Northrop Frye and the phenomenology of myth
In Northrop Frye and the Phenomenology of Myth, Glen Robert Gill compares Fryes theories about myth to those of three other major twentieth-century mythologists: C.G. Jung, Joseph Campbell, and Mircea Eliade. Gill explores the theories of these respective thinkers as they relate to Fryes discussions of the phenomenological nature of myth, as well as its religious, literary, and psychological significance.
Gill substantiates Fryes work as both more radical and more tenable than that of his three contemporaries. Eliades writings are shown to have a metaphysical basis that abrogates an understanding of myth as truly phenomenological, while Jungs theory of the collective unconscious emerges as similarly problematic. Likewise, Gill argues, Campbells work, while incorporating some phenomenological progressions, settles on a questionable metaphysical foundation. Gill shows how, in contrast to these other mythologists, Fryes theory of myth first articulated in Fearful Symmetry (1947) and culminating in Words with Power (1990) is genuinely phenomenological.
With excursions into fields such as literary theory, depth psychology, theology, and anthropology, Northrop Frye and the Phenomenology of Myth is essential to the understanding of Fryes important mythological work.
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