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March 7, 2007

EL312: Identity through comparison, not similarity

It is identity that makes individuality possible: poems are made out of the same images, just as poems in English are all made out of the same language. This contrast of similarity and identity is one of the most difficult problems in critical theory... (283)

Frye brings part of intertextuality (though he never calls it that in the essay) to life as he expands upon the ideas of similarity and individuality. It seems that even though we compare texts to one another for what they are it's what they aren't, in comparison, that makes them what they truly are in literature as individual works.

This essay seemed a little dense to me, and it talked more about what Frye didn't want us to think/believe than it did what he was really trying to explain, in my opinion. I got something from it, and that makes it worth it, but it took a long time to squeeze something I could use.

Frye, ''The Critical Path'' -- Jerz EL312 (Literary Criticism)

Posted by KarissaKilgore at March 7, 2007 8:13 PM


I'm glad to see I'm not the only one who felt the essay was a little "bookish" and took some strength to find something from it. That quote stood out to me, too, and I agree that Frye focused more on what isn't in literature rather than what is.

As best I could guess, yes, what isn't in a work is an examination of intertextuality, but that seems like a terribly skewed way of doing it - that's kind of like if you compared two sects of Christianity. They're alike in a lot of ways, but here's how they differ.

I think intertextuality is basically the power-point of lit crit.

Posted by: Kevin at March 15, 2007 3:56 PM

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