Journal Article

THE PILGRIM'S PLANE-CRASH: BUCHAN, BUNYAN AND CANONICITY

Jeremy Idle

in Literature and Theology

Volume 13, issue 3, pages 249-258
Published in print September 1999 | ISSN: 0269-1205
Published online September 1999 | e-ISSN: 1477-4623 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/litthe/13.3.249
THE PILGRIM'S PLANE-CRASH: BUCHAN, BUNYAN AND CANONICITY

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This paper examines the relationship between John Buchan and John Bunyan. The former was an avid reader of the latter, using him as a touchstone in a way which marginalises even the Bible. The Pilgrim's Progress thus becomes part of the sacred canon, or indeed the main canonical text in Buchan's work, particularly in Mr Standfast. The idea of ‘the way’ stands out in the novel among numerous other references to Bunyan, and Christ virtually disappears behind this Christ claimed to be ‘the way, the truth and the life,’ but both texts destabilise allegory. Bunyan has provoked various readings involving the forgetting or half-forgetting of allegory's secondary applications, and Buchan's novel is an extreme example of such interpretations.

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Subjects: Literature ; Religion and Art, Literature, and Music

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