Study Guide

Northrop Frye - The Frye-ites

The Frye-ites

So, one of Frye's biggest fans put together this book called Remembering Northrop Frye, and it's chock full of warm remembrances and props for the amazing literary critic.

The book naturally spawned a book group, which later gave rise to all sorts of branding. Who doesn't want a puffy trucker hat that says "Frye or Die"? Other nicknames for the group included Fryedolators, and one dude even "invented the term Frygians, suggesting they were cold and academic, like their leader; later he changed his views" (source).

James Reaney
President

Frye and Reaney go way back—Reaney's dad even took a liking to old Norrie. Reaney fell under Frye's spell while Frye was editing his dissertation. Frye embraced Reaney's idea that structures and conventions can actually serve your creativity and not constrain them. Frye was definitely open to interpretation.

Jay MacPherson
Poet-in-Residence

Naturally, one of Canada's premier lyric poets was a Frye-ite. After all, Frye breathed new life into Canadian poetry, so why wouldn't Jay embrace him with open arms? These two worked together at the University of Toronto, where Frye was "a major influence on her poetry" (source). Jay even wrote a poem as homage to Frye and his wife. It was a real Canadian love-in.

Margaret Atwood
Novelist-in-Residence

This amazingly prolific Canadian feminist-dystopian author was a shoe-in as a Frye-ite. Frye was part mentor, part savior to her; before she met him, her plan had been "to run away to France, 'become an absinthe drinker,' get tuberculosis and die young like Keats, having written works of staggering genius in a garret" (source). Luckily, that dramatic fate was not to be.

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