Daily Archives: July 20, 2010

Your Daily Reminder

Roxanne and Frye

Vote for the Frye sculpture here: http://www.refresheverything.ca/fryefestival We seem to have slipped over the last 24 hours into fifth place.  But you can vote daily until August 31.  So please do so.  Remember that you must be signed in before you vote can be registered.

Dawn Arnold of the Frye Festival has set up a “voting team” to submit votes for people who may be away on vacation but still wish to register their votes.  Contact her at dawn@frye.ca

If you haven’t already, sign the petition in support for the Centre for Comparative Literature here: http://www.petitiononline.com/complit/petition.html
And be sure to visit the Save CompLit Facebook page here: http://www.savecomplit.ca/Protest.html

Harvey Pekar at the Frye Festival, 2007

Harvey Pekar3

Harvey Pekar autographing copies of American Splendor in Moncton in 2007

Here are some photos I’ve been able to find of a book signing with the late Harvey Pekar at a local comic book store in Monction.  This event was part of our festival in 2007.  Unfortunately, we don’t seem to have photos or any press clippings covering Harvey’s main event at the festival, a 90 minute appearance alone on stage where he took questions and comments from about 200 people, a very candid exchange during which he revealed a lot about himself and his creative process.  Sadly, I don’t believe we videotaped this event.  However, I retain the unforgettable image of him sitting alone on stage under a bright light, holding his head in his hands, patiently welcoming and answering all questions.  Like a character out of Beckett.  He said things like: I can’t believe this is happening.  Why do you care what I have to say?  I don’t deserve this.  You’re actually paying me for this?  He talked a lot about the movie American Splendor and the burst of fame it brought, along with the headaches.  The audience was made up of a lot of people we don’t usually see, and everyone was thrilled.

Our earlier post here.

New York Times obituary here.

More pictures of Harvey in Moncton after the break, along with a recent extended  interview with him at Penn State.

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Petrarch’s “Giunto Alessandro”

Today is Petrarch‘s birthday (1304-1374).

Frye in “The Survival of Eros in Poetry”:

There is no need to rehearse in detail the familiar story of courtly love in medieval poetry.  Influenced largely by Virgil and Ovid, the poets worked out an elaborate correspondence between sexual love and Christian agape.  One might be living one’s life carelessly, in complete freedom from the perturbations of love; then the God of Love, Eros or Cupid, would suddenly strike, and from then on one was Love’s abject slave, supplicating the favour (usually) of a mistress.  Sometimes, as in Dante, the cult of Eros is sublimated, in other words assimilated to the Christian one.  It is Eros who inspires Dante with his vita nuova that started from his first sight of Beatrice, but Beatrice in the Paradiso is an agent of divine grace.  In another medieval epic, however, The Romaunt of the Rose, the climax of the poem is clearly sexual allegory, and in Petrarch, who did far more than Dante to popularize the theme, at least in English literature, love for Laura is rooted in Eros throughout, even though again it is sublimated, involving no sexual contact and easily surviving death.  (CW 18, 255)

Translation of the poem after the jump.

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