Fearful symmetry a study of william blake is a 1947 book by canadian literary critic northrop frye whose subject is the work of english poet and visual artist william blakethe book has been hailed as one of the most important contributions to the study of william blake and one of the very first that embarked on the interpretation of many of blakes most obscure works. Some time ago i reread northrop fryes fearful symmetry before having another read through of the poems of william blake including the longer poems the four zoas milton and jerusalem despite my appreciation of fryes book i was struck by the disconnect between many of fryes well expressed and coherent ideas and the poems themselves. Published in 1947 fearful symmetry was northrop fryes first book and the product of over a decade of intense labour drawing readers into the imaginative world of william blake frye succeeded in making blakes voice and vision intelligible to the wider public. This brilliant outline of blakes thought and commentary on his poetry comes on the crest of the current interest in blake and carries us further towards an understanding of his work than any previous study here is a dear and complete solution to the riddles of the longer poems the so called prophecies and a demonstration of blakes insight that will amaze the modern reader. Other articles where fearful symmetry a study of william blake is discussed northrop frye in 1947 he published fearful symmetry a study of william blake which was a sweeping and erudite study of blakes visionary symbolism and established the groundwork for his engagement with literary theory in anatomy of criticism 1957 he challenged the hegemony of the new criticism by emphasizing
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