Northrop Frye Angus Fletcher - Essay

Angus Fletcher

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

Critics often fight undeclared wars, and any theorist who would free the traffic of criticism must harmonize variant and even discordant interests. Like [Georges-Eugène Haussmann, Préfet de la Seine under Napoleon III,] he must deal with a city that has grown more or less at random in response to historical accident. City planning frequently begins when it is too late; one asks, is it too expensive to rebuild? Furthermore, theoretical networks like the [Anatomy of Criticism] are always called "antihistorical," since they openly resist the uncontrolled evolution of historically changing cityscape, on which they impose a simpler, reductive, more efficient system of intercommunication. They replace narrow alleys...

(The entire section is 4361 words.)