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Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Eightfold Roman

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: — m759 @ 8:00 PM

"Frye's largely imaginary eightfold roman 
may have provided him a personal substitute—
or alternative— for both ideology and myth."

— P. 63 of James C. Nohrnberg, "The Master of
the Myth of Literature: An Interpenetrative Ogdoad
for Northrop Frye," Comparative Literature  Vol. 53,
No. 1 (Winter, 2001), pp. 58-82

See also today's earlier post In Nuce .

In Nuce

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: — m759 @ 3:48 AM
 

Excerpts from James C. Nohrnberg, "The Master of the Myth of Literature: An Interpenetrative Ogdoad for Northrop Frye," Comparative Literature  Vol. 53, No. 1 (Winter, 2001), pp. 58-82

From page 58 —
"… the posthumously revealed Notebooks. A major project of the latter was his 'Ogdoad': two groups of four books each. '[T]he second group of four […] were considered to be Blakean "emanations" or counterparts of the first four,' like 'the "double mirror" structure of The Great Code  and Words with Power : two inter-reflecting parts of four chapters apiece,' Michael Dolzani reports.* "

* P. 22 of Rereading Frye: The Published and Unpublished Works , ed. David Boyd and Imre Salusinszky, Frye Studies [series] (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1998). [Abbreviated as RF .]


From page 62 —
"Visionaries like Blake and dramatists like Wagner seem to be working from some larger, mythic blueprint present in nuce  from very early on."

From page 63 —
"Frye's hypothetical books and will-to-totality were obviously fruitful; if the beckoning star was illusory, it nonetheless settled on a real birthplace. The sought-for constructs substituted their scaffolding for a backbone-like confidence in pre-given beliefs; possession of the latter is why Tories like Dr. Johnson and T.S. Eliot could do quite nicely without the constructs. Frye's largely imaginary eightfold roman  may have provided him a personal substitute— or alternative— for both ideology and myth."

From page 69 —
"For Frye the chief element of imaginative or expressive form is the myth, which functions structurally in literature like geometric shapes in painting."

From page 71 —
"The metaphysical skyhook lifting the artist free from unreflective social commitment is often a latent or manifest archetype that his work renews or reworks."

From page 77 —
"Frye's treatises— so little annotated themselves— are the notes writ large; the notes in the Notebooks are treatises writ small. They interpenetrate. Denham quotes 'the masters of the T'ien-tai school of Mahayana Buddhism' as saying '[t]he whole world is contained in a mustard seed' (RF  158, 160), and Frye quotes Keats: 'Every point of thought is the center of an intellectual world' (Study  159; cf. Great Code  167-68 and AC  61). …. [Frye’s] complex books were all generated out of the monadic obiter dicta . His kingdom 'is like a grain of mustard seed, which a man took, and cast into his garden, and it grew' (Luke 13:18-19)."

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