Top positive review
One person found this helpful
So much literature in just a few pages
on December 31, 2015
I finished "The Educated Imagination" several hours ago. And it is with me, intellectually at least. My daughter took it and began to read it as long as I told her about the merits of a work that is so absorbing and full of insight and meditations the she didn't resist the idea of abandoning other readings to get this.
I read "The Bible Code" by the same author so this is my second Northrop Frye in two weeks. And yes, to read his books is like an addiction. I had read several literary critics both Spaniards and English, before Frye. The big difference with the rest of them, I guess, lies in the intention that Frye has to be clearly understood by his readers --or by his listeners (the book being a "transcript" of a Canadian radio program).
Clearly understood, which means the reason why his sentences doesn't have that jargon and all that stuff that only serves an author that wants to be misunderstood or not understood at all. He is the opposite of those writers that you have in mind right now if you read literary critic.
So here you find exactly what the title of the book say: what is an educated imagination and why it matters to all of us.
The author was convinced that literature serves a purpose and for doing that it has some tools in his box. Furthermore, those tools right now are the result of a long history that begins with poetry and ends with prose, which is the most advance mechanism for transmitting ideas. In between you have some illustrious representatives like the Bible and the Greek mythology. And also the literary genres (poetry, drama, narrative...) that inhabit in and emerges from those major nests.
Why do we read books? What happen if we don't? Why is important to read? What purpose it serves? What is the imagination role here? Every single issue is addressed by Frye with eloquence and with respect for the reader. He is not thinking in students but in ordinary people like me, or whoever love books and literature.
Perhaps it may serve something to say that you could read it after or before a more recent book by Jonathan Gottschall called The "Storytelling Animal: How Stories Make Us Human." Both are highly complementary despite the fact that Frye is a consecrated author.
Any case, what makes the difference is the celestial prose and the solid insights of Northrop Frye. You could agree or not with him but he will make you think about how you read and how to talk about literature, even among those who hate books.
A non-stop reading for passionates.