In 1933, Northrop Frye was a recent university graduate, beginning to learn his craft as a literary essayist. By 1963, with the publication of The Educated Imagination, he had become an international academic celebrity. In the intervening three decades, Frye wrote widely and prodigiously, but it is in the papers and lectures collected in this installment of the Collected Works of Northrop Frye, that the genesis of a distinguished literary critic can be seen. Here is Frye tracing the first outlines of a literary cosmology that would culminate in The Anatomy of Criticism (1958) and shapeThe Great Code (1982) and Words with Power (1990).
At the same time that Frye garnered such international acclaim, he was also a working university teacher, lecturing in the University of Toronto's English Language and Literature program. In her lively introduction, Germaine Warkentin links Frye's evolution as a critic with his love of music, his passionate concern for his students, and his growing professional ambition. The writings included in this volume show how Frye integrated ideas into the work that would consolidate the fame that Fearful Symmetry (1947) had first established.