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March 12, 2007

Frye: A Balancing Act

"Criticism will always have two aspects, one turned toward the structure of literature and one turned toward the cultural phenomena that form the social enviroment of literature." (284).

I liked how Frye spoke in the first person and left out alot of the hoo-ha, look at me, "I can use big words" voice that most literary critics use. He (?) talks about the "escape literature" in the sense that we use it to compensate for experiences we haven't had and that we get excited more over the habit of going to the movies and reading. This also reminds me of how much we tend to put all of our eggs in one basket when it comes to lit. crit. We tend to put more effort into a criticizing and looking deeper into works we admire and give rave reviews to the genre we already admire rather than stretching our muscles and criticizing in a manner we're not comfy with. The two aspects Frye focuses on explains how we look at a work in one way or another and try to separate them. I think being a good critic may just being able to combine the two to form a more balanced opinion.

Posted by ErinWaite at March 12, 2007 12:24 PM


Exactly Erin! I like the idea of combining aspects of literary criticism in order to get the best reading from a work, instead of solely focusing on one reading, which may really not lend itself well to the text. Who says we can't pick and choose how we see literature. Frye does, however, seem to discredit other criticisms in favor of intertextuality, as he remarks that the others can be flawed or less effective. But isn't that any of the criticisms? None of them are perfect or full proof...yet.

Posted by: Nessa at March 15, 2007 9:35 AM

I really like how Frye defined his idea of a critic and defined this idea of the critical path. I liked the critical path aspect, but thought that maybe his idea of a critic was to simple. I wish it was that simple, but I have learned from this class that is anything but.

Posted by: Mitchell Steele at March 15, 2007 11:37 AM

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