“Was not their mistake once more bred of the life of slavery that they had been living?—a life which was always looking upon everything, except mankind, animate and inanimate—‘nature,’ as people used to call it—as one thing, and mankind as another, it was natural to people thinking in this way, that they should try to make ‘nature’ their slave, since they thought ‘nature’ was something outside them” — William Morris

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Northrop Frye reads Buddhism

It's not well known that the towering New Critic Northrop Frye studied Buddhist texts, quite seriously. Before him Empson was fascinated by Buddha faces and was writing a book manuscript about them (it may have shown up, I hear, but I'm not totally sure). Frye's journals show ample evidence of a thoughtful and quite deep encounter with Buddhism. He wonders for instance whether Protestantism and Zen share some similar undercurrents. (Remember he's a quasi-Jungian who thinks in terms of collective myths.)


Catherine said...

What an excellently placed caveat.

I find these posts on Buddhism very interesting.

daz hastings said...

hyptheses 1: in principle OOO makes "non-attachment" (as a practice) easier.

I've already made enourmous in-roads on this subject. In just two months of absorbing OOO, I can see and feel how non-attachment will be newly conceived.