Northrop Frye's The Secular Scripture was first published in 1976 and was soon recognized as one of his most influential works, reflecting an extensive development of Frye's thoughts about romance as a literary form. This new edition in the Collected Works of Northrop Frye series brings The Secular Scripture together with thirty shorter pieces pertaining to literary theory and criticism from the last fifteen years of Frye's life. Frye's study illuminates the enduring attraction and deep human significance of the romance genre in all its forms. He provides a unique perspective on popular fiction and culture and shows how romance forms have, by their very structural and conventional features, an ability to address both specific social concerns and deep and fundamental human concerns that span time and place. In distinguishing popular from elite culture, Frye insists that they are both ultimately two aspects of the same "human compulsion to create in the face of chaos." The additional late writings reflect Frye's sense at the time that he was working "toward some kind of final statement," which eventually saw the light of day, only months before his death, as Words with Power (1990).
Northrop Frye (1912-1991) was one of the twentieth century's most influential English scholars and literary critics. Northrop Frye was a professor in the Department of English at Victoria University in the University of Toronto from 1939 until his death. His works include Words with Power and Anatomy of Criticism. Joseph Adamson is a professor in the Department of English and the Comparative Literature Program at McMaster University. Jean Wilson is an associate professor in the Department of Modern Languages and Linguistics and the Comparative Literature Program at McMaster University.
Preface Credits and Sources Abbreviations Introduction * The Secular Scripture: A Study of the Structure of Romance * The Word and World of Man * The Context of Romance * Our Lady of Pain: Heroes and Heroines of Romance * The Bottomless Dream: Themes of Descent *Quis Hic Locus? Themes of Ascent * The Recovery of Myth * Romance as Masque * Letter to the Editor of Parabola * The Responsibilities of the Critic * Comment on Peter Hughes's Essay * Literature, History, and Language * On Translation * Extracts from The Practical Imagination: Stories, Poems, Plays * Vision and Cosmos * Literature as a Critique of Pure Reason * Approaching the Lyric * The Survival of Eros in Poetry * The Ouroboros * Literary and Linguistic Scholarship in a Postliterate World * The End of History * Myth as the Matrix of Literature * The Koine of Myth: Myth as a Universally Intelligible Language * The Symbol as a Medium of Exchange * The Expanding World of Metaphor * Extracts from The Harper Handbook to Literature * Letter to the Editor of PMLA * Lacan and the Full Word * Literature and the Visual Arts * The Journey as Metaphor * Framework and Assumption * Maps and Territories * Epilogo * Auguries of Experience * Literary and Mechanical Models * Literature as Therapy * Response to Papers on "Northrop Frye and Eighteenth-Century Literature" Notes Emendations Index