Christ crops up so frequently as a character in modern literature that every sophisticated reader nods knowingly when an author takes pains to point out that a certain character bears the initials J. C., is Thirty-Three Years Old, or Once Worked as a Carpenter. When a character has a Defeat on Friday, the mythwise reader can guess that the same character will rise to Triumph on Sunday. Writers as diverse as Dostoyevsky and Tennessee Williams, Steinbeck and Graham Greene, Faulkner and Nathanael West have all produced recognizable Christ figures, often in metamorphoses perverse enough to...
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