Joseph Frank (1918–2013) achieved fame as a literary scholar first with his three-part essay “Spatial Form in Modern Literature” (1945) and then with his five-volume critical biography Dostoevsky (1976–2002). This essay traces his career, emphasizing its divergence from the practices both of New Criticism at its start and of the theory movement in the 1970s and 1980s, and noting the crucial role played by Allen Tate and the Sewanee Review. Unfashionable independence, fidelity to personal fascination, and unremitting effort all play a role in scholarly accomplishment.

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