Even more critics with a sense of humour

I’m still working on that dratted parody chapter for the PhD thingy (the end-of-semester hell is really bad if you want to get some other work done apart from corrections and exams … *roll eyes*), and now I’m reading Northrop Frye’s (btw, “Northrop” is not included in the Oxford University Press’s CONCISE DICTIONARY OF FIRST NAMES) ANATOMY OF CRITICISM (with a new foreword by Harold Bloom). While leafing through Frye’s “Polemical Introduction” I was happy to note that here again is a critic with a sense of humour:

Most critical efforts to handle such generic terms as “epic” and “novel” are chiefly interesting as examples of the psychology of rumor. Thanks to the Greeks [i.e. Aristotle], we can distinguish tragedy from comedy in drama, and so we still tend to assume that each is the half of drama that is not the other half. When we come to deal with such forms as the masque, opera, movie, ballet, puppet-play, mystery-play, morality, commedia dell’arte, and Zauberspiel, we find ourselves in the position of the Renaissance doctors who refused to treat syphilis because Galen said nothing about it.

Tee-hee. 🙂


I’ve been thinking for some time now about doing a podcast for my courses at uni. But — would anybody other than my students be interested in a British-history-in-9-weeks class? Or in a series of lectures on Thackeray?

And what about the name for such a podcast?


Literature for Everyone

Books, Cats, and Me

*scratching my head*

2 thoughts on “Even more critics with a sense of humour

  1. The Tudor Rose

    Hehehe… I’d be interested. Mostly because I think working with you would be awesome, and I’d love to hear what your classes are all about.

    Unfortunately for me, I got a bit sick of academia, put off doing ‘real’ work, and my publication record/conference attendance stinks. I’m not sure that I’d have much luck getting into a PhD program at this point (that and I have no idea what topic I’d actually research). Hearing you talk about your students makes me wish I’d stuck it out, though.

  2. Carolyn

    Oh my gosh, Sandy!! You have to do this. I would definitely listen. I could download them to my mp3 player and listen while I’m at my incredibly boring day job. They’d never know I wasn’t listening to the Sex Pistols!


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