Divisions on a ground essays on canadian culture

Frye said in a moving reminiscence on the occasion of receiving the Royal Bank Award inwhich is printed as the last piece in this collection. Canada is still defined as a tension between a centrifugal and expanding rhythm of development, largely conservative and romantic in attitude, and a centripetal pull towards localized definition, often in the face of physical or psychological obstacles.

Because of its important social function, Frye felt that literary criticism was an essential part of a liberal educationand worked tirelessly to communicate his ideas to a wider audience. The primary facts, in this case, are the works of literature themselves.

Divisions on a ground : essays on Canadian culture

This "declaration of independence" Hart xv is necessarily a measured one for Frye. For Vico, poetic discourse is prior to philosophical discourse; philosophy is in fact derivative of poetry.

Significantly, they revealed "a general tendency on the part of great classics to revert to [primitive formulas]" Anatomy He described this as an attempt at a "synoptic view of the scope, theory, principles, and techniques of literary criticism" Anatomy 3.

He was the first critic to postulate a systematic theory of criticism, "to work out," in his own words, "a unified commentary on the theory of literary criticism" Stubborn Structure Criticism seems to be badly in need of a coordinating principle, a central hypothesis which, like the theory of evolution in biology, will see the phenomena it deals with as parts of a whole Anatomy To do so, claims Frye.

Frye readily acknowledged the debt he owed to Vico in developing his literary theory, describing him as "the first modern thinker to understand that all major verbal structures have descended historically from poetic and mythological ones" Words with Power xii.

Myth therefore provides structure to literature simply because literature as a whole is "displaced mythology" Bates The garrison mentality is the attitude of a member of a community that feels isolated from cultural centres and besieged by a hostile landscape. Vico and Blake[ edit ] Vico, in The New Science, posited a view of language as fundamentally figurative, and introduced into Enlightenment discourse the notion of the role of the imagination in creating meaning.

But the one veers inward, the other pushes outward. Blake thus led Frye to the conviction that the Bible provided Western societies with the mythology which informed all of Western literature.

He coined phrases like "the Garrison Mentality", a theme that summarizes Canadian Literature. Academic and writing career[ edit ] Frye rose to international prominence as a result of his first book, Fearful Symmetrypublished in For coherence requires that the autonomy of criticism, the need to eradicate its conception as "a parasitic form of literary expression.

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Integrity for criticism requires that it too operates within the sphere of the imagination, and not seek an organizing principle in ideology. Cabin has centripetal tendencies, relying on syntax and lexical choice to delineate characters and establish mood. By attaching criticism to an external framework rather than locating the framework for criticism within literature, this kind of critic essentially "substitute[s] a critical attitude for criticism.

Northrop Frye did not have a Ph. Claiming with John Stuart Mill that "the artist. He defines this as the movement of "a scholar with a special interest in geography or economics [to] express. He then studied at Merton College, Oxfordwhere he was a member and Secretary of the Bodley Club [6] before returning to Victoria College, where he spent the remainder of his professional career.

The base of society is mythical and narrative and not ideological and dialectical" Until then, the prophetic poetry of William Blake had long been poorly understood, and considered by some to be delusional ramblings.

Imposing value judgments on literature belongs, according to Frye, "only to the history of taste, and therefore follows the vacillations of fashionable prejudice" Anatomy 9.

Northrop Frye

As a results, Divisions on a Ground marks a new direction in the social criticism of Canadian artistic culture. Mythology and literature thus inhabit and function within the same imaginative world, one that is "governed by conventions, by its own modes, symbols, myths and genres" Hart In so doing, he shaped the discipline of criticism.

In this work, Frye presented the idea of the "garrison mentality" as the attitude from which Canadian literature has been written. For Frye, this kind of coherent, critical integrity involves claiming a body of knowledge for criticism that, while independent of literature, is yet constrained by it: It is therefore fitting that his last book, published posthumously, should be one that he describes as being "something of a shorter and more accessible version of the longer books, The Great Code and Words with Power," which he asks his readers to read sympathetically, not "as proceeding from a judgment seat of final conviction, but from a rest stop on a pilgrimage, however near the pilgrimage may now be to its close" Double Vision Preface.

Such structural principles are certainly conditioned by social and historical factors and do not transcend them, but they retain a continuity of form that points to an identity of the literary organism distinct from all its adaptations to its social environment Words with Power xiii.

Divisions on a Ground: Structural analysis brings rhetoric back to criticism, but we need a new poetics as well. Divisions on a Ground: For the three concerns are extensions of a single-minded devotion to the life of the imagination and to the vision of human community it articulates."Thirteen essays and addresses on Canadian writing, teaching, and society by one of the most influential critical thinkers of the century.".

Divisions on a Ground: Essays on Canadian Culture by Northrop Frye (review) Sean Kane University of Toronto Quarterly, Volume 52, Number 4, Summerpp. Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App.

Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required. Divisions on a Ground: Essays on Canadian Culture is a collection of essays by Canadian literary critic Northrop Frye, edited by James Polk and published in The collection includes lectures, addresses and previously published articles by Frye.

Divisions on a ground: essays on Canadian culture / Northrop Frye ; edited, with a preface, by James Polk. FC F79 Strong and free: Canada and the new sovereignty / Franklyn Griffiths. Frye also aided James Polk in compiling Divisions on a Ground: Essays on Canadian Culture ().

In the posthumous Collected Works of Northrop Frye, his writings on Canada occupy the thick 12th volume.

Divisions on a ground essays on canadian culture
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