Anatomy of Criticism

Anatomy Of Criticism

Herman Northrop Frye's Anatomy of Criticism: Four Essays (Princeton University Press, 1957) attempts to formulate an overall view of the scope, theory, principles, and techniques of literary criticism derived exclusively from literature. Frye consciously omits all specific and practical criticism, instead offering classically-inspired theories of modes, symbols, myths and genres, in what he termed "an interconnected group of suggestions." The literary approach proposed by Frye in Anatomy was highly influential in the decades before deconstructivist criticism and other expressions of postmodernism.

Frye's four essays are sandwiched between a "Polemical Introduction" and a "Tentative Conclusion." The four essays are titled "Historical Criticism: A Theory of Modes", "Ethical Criticism: a Theory of Symbols", "Archetypal Criticism: A Theory of myths", and "Rhetorical Criticism: A Theory of Genres."

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