Internationally renowned Canadian literary critic and theorist
Northrop Frye, Companion of the Order of Canada and elected to the
Royal Society of Canada, penned close readings and critical
analyses of Blake, Shakespeare, Milton, Yeats, and Eliot - to name
but a few. However, Frye, who was noted for establishing
cross-disciplinary connections, was also greatly influenced by
other philosophers and writers, such as Aristotle and Lewis
Carroll, who feature in his notebooks but not in his published
essays or other works. When Robert D Denham edited Northrop Fry's
Late Notebooks, he ran across Frye's proclamation that one Henry
Reynolds was "the greatest critic before Johnson." Denham could not
recall ever having encountered this name. But with the Collected
Works of Frye now in print, it became possible to track down all
references to Reynolds in Frye's published as well as his
previously unpublished writing. The resulting essay shows how
Reynolds and Frye are linked by their joint interest in allegory,
poetic etymology, and something quite akin to Longinian ekstasis.
As Denham became more familiar with Frye's previously unpublished
work, other figures important to Frye's thinking began to emerge,
including Giordano Bruno, Joachim of Floris, Henry Burton, Soren
Kierkegaard, Frances Yates-writers to whom he had not devoted
separate books or essays (as he had done in the case of Blake,
Shakespeare, Milton, Dickinson, Keats, Shelley, Eliot, Joyce,
Yeats, Stevens, the Bible, and Spengler, among others). The twelve
"others" eventually came to represent a space occupied by writers
whose interests paralleled Frye's and helped to establish his own
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