The 1962 CBC Massey Lectures, "The Educated Imagination"

1963-massey-frye.gifIn the 1962 Massey Lectures, Northrop Frye writes:

"What good is the study of literature? Does it help us to think more clearly or feel more sensitively or live a better life than we would without it? What is the function of the teacher and scholar or the person who calls himself, as I do, a literary critic? What difference does the study of literature make in our social or political or religious attitude? In my early days, I thought very little about such questions, not because I had any of the answers but because I assumed that anybody who asked them was naive. I think now that the simplest questions are not only the hardest to answer but the most important to ask..."

With its relaxed, informal and frequently humorous style of presentation, The Educated Imagination is considered the most approachable introduction to Frye's work.

The Educated Imagination is published by House of Anansi.

Listen to Part 1
media clip

Listen to Part 2
media clip

Listen to Part 3
media clip

Listen to Part 4
media clip

Listen to Part 5
media clip

Listen to Part 6
media clip

Listen to all other CBC Massey Lectures

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

Submission Policy

Note: The CBC does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comments, you acknowledge that CBC has the right to reproduce, broadcast and publicize those comments or any part thereof in any manner whatsoever. Please note that comments are moderated and published according to our submission guidelines.