Romance was a theme that ran through much of Northrop Frye's corpus, and his notebooks and typed notes on the subject are plentiful. This unpublished material, written between 1944 and 1989, traces a remarkable re-evaluation in his thinking over the course of time. As a young scholar, Frye insisted that romance was an expression of cultural decadence; however, in his later years, he thought of it as "the structural core of all fiction."
The unpublished material Michael Dolzani has gathered forNorthrop Frye's Notebooks on Romanceshows how the pattern and conventions of romance inform the writing of history, anthropology, psychology, philosophy, and theology. While Frye is best known for his writing on myth and biblical scholarship, he himself eventually conceived of romance as the true and equal contrary to myth and scripture, a "secular scripture" whose message isde te fabula, "this story is about you." Given the current popular revival of romance in fiction and film, the appearance of Frye's unpublished work on romance is of profound importance.