Wednesday, October 28, 2015
"Northrop Frye and the Art of Reading"
Prof. Tom Willard, Visiting Northrop Frye Centre Fellow (University of Arizona)
Northrop Frye Centre (VC102),
Old Victoria College Building (91 Charles Street West)
The recently published notebooks and diaries of Northrop Frye give reason to think that his view of reading has been widely misunderstood—that, far from making a unique claim for the literary critic, he always wanted to empower what Samuel Johnson called the “common reader” and that this power extended beyond reading a single text to developing a useful sense of “literature as a whole.” After discussing Frye’s views of centrifugal and centripetal reading and the reading of texts over time and in space, along with related terms in Anatomy of Criticism, the talk will turn to a sample reading of a poem Frye discussed in both classes and public lectures.
Tom Willard is a Professor at the University of Arizona, and is the Northrop Frye Centre Visiting Fellow for 2015-2016. Prof. Willard is working on his project, “The Reader in Northrop Frye’s Poetics & Pedagogy”, and is also looking to add to Jane Widdicombe’s collection of “Norrie Stories”, which he is currently editing.