Frye Alert


David Staynes of the University of Ottawa in an audio interview discussing Frye, evaluative criticism, John Metcalf, and the best Canadian novels here.

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One thought on “Frye Alert

  1. Jonathan Allan

    Thanks for posting this. I have been thinking about it since listening to the interview and something that has always drawn me to Frye was that he wasn’t an “evaluative critic.” Perhaps, it is necessary to draw a distinction between Frye, the reviewer; and Frye, the critic. Surely, there must be a difference between writing a book review — which demands evaluation — and writing criticism. I can’t help but think of the way Frye writes “theory” and Harold Bloom write “theory” — only one of the two is evaluative. Bloom is dependent upon evaluation for his theories to play out, but Frye does not seem to have this requirement in his theoretical writing — after all, Frye wrote a book on romance and noted that popular literature is “neither better nor worse […], nor is it really a different kind of literature” (CW XVIII:23). Although, I imagine that Frye’s evaluative criticism will remain a discussion for some time to come.


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