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Northrop Frye

Anatomy Of Criticism

Anatomy Of Criticism


ISBN: 9780691202563

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Anatomy of Criticism: Four Essays, published in 1957, is a seminal work by Canadian literary critic Northrop Frye. It's a comprehensive guide to understanding literature through a series of interconnected ideas. Here's a breakdown:

Central Argument:

Frye argues for a systematic approach to literary criticism, moving beyond analyzing individual works and instead focusing on the underlying structures and patterns that shape all literature.

Structure of the Book:

The book is divided into four essays, each tackling a different aspect of literature:

  • Modes: Examines different historical approaches to literature, such as myth, romance, tragedy, and satire.
  • Symbols: Explores recurring symbols and their meanings across various literary works.
  • Myths: Analyzes the role of myths and archetypes (universal narrative patterns) in shaping literature.
  • Genres: Discusses the different forms literature takes, like novels, poems, and dramas.

Why Read Anatomy of Criticism:

  • Grand Framework for Literary Analysis: Provides a framework for understanding the underlying structures and themes that make literature tick.
  • Unlocks Hidden Meanings: Helps you identify recurring symbols and archetypes, enriching your reading experience.
  • Connects the Dots: Shows how different literary works, despite their surface differences, share deeper connections.
  • Challenges Traditional Views: Questions traditional views of literary criticism that focus solely on individual works.
  • Influential and Insightful: A foundational text in literary theory, offering valuable insights for students and scholars of literature alike.
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