Drawn from previously unpublished essays, talks, reviews and papers, this volume of Northrop Frye's collected works spans some fifty years of his long writing career. The earliest item is a paper on The Canterbury Tales dating from Frye's student days at Oxford. The latest was written in 1989, on the occasion of his receiving his thirty-sixth honorary degree from the University of Bologna.
The center-piece of the collection is Frye's lengthy and ambitious essay, Rencontre. Intended as an introduction to a never-published anthology of English literature, it is unique in Frye's oeuvre, being the only example of a sustained, continuous encounter with an entire literary tradition. Rencontre is a masterwork in its own right. Other important essays include: Shakespeare and the Comedy of Humours, The Literary Meaning of 'Archetype, ' and Blake's Jerusalem.
Frye was a profound and original thinker whose stature has not yet been fully realized. The writings collected here not only exemplify his extraordinary mind and elegant prose style - they show a far-sightedness and range that has not been seen before.