The Fable of Recognition: A Study of Northrop Frye as a Prophet

Peng Li


Northrop Frye is a famous Canadian literary critic, but his fame enjoyed its peak in the 50s and 60s as a representative of the myth-archetypal school of literary criticism. When deconstruction was on the rise, it faded greatly, and what’s more, sometimes Frye was taken as a notorious obstinate structuralist. In fact, even his fame as an archetypal critic is not based on a genuine grasp of his thought, and he himself declared that he resented being classified into other schools which he did not belong to. This misunderstanding is an outcome of the difference of awareness between him and the logical and reasoning literary critics, with the former taking the free flow of life’s energy, the full function of the vital but unpredictable Holy Spirit as the Truth while the latter holding that truth is a correspondence between mind and the outer world, be it social, psychological or natural. This article is an attempt at a full comprehension of the Spirit, and based on this, a full understanding of Frye and his should-be influence on our literary and actual life. It first tries to elucidate the Spiritual dimension and the life state when it is forgotten or refused, and then it devotes itself to the discovery of this dimension and the entering into the Spirit; which is a major structure of all aspects of Frygian thoughts.

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English Language Teaching       ISSN 1916-4742 (Print)   ISSN  1916-4750 (Online)

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