...And The Point Was?
From "The Critical Path" by Northrop Frye in Keesey's Contexts for Criticism:
"It often happens that interesting literature is produced by an uninteresting man, in the sense of one who disappoints us if we are looking for some kind of culture-hero" (281).
I picked this quote for two reasons. My first reason is that I couldn't get anything else out of this essay. I tried reading and rereading lines, thinking that I was missing the point but I'm not so sure the man really had a clear point, thus his whole article would be a muddy point for me. Some articles that we read for class beat around the bush and are confusing but come together in the end, this one was different (for me at least). Could someone clarify this for me? What was "the point"? Did anyone else heve difficulty reading this?
My second point (see I didn't forget) is that this quote in particular is what Dr. Jerz has been saying about looking at the author biography all semester. Some authors are just plain boring and so if we want to look at them historically, we need to look at "the social situation from which [the author] springs" (281). We could make a good approximation of what kinds of audiences the author would be writing for, what social conditions (s)he is addressing, etc by looking at this instead. I guess that I'm starting to see the value of historical criticism in literature and I've also realized that I've even unknowingly used it. I wrote about the social conditions during the time that Dickens wrote "A Christmas Carol" as a way of upholding the work's importance to culture.