chapter  7
52 Pages

Mythology and ideology

There are a great number of ‘myths’ about Northrop Frye. Two such myths persist-that he sought to seal literature off from the world and that he denied ideology. ‘Ideology’ may be the key term in literary criticism and theory over the past decade. My discussion of Frye and ideology is twofold. After discussing briefly critical responses to Frye’s ‘ideology’, I shall concentrate on his understanding of ideology. This chapter should contribute to a better knowledge of some of the myths about Frye, in the popular sense of misconceptions. My comments will concentrate on the last book in a two-volume study of the Bible and literature that Frye considered to be the culmination of his career, Words with Power, and relate this book to The Double Vision, the brief posthumous volume that bears a relation to Words with Power similar to

the relation that The Educated Imagination bears to Anatomy of Criticism-it is a shorter and more popular version primarily meant for oral delivery.