chapter  4
33 Pages

The Great Code

In The Great Code: The Bible and Literature (1982) Frye begins to fulfil his desire to write a book on the Bible which amplifies his comments on the Bible and its centrality to English and Western literature and mythology in many of his books, including Fearful Symmetry, Anatomy of Criticism and The Critical Path. A prologue to The Great Code, Creation and Recreation (1980), first delivered as the Larkin-Stuart Lectures at the University of Toronto in 1980, looks at the ideas of creation and recreation, the divine and the human, the religious and the literary. His analysis of the Bible finds its completion in Words with Power (1990) and The Double Vision (1991), which I discuss in chapters 7 and 8. It suffices to say that Frye exercised a Miltonic patience, and perhaps frustration, in completing his great task of relating the Bible and literature together, something that probably arose out of Frye’s training in both theology and English literature at university. This study of the Bible and (not as) literature was a personal response as well as ‘a study of the Bible from the point of view of a literary critic’ (Frye 1982b:xi). Frye explains the genesis of his book from his undergraduate course on the Bible at Toronto.