Northrop Frye's Fearful Symmetry: A Study of William Blake

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University of Toronto Press, Jan 1, 2004 - Literary Criticism - 516 pages

Published in 1947, Fearful Symmetry was Northrop Frye's first book and the product of over a decade of intense labour. Drawing readers into the imaginative world of William Blake, Frye succeeded in making Blake's voice and vision intelligible to the wider public. Distinguished by its range of reference, elegance of expression, comprehensiveness of coverage, coherence of argument, and sympathy to its subject, Fearful Symmetry was immediately recognized as a landmark of Blake criticism. Fifty years later, it is still recognized as having ensured the acceptance of Blake as a canonical poet by permanently dispelling the widespread notion that he was the mad creator of an incomprehensible private symbolism.

For this new edition, the text has been revised and corrected in accordance with the principles of the Collected Works of Northrop Frye series. Frye's original annotation has been supplemented with references to currently standard editions of Blake and others, and many new notes have been provided, identifying quotations, allusions, and cultural references. An introduction by Ian Singer provides biographical and critical context for the book, an overview of its contents, and an account of its reception.


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Review: Fearful Symmetry: A Study of William Blake

User Review  - P. Luther Wilson - Goodreads

This is quite a book, and one that you wade through the first time, and go back to a second. Frye's first major work of criticism, it rescued the poetry of William Blake from allegations of obscurity ... Read full review


The Argument
The Thief of Fire
The Refiner in Fire
The Nightmare with Her Ninefold
The Final Synthesis
The City of
The Burden of the Valley of Vision
Blakes Mysticism

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About the author (2004)

The late Northrop Frye was a professor in the Department of English at Victoria College, University of Toronto. Nicholas Halmi is an assistant professor in the Department of English at the University of Washington.

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