I have been browsing in a recently acquired copy of Bob Denham’s new collection, Northrop Frye: Selected Letters, 1934-1991. These build up a picture of Frye largely in the role of professional academic. It is a wonderful book, and the range of correspondents and subjects is remarkable. For example, Frye writes to Martin Amis in 1971 about the latter’s interest in studying at the University of Toronto, and to Greg Gatenby in 1987 with some very amusing memories of meeting Wallace Stevens at Columbia University in 1948 . In 1974, Frye looks to the future while commenting to Bob Denham on his Northrop Frye: An Enumerative Bibliography, a copy of which Frye has just received:
The bibliography is a most impressive achievement: your introduction in particular, which I had not seen before, seems to me an excellent and very judicious one. Reading through Section 3, I am astonished at the number of people who seem to have rushed into print with the notion that my view of literature is preposterous. Something tells me that the twenty-first century will have a good deal of difficulty in understanding what all the fuss was about.