Case 1

“Northrop’s reading precocity allowed him to start on the family’s Altemus editions of children’s classics. His absorption in books was immediate and so pervasive that in the normal troubled sleep stage of four-year-olds, he awoke one night with a searing image from an illustration in the Altemus edition of Pilgrim’s Progress of Faithful being burned at the stake.”

“Another book which left a strong impression on [Frye] was the common storybook of ancient myth, Charles Kingsley’s The Heroes: or, Greek fairy tales for my children. It’s interesting to see how Kingsley divided the three basic ‘stories’ of Perseus, the Argonauts and Theseus into distinct narrative phases, indicating the rise-and-fall shape of tragedy. In his introduction, he even suggested that ‘fairy tales’ called mythoi by the Greeks were told by all nations ‘when they are young’, thus implying the primitive focus of imaginative language.”

— John Ayre, Northrop Frye: a biography.
Toronto: Random House, 1989.