Frye Alert: Of Culture and Condos

Courtesy of Bob Denham,  another Frye sighting, and a very interesting one indeed: an article by Kyle Carsten Wyatt in The Walrus.  The article puts together Frye’s ideas about Canadian Culture and the “condominium mentality” he saw as superseding the earlier “garrison mentality” he discusses in The Bush Garden. The author misunderstands–unless I am mistaken–what Frye means by the cultural energies of the country forming a counter-environment. Frye’s point is that imaginative culture responds to the alienating aspects of its environment by creating a counter-environment, a critical vision of the existing environment in relation to a world that actually makes human sense, as opposed to the absurdity and grotesqueness of the one we face everyday.  Otherwise, the article beautifully captures Frye’s amazing prescience, so far beyond that which passes as cultural studies today.  As the author points out, Frye was using the term condominium mentality well before the condo phenomenon really took hold and mushroomed.

You can find the article here.



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