Northrop Frye quotes

  • Just as a new scientific discovery manifests something that was already latent in the order of nature, and at the same time is logically related to the total structure of the existing science, so the new poem manifests something that was already latent in the order of words.
    -- Northrop Frye

    #Nature #Discovery #Order

  • Literally, the Bible is a gigantic myth, a narrative extending over the whole of time from creation to apocalypse, unified by a body of recurring imagery that "freezes" into a single metaphor cluster, the metaphors all being identified with the body of the Messiah, the man who is all men, the totality logoi who is one Logos, the grain of sand that is the world.
    -- Northrop Frye

    #Men #World #Body

  • The Bible should be taught so early and so thoroughly that it sinks straight to the bottom of the mind where everything that comes along can settle on it.
    -- Northrop Frye

    #Mind #Atheism #Taught

  • It seems clear that the Bible belongs to an area of language in which metaphor is functional, and were we have to surrender precision for flexibility.
    -- Northrop Frye

    #Language #Surrender #Metaphor

  • There is only one way to degrade mankind permanently and that is to destroy language.
    -- Northrop Frye

    #Way #Language #Mankind

  • The human landscape of the New World shows a conquest of nature by an intelligence that does not love it.
    -- Northrop Frye

    #Civilization #World #Landscape

  • We are being swallowed up by the popular culture of the United States, but then the Americans are being swallowed up by it too. It's just as much a threat to American culture as it is to ours.
    -- Northrop Frye

    #Culture #United States #Threat

  • Read Blake or go to hell, that's my message to the modern world.
    -- Northrop Frye

    #World #Messages #Hell

  • My subject is the educated imagination, and education is something that affects the whole person, not bits and pieces of him .
    -- Northrop Frye

    #Imagination #Pieces #Educated

  • Man lives, not directly or nakedly in nature like the animals, but within a mythological universe, a body of assumptions and beliefs developed from his existential concerns.
    -- Northrop Frye

    #Men #Animal #Body

  • The primary and literal meaning of the Bible, then, is its centripetal or poetic meaning.
    -- Northrop Frye

    #Poetic

  • Everything that happens in the Old Testament is a "type" or adumbration of something that happens in the New Testament, and the whole subject is therefore called typology, though it is a typology in a special sense.
    -- Northrop Frye

    #Special #Old Testament #Type

  • The tricky or boastful gods of ancient myths and primitive folk tales are characters of the same kind that turn up in Faulkner or Tennessee Williams.
    -- Northrop Frye

    #Character #Tennessee #Kind

  • The disinterested imaginative core of mythology is what develops into literature, science, philosophy. Religion is applied mythology.
    -- Northrop Frye

    #Philosophy #Literature #Mythology

  • Literature as a whole is not an aggregate of exhibits with red and blue ribbons attached to them, like a cat-show, but the range of articulate human imagination as it extends from the height of imaginative heaven to the depth of imaginative hell.
    -- Northrop Frye

    #Cat #Blue #Imagination

  • I see a sequence of seven main phases: creation,revolution or exodus (Israel in Egypt), law, wisdom, prophecy, gospel, and apocalypse.
    -- Northrop Frye

    #Egypt #Law #Israel

  • Teaching literature is impossible; that is why it is difficult.
    -- Northrop Frye

    #Teaching #Literature #Impossible

  • The fact that creative powers come from an area of the mind that seems to be independent of the conscious will, and often emerge with a good deal of emotional disturbance in their wake, provides the chief analogy between prophecy and the arts...Some people pursue wholeness and integration, others get smashed up, and fragments are rescued from the smash of an intensity that the wholeness and integration people do not reach.
    -- Northrop Frye

    #Art #Independent #Emotional

  • This story of loss and regaining of identity is, I think, the framework of all literature.
    -- Northrop Frye

    #Loss #Thinking #Identity

  • Every human society possesses a mythology which is inherited, transmitted and diversified by literature.
    -- Northrop Frye

    #Literature #Mythology #Humans

  • The most technologically efficient machine that man has ever invented is the book.
    -- Northrop Frye

    #Book #Technology #Men

  • Advertising - a judicious mixture of flattery and threats.
    -- Northrop Frye

    #Business #Mixtures #Advertising

  • Poetry is the most direct and simple means of expressing oneself in words: the most primitive nations have poetry, but only quitewell developed civilizations can produce good prose. So don't think of poetry as a perverse and unnatural way of distorting ordinary prose statements: prose is a much less natural way of speaking than poetry is. If you listen to small children, and to the amount of chanting and singsong in their speech, you'll see what I mean.
    -- Northrop Frye

    #Children #Mean #Simple

  • Science begins with the world we have to live in, accepting its data and trying to explain its laws. From there, it moves toward the imagination: it becomes a mental construct, a model of a possible way of interpreting experience. The further it goes in this direction, the more it tends to speak the language of mathematics, which is really one of the languages of the imagination, along with literature and music. Art, on the other hand, begins with the world we construct, not with the world we see. It starts with the imagination, and then works toward ordinary experience.
    -- Northrop Frye

    #Art #Moving #Science

  • A snowflake is probably quite unconscious of forming a crystal, but what it does may be worth study even if we are willing to leave its inner mental processes alone.
    -- Northrop Frye

    #Criticism #Doe #May

  • Myths, as compared with folk tales, are usually in a special category of seriousness: they are believed to have "really happened,"or to have some exceptional significance in explaining certain features of life, such as ritual. Again, whereas folk tales simply interchange motifs and develop variants, myths show an odd tendency to stick together and build up bigger structures. We have creation myths, fall and flood myths, metamorphose and dying-god myths.
    -- Northrop Frye

    #Fall #Dying #Together

  • Work, as we usually think of it, is energy expended for a further end in view; play is energy expended for its own sake, as with children's play, or as manifestation of the end or goal of work, as in "playing" chess or the piano. Play in this sense, then, is the fulfillment of work, the exhibition of what the work has been done for.
    -- Northrop Frye

    #Children #Work #Thinking