Words with Power: Being a Second Study of ""The Bible and Literature""

Northrop Frye, Author Houghton Mifflin Harcourt P $24.95 (342p) ISBN 978-0-15-198462-6
The Bible is saturated with myth and metaphor, writes Frye. In this sequel to The Great Code: The Bible and Literature , the eminent critic places biblical imagery and narrative structure within the framework of Western literature. He traces Jacob's dream of the ladder (Genesis 28) back to ancient Near Eastern religions, and forward to T. S. Eliot. He reads Moby Dick as a modern reworking of the Bible's leviathan symbolism. He interprets the Tower of Babel as ``a cyclical symbol, an example of the rising and falling of great kingdoms,'' with parallels in Joyce's Finnegans Wake. The first half of this tremendously rich study lays a theoretical groundwork that will interest mainly specialists; the second half delves deeply into biblical stories and metaphors, illuminating their meanings for our time and catching their echoes in Shakespeare, Dante, Shelley, Yeats, Spenser, Eliot and Verlaine. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 10/31/1990
Release date: 11/01/1990
Paperback - 372 pages - 978-0-15-698365-5
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