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The Diaries of Northrop Frye, 1942-1955

The Diaries of Northrop Frye, 1942-1955

Edited by Robert D. Denham
Volume: 8
Copyright Date: 2001
Pages: 736
  • Book Info
    The Diaries of Northrop Frye, 1942-1955
    Book Description:

    This volume in the Collected Works provides a transcription of the seven books of diaries that Frye kept intermittently from 1942 until 1955.

    eISBN: 978-1-4426-8111-8
    Subjects: Language & Literature

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. Preface
    (pp. ix-xiv)
  4. Abbreviations and Shortened Forms
    (pp. xv-xviii)
  5. Introduction
    (pp. xix-xlviii)

    ″The literary instinct,″ according to Samuel Butler, is demonstrated by those who find themselves ″writing at all odd times,″ just ″as people show the artistic instinct by sketching in season and out of season.″¹ Northrop Frye, paraphrasing Butler, notes that ″incessant recording is the literary habit″ (49.9), and for Frye the habit developed into an addiction. When he wasn′t at his typewriter pounding out the manuscripts for the books, essays, letters, reviews, addresses, and lectures that now fill a large shelf, he was scribbling away in the margins of the books he was reading, recording the Odyssean adventures of his...

  6. Illustrations (sample holograph pages)
    (pp. xlix-2)
  7. 1942 Diary [12 July - 12 November 1942]
    (pp. 3-50)

    [1] A pleasant Sunday discovering how the other half lives: out with Beth & Ruth Jenking to Beth′s boss′s (say that five times quickly) palace in Port Credit.¹ Theatrical Hollywood black bathrooms, Second Empire bedroom, seven acres of dried-out vegetation (can′t get men to manage it), a swimming pool, bar (uninhabited), etc. etc. First time in about four years for Helen & me to go swimming. Two very well-built women— Beth particularly most asymmetrical in a bathing suit. The boss, a mining engineer whose wife got sleeping sickness in Korea, belongs to the Bohemian Club in California (founded about 1880 & originally an...

  8. 1949 Diary [31 December 1948 - 31 May 1949]
    (pp. 51-213)

    [1] In the course of my life I have made several efforts to keep a diary, & in fact have produced some better than average ones, notably one that ran from July 12, 1942 until the opening of term. They have always proved to be sizeable writing jobs, but have been useful in recording the contemporary stage of my imaginative development.

    [2] This year I want to tackle the diary scheme again on a bigger scale, as a means of systematizing my life. I′m not working hard enough, and I feel that a diary would be useful, as my job is...

  9. 1950 Diary [1 January - 7 September 1950]
    (pp. 214-451)

    [1] 1949 was not a very eventful year for me, but it was an exceedingly happy year, except for the deaths of Harold King and Reid MacCallum. 1948-9 was easily my best teaching year to date: this year isn′t coming up to it, except that my graduate course is infinitely better this time. The year (the first part of it) was full of little local personal triumphs: the colloquium, the Social Work talk, the Senior Dinner, the St. Hilda′s evening, the Howard Park sermon.¹ Not much writing. I dictated a draft of L [Liberal]² in the summer, but that was...

  10. 1951 Diary [1 - 13 January 1951]
    (pp. 452-461)

    [1] The second half of the century opened with me drinking some rather oversweet Cointreau with Helen after seeing Vera [Frye] off on the plane. We went to bed soon after midnight. New Years is a dull holiday if one makes one′s festive effort at Christmas, and the news from Korea was bad enough to spoil whatever of that spirit remained. But, if the first half of the century saw the passing of Fascism, the second half may see the passing of Communism. I don′t look for catastrophic war, but for restricted bleeding wars, threats, interdicts, and an attempt on...

  11. 1952 Diary [1 January - 27 April 1952]
    (pp. 462-585)

    [1] 1951 was my year for wandering, relaxing, getting new perspectives, listening to gossip, picking up friends, and generally indulging myself in mildly extroverted pursuits. This year, my fortieth one, will, I hope, be a year of writing. My main ambition is to write a small, incisive book (eight chapters), to be called, for the public,Essay on Poetics. Its private name isA First Essay on Poetics. For a second essay, first attached to and then dropped from the one I′m immediately going to write, is also in my mind. I have also a number of articles to finish,...

  12. 1953 Diary [1-4 March 1953]
    (pp. 586-592)

    [1] Got up and read somewhat aimlessly until it was time to go to London.¹ We took a taxi and the man chattered about hockey games. He′s been a coach in Ottawa and was homesick for it. The train trip was unbelievably dull. The windows were frosted over so we couldn′t even see the bleak wintry landscape. Mary Waugh was on the same train, being interviewed for a teaching job in Woodstock. I gave Helen Henry James′Other Houseto read (I must check Rose Arminger & her red dress & white parasol—no, the other way round),² but I had nothing...

  13. 1955 Diary [1 January - 22 March 1955]
    (pp. 593-618)

    [1] Quiet but pleasant New Year′s Eve party featured Gordon Wood, in excellent spirits & evidently quite recovered, Ella Martin, & of course Vera [Frye] & Dad. Jay Macpherson & Daryl Hine dropped in, & so did Harold Whitley. There was no place for young Hine to stay, as it was not very discreet putting him in the spare room of a girls′ residence, so he stayed with us. Got up early and got Vera & Dad off on the morning train, leaving them in charge of the Passenger Agent. The rest of the dayveryquiet, with a good deal of sleeping. Hine gave me...

  14. Appendix 1: Directory of People Mentioned in the Diaries
    (pp. 619-672)
  15. Appendix 2: Radio Talks and Published Writings of Helen Kemp Frye
    (pp. 673-674)
  16. Notes
    (pp. 675-762)
  17. Index
    (pp. 763-821)