Words With Power: Being a Second Study of The Bible and Literature

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9780151984626: Words With Power: Being a Second Study of The Bible and Literature

Frye continues his exploration, begun in The Great Code, of the influence of Biblical themes and forms of expression on Western literature, with discussions of authors ranging from Chaucer and Shakespeare to Yeats and Eliot. Frye identifies four key elements found in the Bible-the mountain, the garden, the cave, and the furnace-and describes how they recur in later secular writings. Indices.

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About the Author:

Northrop Frye (1912-1991) was professor emeritus at Victoria College, University of Toronto, and the author of many books on literary theory and criticism.

Review:

Frye (1912-1991) analyzes the Bible's imagery, narrative structure and influence upon literary classics in his tremendously rich sequel to The Great Code: The Bible and Literature . (Publishers Weekly)

In his introduction to The Great Code ( LJ 6/1/82), Frye promised a sequel to his work on "the Bible and literature." Here is the promised volume, though it is not an entirely new book. In Part 1, Frye restates his critical position, his structural principle: the identity of mythology and literature. In Part 2, he focuses on specific mythological themes (mountain, garden, cave, furnace) that are variations of the cosmic axis mundi image. Throughout, he demonstrates his interest in the mythological structures that inform literature, including the Bible, instead of simply the literary characteristics of the Bible. While it is undeniable that myths often serve as structuring elements in the Bible, occasionally Frye allows myth criticism to overwhelm the text rather than shed light upon it. Thus there is the risk of forcing the text into the pre-established structure. This aside, there is enlightenment available for readers willing to work through it. Recommended.
- Craig W. Beard, Har ding Univ. Lib., Searcy, Ark.
(Library Journal)

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