Northrop Frye M. H. Abrams - Essay

M. H. Abrams

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

[Professor Frye's Anatomy of Criticism is] a big, packed, compendious, and audacious book. He undertakes specifically a "science" of criticism which, following the model of the modern natural sciences, is constructed on the basis of "an inductive survey of the literary field." His aim is to achieve what criticism has always lacked, a body of knowledge which, like any genuine science, will be systematic, coherent, and progressive…. This knowledge is not to be exclusive but "synoptic"; that is, it will incorporate everything that is valid in existing approaches to literature. Aristotelian poetics, aesthetic criticism, literary history and scholarship, the new criticism of text and texture, the newer criticism...

(The entire section is 1944 words.)