Northrop Frye Quotes
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The fundamental act of criticism is a disinterested response to a work of literature in which all one's beliefs, engagements, commitments, prejudices, stampedings of pity and terror, are ordered to be quiet. We are now dealing with the imaginative, not the existential, with the "let this be," not with "this is," and no work of literature is better by virtue of what it says than any other work.
I have never had the sort of experience the mystics talk about, never felt a revelation of reality through or beyond nature, never felt like Adam in Paradise, never felt, in direct experience, that the world is wholly other than it seems... The nearest I have come to such experiences are glimpses of my own creative powers... and these are moments or intervals of inspiration rather than vision. I'm not sure that I want it unless I can have clarity about other things with it.
It is clear that all verbal structures with meaning are verbal imitations of that elusive psychological and physiological process known as thought, a process stumbling through emotional entanglements, sudden irrational convictions, involuntary gleams of insight, rationalized prejudices, and blocks of panic and inertia, finally to reach a completely incommunicable intuition.
A purely individualized myth is an obsession, sometimes a psychosis. A purely socialized myth is an ideology, which sooner or later also becomes obsessive or psychotic. A myth that has either the direct current of transcendence or the alternating current of imagination rises clear of this grisly antithesis.