Friday, 10 July 2015

Nose Dive

Philip Marchand tracks the decline and fall of Northrop Frye:
It has become a commonplace for academics and intellectuals to dismiss Frye as outmoded, full of bad, bourgeois habits such as transcendent humanism, liberalism and so on. His reputation has gone for a nose dive. Critic Terry Eagleton—Frye called him a “Marxist goof”—famously asked the rhetorical question, “Who now reads Frye?” A much more formidable figure, the late critic Frank Kermode, in a 2006 interview, commented, “Frye is now a name that you never hear mentioned.” In a 2005 issue of Commentary, editor Joseph Epstein listed Frye among a group of critics that have been “fading from prominence and now beginning to fade from memory.” In short, Frye’s bones have been pulverized in the mills of academic fashion.

1 comment:

Brian Campbell said...

The article, though, goes on to describe Frye publication and critical attention has been on the upswing since 2007, and that it's well deserved.