Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Secular Scripture: A Study of the Structure of Romance” as Want to Read:
The Secular Scripture: A Study of the Structure of Romance
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Secular Scripture: A Study of the Structure of Romance

4.04  ·  Rating Details ·  72 Ratings  ·  8 Reviews
Northrop Frye's thinking has had a pervasive impact on contemporary interpretations of our literary and cultural heritage. In his Anatomy of Criticism, a landmark in the history of modern critical theory, he demonstrated his genius for mapping out the realm of imaginative creation. In The Secular Scripture he turns again to the task of establishing a broad theoretical fram ...more
Paperback, 200 pages
Published January 1st 1978 by Harvard University Press (first published January 1st 1973)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Secular Scripture, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Secular Scripture

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Adam Ross
Dec 22, 2009 Adam Ross rated it really liked it
Shelves: literary-study
As with all of Frye's work, it is a mixture between wonderful and horrible. Often he makes great observations coming from a perspective that is completely backwards to reality. He says much about the Bible as literature, but assumes that it is only literature instead of history, and has an annoying tendency to refer to apocryphal stories as though they were as authortitative as Scripture itself (coming, no doubt, from his assumption that both are on equal footing literarily). So some worldview d ...more
Umar
Feb 14, 2010 Umar rated it really liked it
An excellent read. Something addictive about literary analysis. There are countless parallels made to Biblical scripture and Frye analyzes many different works in his piece.

Some big themes emerge in his discussion, he dwells on them briefly and then departs. Some of these themes are surprising, and mentioned eloquently but in a cryptically passive way.

I like this book because it's imaginative and hope to finish some of his other books.
Mark
Nov 02, 2008 Mark rated it really liked it
Shelves: lit-crit
The Secular Scripture offers a free-wheeling discussion of the different forms Romantic narratives take and why the forms (epic verse, chanson, play, opera, novel) matter to the meanings of the works and to the concept of Romance itself. His wide-ranging exploration includes Classical Greek and Roman drama, William Golding, Benjamin Franklin, the stories of O. Henry, and The Magic Flute. Frye’s digression into the differences between the erotic and the pornographic is entertaining.
Susan Holtz
Sep 05, 2014 Susan Holtz rated it it was amazing
I've re-read this recently. A brilliant and insightful exploration of the history of popular story-telling: the sublime; the smutty; the recurring themes; the magical/ coincidental recognitions and resolutions and so on. Think of The Tempest or The Menaechmi, but written by Chaucer or the Brothers Grimm on a good day.
Conrad Leibel
Jun 13, 2015 Conrad Leibel rated it it was amazing
Wise, insightful work which analyzes the social and cultural functions of the romance form. Philosophical and meditative, I would recommend Frye's book to anyone with an interest in narratives, literary theory, and a desire for earnest self reflection.
Chris Schaeffer
May 04, 2012 Chris Schaeffer rated it really liked it
All I'd like to say is that some of the Greek romances Frye mentions are quiet difficult to find! Get on that, publishing world. I know Penguin put out a thing of Greek novels a year or so ago-- but why do things in half measure? Come on.
William Baker
Jun 15, 2016 William Baker rated it it was amazing
Great thought, often uplifting, occasionally complex but worth the sweat! Recommended for all who want to know what the process of reading does to them without a recourse to psychology, except in a few passages where some Jungian influence is detectable.
J. Guapster
May 10, 2013 J. Guapster rated it it was amazing
Frye is classic. I especially liked Chapter 4: Themes of Descent and Chapter 5: Themes of Ascent.
Miikka
Miikka rated it liked it
Apr 23, 2010
Tom L
Tom L rated it it was amazing
Dec 21, 2013
Brian Kehler
Brian Kehler rated it it was amazing
Oct 06, 2016
Jim
Jim rated it really liked it
Jul 26, 2014
Dominique Santos
Dominique Santos rated it really liked it
Feb 03, 2017
Alice
Alice rated it really liked it
Jul 31, 2013
Matthew Pridham
Matthew Pridham rated it it was amazing
Sep 12, 2011
Tim
Tim rated it liked it
Jun 30, 2014
Virginia
Virginia rated it it was amazing
Oct 07, 2012
verbava
verbava rated it really liked it
Sep 08, 2014
Juan
Juan rated it liked it
Dec 19, 2016
Sue Bridgwater
Sue Bridgwater rated it it was amazing
Jul 04, 2016
Michileen Martin
Michileen Martin rated it liked it
Apr 19, 2010
Ana Garcia Julio
Ana Garcia Julio rated it really liked it
Aug 01, 2015
John
John rated it it was amazing
Nov 02, 2014
Ava k.o. Johnson
Ava k.o. Johnson rated it it was amazing
Mar 27, 2014
Eunice
Eunice rated it really liked it
May 14, 2014
Meghan
Meghan rated it liked it
Oct 23, 2009
Arianada
Arianada rated it really liked it
Jul 27, 2014
Nika
Nika rated it it was amazing
Nov 25, 2016
Mark Mcphee
Mark Mcphee rated it it was amazing
Aug 17, 2014
« previous 1 3 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
58765
Born in Quebec but raised in New Brunswick, Frye studied at the University of Toronto and Victoria University. He was ordained to the ministry of the United Church of Canada and studied at Oxford before returning to UofT.

His first book, Fearful Symmetry, was published in 1947 to international acclaim. Until then, the prophetic poetry of William Blake had long been poorly understood, considered by
...more
More about Northrop Frye...

Share This Book