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The Secular Scripture: A Study of the Structure of Romance

by

The Secular Scripture: A Study of the Structure of Romance Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Northrop Frye's thinking has had a pervasive impact on contemporary interpretations of our literary and cultural heritage. In his Anatomy of Criticism, a landmark in the history of modern critical theory, he demonstrated his genius for mapping out the realm of imaginative creation. In The Secular Scripture he turns again to the task of establishing a broad theoretical framework, bringing to bear his extraordinary command of the whole range of literature from antiquity to the present.

Romance, a mode of literature trafficking in such plot elements as mistaken identity, shipwrecks, magic potions, the rescue of maidens in distress, has tended to be regarded as hardly deserving of serious consideration; critics praise other aspects of the Odyssey, The Faerie Queene, Shakespeare's last plays, and Scott's Waverley novels, for example, while forgiving the authors' indulgence in childishly romantic plots. Frye, however, discerns in the innumerable romantic narratives of the Western tradition an imaginative universe stretching from an idyllic world to a demonic one, and a pattern of action taking the form of a cyclical descent into and ascent out of the demonic realm. Romance as a whole is thus seen as forming an integrated vision of the world, a "secular scripture" whose hero is man, paralleling the sacred scripture whose hero is God.

The clarity of Northrop Frye's perception, the scope and suggestiveness of his conceptualizing, the wit and grace of his style, have won him universal admiration.

Synopsis:

Frye discerns in the innumerable romantic narratives of the Western tradition an imaginative universe stretching from an idyllic world to a demonic one, and a pattern of action taking the form of a cyclical descent into and ascent out of the demonic realm. Romance as a whole is thus seen as forming an integrated vision of the world, a "secular scripture" whose hero is man, paralleling the sacred scripture whose hero is God.

Table of Contents

1. The Word and World of Man

2. The Context of Romance

3. Our Lady of Pain: Heroes and Heroines of Romance

4. The Bottomless Dream: Themes of Descent

5. Quis Hic Locus? Themes of Ascent

6. The Recovery of Myth

Notes

Index

Product Details

ISBN:
9780674796768
Author:
Frye, Northrop
Publisher:
Harvard University Press
Location:
Cambridge, Massachusetts
Subject:
Bibles - Other
Subject:
Bible
Subject:
Versions
Subject:
History, criticism and surveys
Subject:
Semiotics & Theory
Subject:
General Literary Criticism & Collections
Subject:
Theory
Subject:
Literary Criticism : General
Subject:
Literary Criticism-European - General
Copyright:
Series:
The Charles Eliot Norton Lectures
Series Volume:
1996
Publication Date:
19780101
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
200
Dimensions:
8.08x5.51x.66 in. .60 lbs.

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Related Subjects

History and Social Science » American Studies » Popular Culture
Humanities » Literary Criticism » General
Humanities » Literary Criticism » Literary and Cultural Studies
Religion » Comparative Religion » General

The Secular Scripture: A Study of the Structure of Romance New Trade Paper
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Product details 200 pages Harvard University Press - English 9780674796768 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , Frye discerns in the innumerable romantic narratives of the Western tradition an imaginative universe stretching from an idyllic world to a demonic one, and a pattern of action taking the form of a cyclical descent into and ascent out of the demonic realm. Romance as a whole is thus seen as forming an integrated vision of the world, a "secular scripture" whose hero is man, paralleling the sacred scripture whose hero is God.
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