Daily Archives: June 21, 2010

Quote of the Day


Rupert Murdoch and Roger Ailes

“The American fascist would prefer not to use violence. His method is to poison the channels of public information. With a fascist the problem is never how best to present the truth to the public but how best to use the news to deceive the public into giving the fascist and his group more money or more power.”

Vice President Henry A. Wallace, New York Times, April 9, 1944

Frye on Fascism and Communism


In “The Present Condition of Society” (1943):

It was inevitable that those who saw most clearly that there was much in American life heading straight for Nazism, and who were still looking for something which should be definitely anti-Nazi enough and still consistent with deism, should have found what they were looking for in the Communists.  (CW 10, 219)

In 1949 Diary (Jan. 28):

Many well-meaning and gentle people suffer from a vicious streak of masochism–they feel helpless in the midst of a brutal society, & in some warped way they want to feel so: they like saying they can’t do anything about, say, the American hold on Canada, or say it with a significant grin.  In the last decade they helped the rise of fascism, & now they show a sneaking fondness for communism because of the nihilistic element in it.  (CW 8, 104)

In “Trends in Modern Culture” (1952):

Fascism is an oligarchic conspiracy against the open-class system, deriving its real power from the big oligarchs and its mass support from would-be oligarchs, the “independent” (i.e. unsuccessful) entrepreneurs.  Communism is the corresponding conspiracy on the other end, addressing itself to those most likely to feel that society in its present form will permanently exclude them from its benefits. (CW 11, 252)

In T. S. Eliot (1963):

Fascism and Communism are the products of strong tendencies within democracy itself, and our horror at these products springs from the ego’s dislike of inconvenience rather than love of freedom. (CW 29, 188)

In the “Foreward to 1984″ (1967):

In [Orwell’s] writings on Spain, particularly Homage to Catalonia, he shows how like in aim and motivation Russian Communism was to the Fascism it in theory opposed. (ibid., 278)

Frye Alert

alice munro northropfrye02

CSU Long Beach Professor Emeritus Charles May has posted his paper on Alice Munro that cites Frye on Romance.  He delivered it at the 11th International Short Story Conference in Toronto earlier this month.  You can read it at his blog here.

Video of the Day


Kory Teneycke, former communications director for Stephen Harper now working for Brian Mulroney as Quebecor’s point man on “Fox News North,” interviewed on the CBC where until recently he was a commentator for the right.

Offered without comment.

However, I will repeat this comment left about the video at YouTube: “Does EVERY right-winger have to lie to make a point?”

John Skelton


On this date John Skelton died (1460-1529).

Frye in Recontre: The General Editor’s Introduction”:

As a result of the change of rhythm, the native four-beat line came into the foreground again.  At the court of Henry VIII, John Skelton developed the “skeltonic” rhythm which has been named after him, a rhythm closer to nursery rhyme, ballad, and popular poetry of all kinds than perhaps any other equally important poet has produced.  One result of this, of a type not uncommon among experimental poets, was that it was not until well on in the twentieth century that he was regarded as an important poet at all.  The English four-beat line was, we said, split in two by a mid-line caesura; hence Old English poetry could be printed as a series to two-beat lines by a slight change in typography.  The skeltonic is rhythmically the Old English half-line revived, although a clanging rhythm has been added:

For though my rhyme be ragged,

Tattered and jagged,

Rudely rain-beaten,

Rusty and moth-eaten,

If ye take well therewith,

It hath in it some pith.  [Colin Clout II. 53-8]

Such a rhythm is logical, if extreme, of accentual tendencies, and is an excellent vehicle for the violent satire and grotesque realism that usually accompanied it in Skelton.  (CW 10, 14)