Monday, 18 November 2013

Northrop Frye

The last couple weeks have been a little difficult for me when it comes to getting from one place to another. 

I don't own my own vehicle and the one I was using I'm no longer able to use. 

I'm lucky enough to have some pretty amazing and supportive people in my life to help me get around. Today I was blessed to have a very good friend's mother drive me to my volunteer placement for the day, after dropping both of my children off at school.

I'd sort of shirked my duties as a community volunteer the past few months, and my work load had "piled up". I have seven books of receipts to input into the data system; which is about 140 receipts a book.

Partway through entering all of the data the gentleman responsible for shelving used books in the store came and asked if he could use the computer to input some of his data. I quickly obliged and wandered over to his section of the store where he sorts books; browsing through the shelves for something that would catch my eye.

Halfway down one ceiling-high shelf I saw a collection of three Northrop Frye books. I don't know much about his writing, I remembered reading a piece in a literature class in college but couldn't even recall what it was about. Hesitantly, I grabbed the three books and browsed through them. His style caught my interest, so I brought them back to my desk. One of the books had a folded up newspaper article in it, I didn't think much of it and made a mental note to read it when I got home.

"Literature itself is something that is experienced rather than taught and learned" - Frye

To my surprise it's an article about an interview with Northrop Frye conducted by the University of Toronto's newspaper The Varsity that was published October 22, 1976. Folded up, yellowing around the sides and in pristine condition.

As someone slowly starting to get into the art and form of writing on my own... what an amazing find! On my first "full day" back at one of my most favourite places in our community. 

Just last week I found a Canadian Maple Leaf pressed between the pages of a book on Airplanes I had purchased from Value Village. It was the deciding factor in purchasing the book in the end!

I absolutely love finding surprises within the pages of used books, a hint at what the previous owner was thinking of while reading them!

What I love even more is finding a well worn novel with highlighted sections throughout it... sentences, verses... sometimes even paragraphs of highlighted or underscored words; giving me an insight as to what someone else found intriguing and insightful about what I was reading. I feel like it makes me stop and gives me the perspective of someone else, whom I had never had the pleasure of meeting.

I'm now looking forward to curling up with these books and reading them. Adding highlights and underscores to the existing ones. 

"The Stubborn Structure - Essays on Criticism and Society" - Northrop Frye
"The Educated Imagination" - Northrop Frye
"A Glossary of Literary Terms; Sixth Edition" M.H Abrams

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