoplasm, as Carlyle does in on as a "heroic" essay Shakespeare poet.

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