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Northrop Frye's Late Notebooks,1982-1990

Northrop Frye's Late Notebooks,1982-1990

Edited by Robert D. Denham
Volume: 6
Copyright Date: 2000
Pages: 472
  • Book Info
    Northrop Frye's Late Notebooks,1982-1990
    Book Description:

    These are the notebooks that Northrop Frye kept while writing his two final books, "Words with Power" and "The Double Vision", essentially workshops out of which the books were constructed.

    eISBN: 978-1-4426-7787-6
    Subjects: History

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. Abbreviations
    (pp. ix-xiv)
  4. Late Notebooks, 1982–1990

    • Notes 52
      (pp. 419-611)

      [1] 0. Introduction. The question of the authority of literature, which is the same as the question of the social function of literature. Comparison and contrast with science. What I′ve written on faith and hope criticism looks rather funny, but it may belong after all. Anyway, the major principle I′m taking over from GC is: the text is the presence. I just wonder if that isn′t a variant of ″the medium is the message.″ By the way, Stanley Fish seems to have a form of my focus-of-community principle,¹ so I′d better look him up. This introduction should also introduce the...

    • Notes 53
      (pp. 612-664)

      [1] I′ve been asked by Emmanuel College to do a series of three lectures for their alumni reunion in May of 1990. Passing over the question of whether or not it′s an imposition to dump an assignment of that size on me with five months′ notice, I′d like to make it one of my three-lecture books providing a pocket-sized summary of my GC and WP theses, more particularly the latter, in the way that the Masseys¹ were a pocketsized Anatomy.

      [2] The first lecture would deal with the central issue of both books, the fact that in the Bible the...

    • Notes 54.1
      (pp. 665-680)

      [1] Inferno in history is the Tower of Babel, a society of mutually unintelligible egos with a human personality on top, assumed to be divine or next to it. The figure on top has two aspects, the tyrannos and the basileus. The first is the Emperor figure in Rome, deified after death. Future history was always fascinated by the Jesus-Augustus contrast, and Augustus, though accepted as a type of legitimate temporal authority, was actually an Antichrist type, as became clear when the relatively able Augustus was succeeded by all those creeps down to Nero and Domitian, whose deification was described...

    • Notes 54.2
      (pp. 681-690)

      [1] What are the important points about GC to be carried over into the next book, either in summary at the beginning or in the argument itself?

      (a) the ″syllepsis″ business, where the written book invokes a presence outside it which gradually becomes totally identified with the book itself as ″Word of God.″

      (b) the psychological, even the political, question, why belief, in ordinary human affairs, is normally identical with the pathology of belief.

      (c) the association of Christ with total individuality, with the consequent principle that no hierarchical organization can beultimatelycatholic.

      (d) the emphasis on the structural...

    • Notebook 46
      (pp. 691-699)

      [1] Wider mythology behind the Bible:

      A Mesopotamian myth says first man created of earthandthe blood of a slain god. In Scandinavia this isYmir. In many flood stories it′s giants or titans who get drowned: trace of this in Gen 6:1-4.

      [2] The bird-man flying out of the labyrinth: Daedalus & Way land.¹ In the Christ-complex: SE.²

      [3] Sky-god: the visual focus is the sun; audible focus, the sky-god speaking, is the thunder. The thunder god is usually the [Wonan?]-fighter: hammer or double axe. Some myths go sky-god > death god > thunder god (e.g. Tiwes > Woden...

    • Notebook 47
      (pp. 700-705)

      [1]¹ Ⅼ FS V GC

      ˥ AC ⊢ WP

      ⋀ Ess GC ⊥ Ess.

      ⁁ Ess WP 「 Ess.

      ⋀ Shak. ⊥ Can. Lit.

      ⁁ Rscm. 「 Crit. Path


      [2] Similarly, what most historians would consider crackpot or paranoid history may be useful to a romance writer (Tolkien′s appendices form a comprehensive pseudo-history) or a satirist (e.g. Ishmael Reed,Mumbo Jumbo).²

      [3] The remark about Vico may be an overstatement, but surely his main interest is in ideological & more particularly legal adaptations of myth.³

      [4] If I am asked where criticism itself belongs in this survey, I should say...

    • Notebook 48
      (pp. 706-709)

      This briefWords with Powernotebook is in theNFF, 1993, box 1.

      [1] The Bible islate: it took many centuries to adjust to the cyclical rhythm of the seasons and exhaust the mythological possibilities of recurrence before there could be an effective break with it.

      [2] Remember the importance of the Kingu myth: (cf. Ymir, Tiamat, etc.): not the dragon only but a God-Man had to be killed for creation.¹ The Mithraic bull and the Christian lamb adapt this but my point about God condemning himself to death as Word goes a long way.

      [3] The culmination of...

    • Notebook 11h
      (pp. 710-719)

      [1] Obvious link: the hero with divine father & human mother with skyfather & earth-mother.

      [2] We can attend to only one thing at a time: therefore time is sequential, a horizontal line: therefore life in time cuts reality in two, half above & half below it.

      [3] L: Joseph & Daniel represent the ability to come to terms with a non-Jewish ruler as long as he doesn′t claim divine honours.¹

      [4] N.L.: There is a sense in which ritual becomes work again: the sacramental sense (cf. the etymology of ″liturgy″). But that takes us outside the scope of these lectures.²

      Noon in Beowulf...

    • Notes 55.1
      (pp. 720-724)

      [1] For a long time I′ve been preoccupied by the theme of the reality of the spiritual world, including its substantial reality. The glimmer of another series of lectures rises in my mind. Four, perhaps: the New Testament; Dante′s Paradise; Hegel′s Phenomenology; Blake′s Jerusalem (this last a revision of my Harvard lecture, with perhaps some material from the out-of-print Milton one).¹

      [2] Dante first. The Sun cantoes in the Paradise seem to suggest a complementary relationship between the Aristotelian-Thomist more or less orthodox tradition and a mystical neo-Platonic one running through the pseudo-Dionysius, and always suspected of heresy. Dante apparently...

  5. Coda
    (pp. 725-726)

    STATEMENT FOR THE DAY OF MY DEATH: The twentieth century saw an amazing development of scholarship and criticism in the humanities, carried out by people who were more intelligent, better trained, had more languages, had a better sense of proportion, and were infinitely more accurate scholars and competent professional men than I. I had genius. No one else in the field known to me had quite that....

  6. Notes
    (pp. 727-892)
  7. Index
    (pp. 893-949)