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Anti-Humanism

Terry Eagleton: Lawrence Sanitised, 5 February 2004

D.H. Lawrence and ‘Difference’: Post-Coloniality and the Poetry of the Present 
by Amit Chaudhuri.
Oxford, 226 pp., £20, June 2003, 0 19 926052 4
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... on Flaubert, Hélène Cixous on Joyce, Harold Bloom on Wallace Stevens, J. Hillis Miller on Henry James. Some theorists are slapdash readers, but so are some non-theoretical critics. Derrida is so perversely myopic a reader, doggedly pursuing the finest flickers of meaning across a page, that he exasperates some of his opponents with his supersubtlety, not ...

Radical Egoism

Stuart Hampshire, 19 August 1982

The Letters of D.H. Lawrence, Vol II: June 1913-October 1916 
edited by George Zytaruk and James Boulton.
Cambridge, 700 pp., £20, May 1982, 0 521 23111 6
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Selected Short Stories 
by D.H. Lawrence, edited by Brian Finney.
Penguin, 540 pp., £1.95, June 1982, 0 13 043160 5
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The Trespasser 
by D.H. Lawrence, edited by Elizabeth Mansfield.
Cambridge, 327 pp., £22.50, April 1982, 0 521 22264 8
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... of early fame after Sons and Lovers, and of the publication of The Rainbow and its banning, and of Lawrence’s violent and despairing reactions to the war. He was already a fully recognised writer, a probable genius, and his more intimate correspondents include Cynthia Asquith, Ottoline Morrell, Bertrand Russell, Edward Marsh, Middleton Murry and Katherine ...

Trouble with a Dead Mule

Lawrence Rosen: Pashas, 5 August 2010

Pashas: Traders and Travellers in the Islamic World 
by James Mather.
Yale, 302 pp., £25, October 2009, 978 0 300 12639 6
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... of tumultuous military, diplomatic and economic events – defined the pashas’ world, but, as James Mather points out in this engaging study, two features of their enterprise stand out: the pre-eminent role of the individual trader and the company’s deep involvement in politics in Constantinople and London. English trade to the Ottoman Empire really ...

Festschriftiness

Susan Pedersen, 6 October 2011

Structures and Transformations in Modern British History 
edited by David Feldman and Jon Lawrence.
Cambridge, 331 pp., £50, January 2011, 978 0 521 51882 6
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The Peculiarities of Liberal Modernity in Imperial Britain 
edited by Simon Gunn and James Vernon.
California, 271 pp., £20.95, May 2011, 978 0 9845909 5 7
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Classes, Cultures and Politics: Essays on British History for Ross McKibbin 
edited by Clare Griffiths, John Nott and William Whyte.
Oxford, 320 pp., £65, April 2011, 978 0 19 957988 4
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... turn’ in an essay published in Social History in 1992, a tempest ensued. Jon Lawrence and Miles Taylor, two of Stedman Jones’s recent PhD students, insisted that Mayfield and Thorne had entirely misunderstood their mentor’s work, which they felt should be judged not in terms of its theoretical affiliations but according to an ...

Peter Conrad’s Flight from Precision

Richard Poirier, 17 July 1980

Imagining America 
by Peter Conrad.
Routledge, 319 pp., £7.50, May 1980, 0 7100 0370 6
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... R.L. Stevenson (‘Epic (and Chivalric) America’), H.G. Wells (‘Futuristic America’), D.H. Lawrence (‘Primitive America’), W.H. Auden (‘Theological America’), Aldous Huxley (Psychedelic America’), and Christopher Isherwood (‘Mystical America’). As the chapter titles suggest, each of these writers is supposed to see America as if it were ...

Cold-Shouldered

James Wood: John Carey, 8 March 2001

Pure Pleasure: A Guide to the 20th Century’s Most Enjoyable Books 
by John Carey.
Faber, 173 pp., £6.99, September 2000, 0 571 20448 1
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... An easy moralism animates this worldview. Picasso was a pig; Edmund Gosse was ‘a bore’; D.H. Lawrence hit Frieda and wanted to exterm-inate whole races; Virginia Woolf was a pretentious snob who said horrible things about the plebeian Joyce, and about the girls who worked at Woolworths; James Kelman acted like a ...

Like ink and milk

John Bayley, 10 September 1992

‘Sons and Lovers’: The Unexpurgated Text 
by D.H. Lawrence, edited by Helen Baron and Carl Baron.
Cambridge, 675 pp., £70, September 1992, 0 521 24276 2
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D.H. LawrenceThe Early Years, 1885-1912 
by John Worthen.
Cambridge, 464 pp., £14.95, September 1992, 0 521 43221 9
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‘Sons and Lovers’ 
by Michael Black.
Cambridge, 126 pp., £19.95, September 1992, 0 521 36074 9
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... socially and sexually, from his contemporaries; and many of them seized the opportunity, D.H. Lawrence no less than Jane Austen. That establishing and disengaging of the self became in the 19th century more and more a part of the classic writer’s instinct, and merges with the novel’s own unique form of self-therapy. Dickens explores himself through it ...

Apocalypse

David Trotter, 14 September 1989

The Rainbow 
by D.H. Lawrence, edited by Mark Kinkead-Weekes.
Cambridge, 672 pp., £55, March 1989, 0 521 22869 7
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D.H. Lawrence in the Modern World 
edited by Peter Preston and Peter Hoare.
Macmillan, 221 pp., £29.50, May 1989, 0 333 45269 0
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D.H. Lawrence and the Phallic Imagination: Essays on Sexual Identity and Feminist Misreading 
by Peter Balbert.
Macmillan, 190 pp., £27.50, June 1989, 0 333 43964 3
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... That E.M. Forster gave only two cheers for democracy, but three for D.H. Lawrence, on the occasion of Lawrence’s death, is well-known. Forster was upset that the lowbrows Lawrence scandalised had joined forces with the highbrows he bored to denigrate ‘the greatest imaginative novelist’ of his generation ...

Men in Love

Paul Delany, 3 September 1987

Women in Love 
by D.H. Lawrence, edited by David Farmer, Lindeth Vasey and John Worthen.
Cambridge, 633 pp., £40, May 1987, 0 521 23565 0
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The Letters of D.H. LawrenceVol. IV, 1921-24 
edited by Warren Roberts, James Boulton and Elizabeth Mansfield.
Cambridge, 627 pp., £35, May 1987, 0 521 23113 2
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... Lawrence’s maxim ‘we shed our sicknesses in books’ is usually applied to Sons and Lovers, where he disposed of his nearly fatal over-attachment to his mother. But Women in Love is a cathartic novel too, though here the sickness is less easy to cure. The sickness itself is obvious enough: it is misanthropy, a continuous rage at almost everyone around ...

Alpha and Omega

Dan Jacobson, 5 February 1981

Apocalypse and the Writings on Revelation 
by D.H. Lawrence, edited by Mara Kalnins.
Cambridge, 249 pp., £12.50, October 1980, 0 521 22407 1
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... Lawrence on the Revelation which was vouchsafed to the biblical John of Patmos? Those who know both writers can only fear the worst. Woozy metaphysics. Wild history. Blood-stained theology. Vituperation galore. Promises of chaos to come. Even more dismaying glimpses of redemption to follow. Well, one does find something of these in Lawrence’s Apocalypse ...

Hatching, Splitting, Doubling

James Lasdun: Smooching the Swan, 21 August 2003

Fantastic Metamorphoses, Other Worlds: Ways of Telling the Self 
by Marina Warner.
Oxford, 264 pp., £19.99, October 2002, 0 19 818726 2
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... writings of Confucius and Ovid’s Metamorphoses the only safe guides in religion’), and D.H. Lawrence seems to be on similar ground in his famous rejection of ‘the old stable ego of the character’ in favour of ‘another ego, according to whose action the individual is unrecognisable and passes through, as it were, allotropic states’. I like to ...

The First Hundred Years

James Buchan, 24 August 1995

John Buchan: The Presbyterian Cavalier 
by Andrew Lownie.
Constable, 365 pp., £20, July 1995, 0 09 472500 4
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... art (which, in this case, is literature). John Buchan belongs to that group of writers – T.E. Lawrence in this country, St Exupéry and Malraux in France, D’Annunzio in Italy – who created their personalities out of their reading and then acted out these literary personalities. The difference was that he was also a practical man. John Buchan started ...

Bringing it home to Uncle Willie

Frank Kermode, 6 May 1982

Joseph Conrad: A Biography 
by Roger Tennant.
Sheldon Press, 276 pp., £12.50, January 1982, 0 85969 358 9
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Edward Garnett: A Life in Literature 
by George Jefferson.
Cape, 350 pp., £12.50, April 1982, 0 224 01488 9
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The Edwardian Novelists 
by John Batchelor.
Duckworth, 251 pp., £18, February 1982, 0 7156 1109 7
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The Uses of Obscurity: The Fiction of Early Modernism 
by Allon White.
Routledge, 190 pp., £12, August 1981, 0 7100 0751 5
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... Lovers (for structural and commercial reasons, it seems, not to eliminate sexy passages – and Lawrence wholly approved). And it is true that he had an instinct for, and endless patience with, those who tend to be regarded as the better sort of novelist. He was the advocate of W.H. Hudson in the early years of the century, and, a generation ...

The Rainbow

Lawrence Gowing, 17 March 1983

Rubens and the Poetics of Landscape 
by Lisa Vergara.
Yale, 228 pp., £29, November 1982, 0 03 000250 8
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James Ward’s Gordale Scar: An Essay in the Sublime 
by Edward Nygren.
Tate Gallery, 64 pp., £2.95, November 1982, 0 905005 93 7
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... landscapes of Rubens (including their bovine staffage, which no one else has had any use for) was James Ward. The Tate exhibition of Ward’s Gordale Scar with the whole range of studies and drawings for that picture (unluckily, too close to megalomania to be taken seriously as the masterpiece which, as a painterly performance, it undoubtedly was) revealed ...

With a Da bin ich!

Seamus Perry: Properly Lawrentian, 9 September 2021

Burning Man: The Ascent of D.H. Lawrence 
by Frances Wilson.
Bloomsbury, 488 pp., £25, May, 978 1 4088 9362 3
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... Never trust the artist,’ D.H. Lawrence wrote, ‘trust the tale.’ It must be his most famous aphorism – David Lodge even called it ‘a cardinal principle of modern hermeneutics’. It has proved especially popular with critics who want to deny authors the last word on their work. ‘What if a reader construes a poem in a way you felt you didn’t mean?’ an interviewer once asked Larkin ...

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