HUMA 2680 Study Guide - Northrop Frye

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Lecture 1:
Introduction to Early Times: Literature and the imagination of the child
What is Children’s Lit
- is it the literature read to a certain age, or read at a certain age
- it’s the idea that children are pure and innocent and as they grow they become old and
wicked
- but children’s lit. is very different, because children’s literature gets criticized and
judged by adults
Kids as critics are unrealiable”- Tolkien says, that children cannot be critics, because
they will like whatever they are given
- adults often use children’s literature, as a means to escape fromthis reality
- literature is what gives you profit and delight
Educated Imagination
Northrop Frye (LITERARY GLASSES)
- we enter into one story, we enter into all stories, there is nothing new under the sun
(idea of patterns and motifs)
- all literature is the story of the loss and regaining of identity
- imagination= the power of constructing possible models of human experience (anything
goes that’s imaginatively possible-but nothing really happens)
- the way we access these characters, motifs, is by using our imagination (making
connections), by finding familiarity.
- when you like a book, you feel associated to it, you make connections
- the goal of literary teaching: “literary imagination
- Frye says that imagination creates human experience, a way of expressing your
innermost desires
- it suspends your beliefs, allows yourself to be taken away by imagination
- science is a study based on facts and from those facts you develop more facts…etc
-but in the arts, you can never develop something new, it is always going to the
same foundation and then evolves from one point
- Frye says through reading you are fulfilling two desires: wish fullfillment and anxiety
Three stages of literary language:
1) CONCIOUSNESS: how you communicate
2) SOCIAL PARTICIPATION: technical language
3) IMAGINATION: where language in a story, a literary language of imagination
- educated imagination is making connections between an actual thing and something
abstract
- A Cinderella story: basic story of “Rags to richess…a common ground
- everything comes from somewhere, you are a continuation of your parent’s past
- the purpose of educated imagination is: TOLERANCE and UNDERSTANDING
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Document Summary

Introduction to early times: literature and the imagination of the child. Is it the literature read to a certain age, or read at a certain age. It"s the idea that children are pure and innocent and as they grow they become old and wicked. But children"s lit. is very different, because children"s literature gets criticized and judged by adults. Kids as critics are unrealiable - tolkien says, that children cannot be critics, because they will like whatever they are given. Adults often use children"s literature, as a means to escape from this reality. Literature is what gives you profit and delight. We enter into one story, we enter into all stories, there is nothing new under the sun (idea of patterns and motifs) All literature is the story of the loss and regaining of identity. Imagination= the power of constructing possible models of human experience (anything goes that"s imaginatively possible-but nothing really happens)

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