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Home :: Archive :: 1991 :: January ::
The Loss of Northrop Frye
Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 2, No. 23. Wednesday, 23 Jan 1991.
 
(1)   Date:         Wed, 23 Jan 91 19:55:15 EST              (18 lines)
      From:         Ken Steele <
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      Subject:      The Loss of Northrop Frye
 
(2)   Date:         Wed, 23 Jan 91 12:38:25 EST              (31 lines)
      From:         Germaine Warkentin <
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      Subject:      A Death in the Family
 
(1) --------------------------------------------------------------------
Date:         Wed, 23 Jan 91 19:55:15 EST
From:         Ken Steele <
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 >
Subject:      The Loss of Northrop Frye
 
Dear Fellow SHAKSPEReans;
 
The world of Shakespearean scholarship, like the world of literary and
cultural scholarship in general, has suffered a major loss today.
Northrop Frye was the reason I came to the University of Toronto
some five years ago, and his energy and enthusiasm has long stood as
a personal model for emulation.
 
I reproduce the following message from HUMANIST on the assumption that
its author, Germaine Warkentin (also a SHAKSPERean), will approve.
My apologies to those of you who receive this message twice.
 
                                               Ken Steele
                                               University of Toronto
(2) --------------------------------------------------------------48----
Date:         Wed, 23 Jan 91 12:38:25 EST
From:         Germaine Warkentin <
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 >
Subject:      A Death in the Family
 
At a time of such madness in the world it may be an intrusion to speak of
personal sorrow, but perhaps, given the name of our seminar, we should
not fail to take note of the death early this morning in Toronto of
Northrop Frye.  For those of us who teach at Victoria College it is
indeed a personal loss; his remarkable gift grew and flourished in this
place, and it is among our greatest sources of pride that he never
wanted to leave our students, our classrooms, or our faculty common
room, to all of which he gave distinction both by his eminence and his
unsurpassed modesty.  Norrie was a shy man, but he had a wonderful fund
of anecdote and great wit.  To my mind he was without doubt the greatest
writer Canada has so far produced, and we have much to learn about
ourselves from the fact that his chosen genre was not the novel, poem,
or play but the critical essay.  Recent developments in critical theory,
it is said, had left his views on the side-lines.  Though no acolyte, I
cannot agree with that.  What I can testify to is his immense personal
influence on a whole generation of critics who had no hesitation in
searching out ways to knowledge very different from his.  His renown
will lead to many worthy obituaries, so perhaps this note should close
simply by saying how much all of us here at Victoria College loved him.
 
Germaine.
 
[Reproduced from Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 4, No. 0926.
Wednesday, 23 Jan 1991.]
 

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