Daily Archives: July 28, 2010

Frye Alert


Below is a post today at BlogTO:

News Flash

Amalgamation causes unrest at University of Toronto

Posted by Robyn Urback / July 27, 2010

Get this–uproar at a university that actually has something to do with the university!

Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Science at the University of Toronto has proposed sweeping changes to U of T’s largest faculty, which will see six humanities programs consolidated into one school.

The new School of Languages and Literatures is being considered as a way to offset the faculty’s $55 million of debt. The new school, or SLLUT (School of Languages and Literatures at the University of Toronto, as to it is so affectionately referred on dissenting online forums), will merge the existing Italian, German, East Asian Studies, Spanish and Portuguese, and Slavic languages departments, as well as the Centre for Comparative Literature, which was founded by Northrop Frye.

Many students, as well as faculty at the University of Toronto, are opposed to the amalgamation, anticipating an intellectual “step backwards.”

“U of T used to have a reputation for being very conservative, and it’s about to have that reputation again,” said Linda Hucheon, professor at the Centre for Comparative Literature. “We will try to make a case for not getting rid of a major discipline within the university. “We’re not going down without a bit of a fight.”

Students have set up petitions, websites, and a Facebook group opposing the changes. Final approval for the new school will be sought in the fall.

Johann Sebastian Bach


From the Matthaeus Passion

On this date J.S. Bach died (1685-1750).

Frye on the Matthaeus Passion:

In the twenty years I’ve been listening to the Passion, I’ve changed my mind about it.  I used to feel that the narration was something to sit through, & one waited for the arias and the choruses.  Now I feel that the work is primarily narration, as the arias & choruses, with greater familiarity, fall into the background as commentaries.  This, of course, brings out its real tragic structure, as it’s like Greek tragedy, not only in its use of chorus, but in its reporting of events.  Even Christ, even though he does his own singing, is contained within the narration.  (Cited in Robert Denham, Frye Unbuttoned, 18-19)