Norrie, aged 10, Pine Street, Moncton, New Brunswick
Northrop Frye: 14 July 1912 – 23 January 1991
“The twentieth century saw an amazing development of scholarship and criticism in the humanities, carried out by people who were more intelligent, better trained, had more languages, had a better sense of proportion, and were infinitely more accurate scholars and competent professional men than I. I had genius. No one else in the field known to me had quite that.”
Obituary, The New York Times.
My father, James [Crerar] Reaney, was a lifelong student and friend of Frye’s. Today we are remembering not just the 19th anniversary of the death of Frye, but also the first anniversary of the death of another great Canadian scholar and friend of ours, Balachandra Rajan. Bal taught with Dad at the University of Western Ontario for 25 years, and often said that Frye was the only Canadian theorist worth reading. It seems fitting that two great Canadians — both geniuses — should share a death date — January 23. Professor Balachandra Rajan died one year ago today — he would have been amused to know it was on the same day as a Canadian scholar whom he admired.