The Well-tempered Critic by Northrop FryeThe Well-tempered Critic by Northrop Frye

The Well-tempered Critic

byNorthrop Frye

Paperback | December 1, 1983

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"Northrop Frye's The Well-Tempered Critic is a brilliant take on writing, academia, and culture as a whole. His book is unique from other critiques on literary theory as he emphasizes the importance of the language spoken and not just language written. Frye writes in his first chapter, "Good writing must be based on good speech, it will never come alive it is based on reading alone."

"Frye divides language into a three-part model and walks the reader through each little nook-and-cranny of his idea. He divides language into the Poetic (rhythm caused by the beat of the words), Prose (rhythm caused by the sentence), and Associate (informal, everyday kind of talk.) Frye also divides the written language into his last chapter: Hieratic (High style) and Demiotic (low style).

"Frye's work is full of insight and intellectualism, and void of the intimidation factor which might be associated with a piece by Keats, Bloom, Eagleton, and other big name critics. Frye's diction is invitingly instructive, docilely dense, and meekly meticulous. His attention to detail and organization of thought work well to ensure the reader?s comprehension of Frye's obvious intellect."

By D.A. Wetherell

Northrop Frye (1912-1991) was born in Sherbrooke, Quebec, and educated at the University of Toronto and Oxford University. He joined the University of Toronto in 1939, which began one of the most distinguished careers in the history of literary criticism. Over his lifetime Frye was awarded 30 honorary degrees world-wide, was a recipien...
Title:The Well-tempered CriticFormat:PaperbackDimensions:160 pages, 7.25 × 5 × 0.68 inPublished:December 1, 1983Publisher:Fitzhenry & Whiteside

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0889027463

ISBN - 13:9780889027466


Editorial Reviews

"It is worth a hundred ordinary critical studies..." - George P. Elliot, The Hudson Review "Professor Frye's new book...will naturally invite the serious attention of all who are interested in literature and criticism . . . . it is written with a grace and charm that may especially recommend it..." - Anthony Ostroff, Quarterly Journal of Speech "Frye has demonstrated throughout his career, and again in this book, his outstanding qualifications for literary scholarship. His learning, his easy familiarity with literature and ideas both in breadth and in depth, and his extraordinary penchant for projecting intricate systems and sub-systems - these talents are undeniably his own and undeniably fruitful ones . . . . his analysis of 'styles' in The Well-Tempered Critic [is] cleanly observed and clearly articulated for the benefit of any reader. His work is, in the very best sense of the term, 'useful' scholarship and the study of literature has been given tools of greater precision because of his work." - Earl Rovit, Shenandoah "The Well-Tempered Critic, unlike many works on criticism, exemplifies the virtues of style that critics strive to analyze . . . . it clears the ground for serious study of all types of writing." - Chad Walsh, Chicago Tribune Magazine of Books