Reading Northrop Frye Reading François Rabelais

Robert D. Denham

Abstract


"In looking at the several points of contact between Frye and Rabelais, we have perhaps gained a better understanding of Frye’s statement that “Rabelais is probably the writer who most clearly grasped all the dimensions of language and verbal communication” (CW 6: 458). The points of contact between Frye and Rabelais—giantism, allegory, linear rhythm, the passage from oracle to wit, the movement of creative descent, the nature of the anatomy as a prose form—help us to understand at least some of the reasons why Rabelais was such a compelling writer for Frye, who was fascinated by encyclopedic works."

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