Cassirer and the Anatomy
DOI link for Cassirer and the Anatomy
Cassirer and the Anatomy book
The most obvious place to look in the Anatomy for the influence of the philosopher of symbolic forms is in the essay on symbolism. Frank Kermode says in his review of the book that Frye's theory is "the adaptation of an Aristotelian scheme to a Symbolist view of literature" (Kermode 1959, 320). In particular, he adds, it is an adaptation of Aristotle to "the latest manifestation of Symbolist aesthetics, the neoKantianism of Cassirer's Symbolic Forms." I Perhaps, however, it is the other way round. The essay on symbolism may be an adaptation of a Cassirean "scheme" to Aristotle's Poetics. For the word "scheme" substitute "containing form." Cassirer provides Frye with the containing form of the second essay, just as Spengler provides Frye with "the containing form of historical criticism" in the first essay (AC, 343).