Northrop Frye's status as one of the most influential critics and intellectuals of the twentieth century makes it difficult to gauge the personal qualities of the man behind the work. However, an intimate picture is revealed through the correspondence Frye exchanged with his first wife, Helen Kemp, and which he bequeathed to Victoria College at the time of his death. In A Glorious and Terrible Life with You, Margaret Burgess presents the essential narrative at the heart of the correspondence, focusing on the thoughts, feelings, and formative experiences of the two central protagonists as they chronicle both their own intertwined voyages of growth and discovery and the central events of their time. Bringing to life their interactions with families and friends, their educational milieu, and the significant cultural and historical currents of the 1930s, these letters show both Frye and Kemp engaging with and contributing to the unique cultural climate of the period. Rich and compelling, they exemplify the wonderful eloquence and vitality of spirit that is evident throughout all of the correspondence.
A Glorious and Terrible Life with You is a touching and highly revealing account of the relationship between two kindred spirits and remarkable minds. Lavishly illustrated, this new edition includes family photographs and original graphics by both Helen Kemp and her father, S.H.F. Kemp, mostly dating from his own student days at the University of Toronto.