Northrop Frye: A Vision of the New World (New World by David Cook

By David Cook

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At the base of the use of words in this early phase is the attempt to have some power over the dynamic forces that make up the natural environment. ” Frye appears very close in his use of the poetic to that found in Horkheimer’s and Adorno’s study in the Dialectic of Enlightenment. Premised here is a fundamental unity of humanity with nature, hence the desire to personify the natural world. Thus, Frye shares the view that ultimately humanity must come to some reuniting with nature which has fundamentally been alienated through the rapacious development of technological energies.

Here the sense that we have fallen away from the vision of the better world is the, startingpoint. This is often attributed, as he suggests, to the loss of the Bible’s revelation, or is evidenced by any of the secular visions that are so prominent in the history of political theory up to the current utopian theorists. The imagination, as a consequence, is logically revolu-, tionary in character, dissatisfied with what exists and forever blowing bubbles or fantasizing about a better world. The critical aspect of the imagination is what steers Frye away from traditional conservative positions.

Frye identifies this as a central theme in Cervantes’ Don Qutjcote. Frye suggests the childishness of some of the adventures in Don Qutjtote must be distinguished from the childlike qualities of innocence created by the acts of fantasy. The point of the imagination for Cervantes and, in many Mr. Golden Sun 47 ways for Frye, is to come to grips with the loss of the golden age. As Frye suggests, Quixote’s obsessions concerning chivalry are in his own way a defense of a moral code. This use of the imagination create, for Frye as well, a sense of moral realism.

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