There are winners and losers every time intellectual capital changes hands. But the upside of that process is that there are always figures from the past who are ready to be rediscovered and repurposed for a new generation. One of the literary critics who suffered from the poststructuralist revolution in the late 1960s is the Canadian archetypist Northrop Frye, whose magnum opus, 1957’s Anatomy of Criticism, is, if my own graduate-school experience is a reliable judge, a book that many more people reference than read. Lost in the shuffle, perhaps, is the fact that Frye is also one of the most important writers on the relationship between Christianity and literature, having written two books on the influence of the Bible on English literature and many other essays on similar subjects.
Our guest today on Christian Humanist Profiles is Claude le Fustec, whose latest book, Northrop Frye and American Fiction, is an attempt to rehabilitate Frye—not so much by talking about him as by putting his methods into practice on a series of classic American novels. Le Fustec is a maître de Conférences in the department of English at the University of Rennes.