d.h. lawrence | we are transmitters

25 03 2008
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Painting by D.H. Lawrence
Poetry Dispatch No. 223 | March 25, 2008

D. H. Lawrence

The first introduction was college. Cursory. The second (more intense) through a left-leaning, used book dealer in Chicago, Paul Romaine, (See CHI TOWN, Northwestern University Press or Ellis Press). Romaine, a mentor of sorts, who introduced me to Henry Miller about the same time and saw to it that as a young writer I read the right things: LADY CHATTERLEY’S LOVER and TROPIC OF CANCER, among other works by both writers. Some quite difficult to find at the time.

The third introduction to Lawrence (life changing…one of those writers you swallow whole, who becomes part of your literary bloodstream) came with my great love affair with the southwest (late 50’s, 60’s, 70’s, 80’s)…with Mexico, but even more, New Mexico, where I thought, in the 80’s, I was headed for good. So long, Chicago, “…city of the big shoulders,” [Sandburg] and GOODBYE WISCONSIN [Glenway Wescott]. Hello mountains, desert, and every writer and artist who had touched down around Santa Fe and Taos.

Circumstances, however, proved otherwise.

This is a period of time that needs more attending to, given the small shelf of Blei’s collected works. Which I plan to attend to, if time allows. At least three unfinished manuscripts with Southwestern backgrounds remain buried somewhere in this coop.

Aside from my unsophisticated/unheralded/mostly unknown “Henry Miller-influenced” watercolor paintings, probably the two main pieces of written work reflecting that time and Lawrence’s influence rest in a single somewhat acclaimed short story, “The Hour of the Sunshine Now”–the title story of a first collection of short stories published by Story Press in 1978. That and some Southwest references in two novels (ADVENTURES IN AN AMERICAN’S LITERATURE and THE SECOND NOVEL)…and scattered pieces of journalism which appeared in a number of national magazines and newspapers, including The Chicago Tribune which featured, page 1, two major ‘travel’ essays on Santa Fe. A place which became my obsession, dream, escape, home-away-from-home (thanks two close friends, both of them now gone—literally and figurative speaking). The place I had to go part of the year, each year for almost 30 years.

Lawrence was always waiting there, in that desert-mountain landscape. I connected with him on every visit, sought him out in books, carried him along on my walks, read him on sunny benches in the old plazas of Santa Fe and Taos, in the bar of the La Fonda, cafes, libraries, bookstores, and late at night, often read his poems and stories, nodding off to sleep.

I journeyed to his old haunts in and around Taos. Found his spirit alive and well, in this tiny part of America which so captivated him. One afternoon I discovered a small, extraordinary collection of his paintings owned by a lively old Greek businessman in Taos, who displayed them in his office. You couldn’t get any closer to the source than that. I took everything in—the myth and the man. The meaning was in the words he found to explain the life he described in his time. Here it was. Is.

It was all about the sun. About place. About passion. About love. About living a life free of the usual restraints. Any writer (or person) on the threshold of breaking out, needing a shove, or seeking to rise from whatever ashes his life has succumbed to (Lawrence’s symbol was the phoenix) could not find a better escape plan or route to a new life than the works of D. H. Lawrence.

He’s ‘still in the blood,’ though I have not given him the thought or credit he deserves in some time now…till I stumbled upon this poem the other night. Norbert Blei

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Painting by D.H. Lawrence

We Are Transmitters by D. H. Lawrence

As we live, we are transmitters of life.
And when we fail to transmit life, life fails to flow
through us.

That is part of the mystery of sex, it is a flow onwards,
Sexless people’ transmit nothing.

And if, as we work, we can transmit life into our work,
life, still more life, rushes into us to compensate, to be ready
and we ripple with life through the days.
Even if it is a woman making an apple dumpling, or a
man a stool,
if life goes into the pudding, good is the pudding
good is the stool,
content is the woman, with fresh life rippling in to her,
content is the man.
Give, and it shall be given unto you
is still the truth about life.
But giving life is not so easy.
It doesn’t mean handing it out to some mean fool, or letting
the living dead eat you up.
It means kindling the life-quality where it was not,
even if it’s only in the whiteness of a washed pocket-handkerchief.

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portable.jpgEditor’s Note:

For those unfamiliar with Lawrence’s work, or wishing to re-visit him, I would recommend the Viking edition of: THE PORTABLE D. H. LAWRENCE which contains stories and novellas, poems, travel writing, letters, essays and critical work, excerpts from the novels THE RAINBOW and WOMEN IN LOVE, not to mention an excellent introduction by DianaTrilling.

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David Herbert Richards Lawrence (11 September 1885–2 March 1930) was an English writer of the 20th century, whose prolific and diverse output included novels, short stories, poems, plays, essays, travel books, paintings, translations, literary criticism, and personal letters. His collected works represent an extended reflection upon the dehumanizing effects of modernity and industrialisation. In them, Lawrence confronts issues relating to emotional health and vitality, spontaneity, sexuality, and human instinct.

Lawrence’s opinions earned him many enemies and he endured official persecution, censorship, and misrepresentation of his creative work throughout the second half of his life, much of which he spent in a voluntary exile he called his “savage pilgrimage.” At the time of his death, his public reputation was that of a pornographer who had wasted his considerable talents. E. M. Forster, in an obituary notice, challenged this widely held view, describing him as “the greatest imaginative novelist of our generation.” Later, the influential Cambridge critic F. R. Leavis championed both his artistic integrity and his moral seriousness, placing much of Lawrence’s fiction within the canonical “great tradition” of the English novel. He is now generally valued as a visionary thinker and a significant representative of modernism in English literature, although some feminists object to the attitudes toward women and sexuality found in his works.

The fourth child of Arthur John Lawrence, a barely literate miner, and Lydia, née Beardsall, a former schoolmistress, Lawrence spent his formative years in the coal mining town of Eastwood, Nottinghamshire. His birthplace, in Eastwood, 8a Victoria Street, is now a museum. His working class background and the tensions between his parents provided the raw material for a number of his early works. Lawrence would return to this locality, which he was to call “the country of my heart,”as a setting for much of his fiction.

living.jpgThe young Lawrence attended Beauvale Board School (now renamed Greasley Beauvale D.H. Lawrence Infant School in his honour) from 1891 until 1898, becoming the first local pupil to win a County Council scholarship to Nottingham High School in nearby Nottingham. There is a house in the Junior School named after him. He left in 1901, working for three months as a junior clerk at Haywood’s surgical appliances factory before a severe bout of pneumonia ended this career. Whilst convalescing he often visited Haggs Farm, the home of the Chambers family and began a friendship with Jessie Chambers. An important aspect of this relationship with Jessie and other adolescent acquaintances was a shared love of books, an interest that lasted throughout Lawrence’s life. In the years 1902 to 1906 Lawrence served as a pupil teacher at the British School, Eastwood. He went on to become a full-time student and received a teaching certificate from University College Nottingham in 1908. During these early years he was working on his first poems, some short stories, and a draft of a novel, Laetitia, that was eventually to become The White Peacock. At the end of 1907 he won a short story competition in the Nottingham Guardian, the first time that he had gained any wider recognition for his literary talents.

In the autumn of 1908 the newly qualified Lawrence left his childhood home for London. While teaching in Davidson Road School in Croydon, he continued writing. Some of the early poetry, submitted by Jessie Chambers, came to the attention of Ford Madox Hueffer, editor of the influential The English Review. Hueffer then commissioned the story Odour of Chrysanthemums which, when published in that magazine, encouraged Heinemann, a London publisher, to ask Lawrence for more work. His career as a professional author now began in earnest, although he taught for a further year. Shortly after the final proofs of his first published novel The White Peacock appeared in 1910, Lawrence’s mother died. She had been ill with cancer. The young man was devastated and he was to describe the next few months as his “sick year.” It is clear that Lawrence had an extremely close relationship with his mother and his grief following her death became a major turning point in his life, just as the death of Mrs. Morel forms a major turning point in his autobiographical novel Sons and Lovers, a work that draws upon much of the writer’s provincial upbringing.

In 1911 Lawrence was introduced to Edward Garnett, a publisher’s reader, who acted as a mentor, provided further encouragement, and became a valued friend. Throughout these months the young author revised Paul Morel, the first sketch of what was to become Sons and Lovers. In addition, a teaching colleague, Helen Corke, gave him access to her intimate diaries about an unhappy love affair, which formed the basis of The Trespasser, his second novel. In November 1911, pneumonia struck once again. After recovering his health Lawrence decided to abandon teaching in order to become a full time author. He also broke off an engagement to Louie Burrows, an old friend from his days in Nottingham and Eastwood.

In March 1912 the author met Frieda Weekley (nee von Richthofen), with whom he was to share the rest of his life. She was six years older than her new lover, married and with three young children. She was then married to Lawrence’s former modern languages professor from Nottingham University, Ernest Weekley. She eloped with Lawrence to her parents’ home in Metz, a garrison town in Germany near the disputed border with France. Their stay here included Lawrence’s first brush with militarism, when he was arrested and accused of being a British spy, before being released following an intervention from Weekley’s father. After this encounter Lawrence left for a small hamlet to the south of Munich, where he was joined by Weekley for their “honeymoon,” later memorialised in the series of love poems entitled Look! We Have Come Through (1917).

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Painting by D.H. Lawrence

From Germany they walked southwards across the Alps to Italy, a journey that was recorded in the first of his travel books, a collection of linked essays entitled Twilight in Italy and the unfinished novel, Mr Noon. During his stay in Italy, Lawrence completed the final version of Sons and Lovers that, when published in 1913, was acknowledged to represent a vivid portrait of the realities of working class provincial life. The couple returned to England in 1913 for a short visit. Lawrence now encountered and befriended critic John Middleton Murry and New Zealand-born short story writer Katherine Mansfield. Lawrence and Weekley soon went back to Italy, staying in a cottage in Fiascherino on the Gulf of Spezia. Here he started writing the first draft of a work of fiction that was to be transformed into two of his better-known novels, The Rainbow and Women in Love. Eventually, Weekley obtained her divorce. The couple returned to England at the outbreak of World War I and were married on July 13, 1914.

womeninlove.jpgWeekley’s German parentage and Lawrence’s open contempt for militarism meant that they were viewed with suspicion in wartime England and lived in near destitution. The Rainbow (1915) was suppressed after an investigation into its alleged obscenity in 1915. Later, they were even accused of spying and signalling to German submarines off of the coast of Cornwall where they lived at Zennor. During this period he finished a sequel to The Rainbow, entitled Women in Love. In it Lawrence explores the destructive features of contemporary civilization through the evolving relationships of four major characters as they reflect upon the value of the arts, politics, economics, sexual experience, friendship and marriage. This book is a bleak, bitter vision of humanity and proved impossible to publish in wartime conditions. It is now widely recognised as an English novel of great dramatic force and intellectual subtlety.

In late 1917, after constant harassment by the military authorities, Lawrence was forced to leave Cornwall at three days’ notice under the terms of the Defence of the Realm Act (DORA). This persecution was later described in an autobiographical chapter of his Australian novel Kangaroo, published in 1923. He spent some months in early 1918 in the small, rural village of Hermitage near Newbury, Berkshire. He then lived for just under a year (mid-1918 to early 1919) at Mountain Cottage, Middleton-by-Wirksworth, Derbyshire, where he wrote one of his most poetic short stories, The Wintry Peacock. Until 1919 he was compelled by poverty to shift from address to address and barely survived a severe attack of influenza.

After the traumatic experience of the war years, Lawrence began what he termed his ‘savage pilgrimage’, a time of voluntary exile. He escaped from England at the earliest practical opportunity, to return only twice for brief visits, and with his wife spent the remainder of his life travelling. This wanderlust took him to Australia, Italy, Ceylon (now called Sri Lanka), North America, Mexico and southern France.

Lawrence abandoned England in November 1919 and headed south; first to the Abruzzi district in central Italy and then onwards to Capri and the Fontana Vecchia in Taormina, Sicily. From Sicily he made brief excursions to Sardinia, Monte Cassino, Malta, Northern Italy, Austria and Southern Germany. Many of these places appeared in his writings. New novels included The Lost Girl (for which he won the James Tait Black Memorial Prize for fiction), Aaron’s Rod and the fragment entitled Mr Noon (the first part of which was published in the Phoenix anthology of his works, and the entirety in 1984). He experimented with shorter novels or novellas, such as The Captain’s Doll, The Fox and The Ladybird. In addition, some of his short stories were issued in the collection England, My England and Other Stories. During these years he produced a number of poems about the natural world in Birds, Beasts and Flowers. Lawrence is widely recognized as one of the finest travel writers in the English language. Sea and Sardinia, a book that describes a brief journey from Taormina undertaken in January 1921, is a recreation of the life of the inhabitants of this part of the Mediterranean. Less well known is the brilliant memoir of Maurice Magnus, in which Lawrence recalls his visit to the monastery of Monte Cassino. Other non-fiction books include two studies of Freudian psychoanalysis and Movements in European History, a school textbook that was published under a pseudonym, a reflection of his blighted reputation in England.

In late February 1922 the Lawrences left Europe behind with the intention of migrating to the United States. They sailed in an easterly direction, first to Ceylon and then on to Australia. A short residence in Darlington, Western Australia, which included an encounter with local writer Mollie Skinner, was followed by a brief stop in the small coastal town of Thirroul, New South Wales, during which Lawrence completed Kangaroo, a novel about local fringe politics that also revealed a lot about his wartime experiences in Cornwall.

The Lawrences finally arrived in the U.S. in September 1922. Here they encountered Mabel Dodge Luhan, a prominent socialite, and considered establishing a utopian community on what was then known as the 160-acre (0.65 km²) Kiowa Ranch near Taos, New Mexico. They acquired the property, now called the D. H. Lawrence Ranch, in 1924 in exchange for the manuscript of Sons and Lovers. He stayed in New Mexico for two years, with extended visits to Lake Chapala and Oaxaca in Mexico.

mexico.jpgWhile in the U.S., Lawrence rewrote and published Studies in Classic American Literature, a set of critical essays begun in 1917, and later described by Edmund Wilson as “one of the few first-rate books that have ever been written on the subject.” These interpretations, with their insights into symbolism, New England Transcendentalism and the puritan sensibility, were a significant factor in the revival of the reputation of Herman Melville during the early 1920s. In addition, Lawrence completed a number of new fictional works, including The Boy in the Bush, The Plumed Serpent, St Mawr, The Woman who Rode Away, The Princess and assorted short stories. He also found time to produce some more travel writing, such as the collection of linked excursions that became Mornings in Mexico.

A brief voyage to England at the end of 1923 was a failure and he soon returned to Taos, convinced that his life as an author now lay in America. However, in March 1925 he suffered a near fatal attack of malaria and tuberculosis whilst on a third visit to Mexico. Although he eventually recovered, the diagnosis of his condition obliged him to return once again to Europe. He was dangerously ill and poor health limited his ability to travel for the remainder of his life.

lady.jpgThe Lawrences made their home in a villa in Northern Italy, living near to Florence while he wrote The Virgin and the Gipsy and the various versions of Lady Chatterley’s Lover (1928). The latter book, his last major novel, was initially published in private editions in Florence and Paris and reinforced his notoriety. Lawrence responded robustly to those who claimed to be offended, penning a large number of satirical poems, published under the title of “Pansies” and “Nettles“, as well as a tract on Pornography and Obscenity.

The return to Italy allowed Lawrence to renew old friendships; during these years he was particularly close to Aldous Huxley, who was to edit the first collection of Lawrence’s letters after his death, along with a memoir. With artist Earl Brewster, Lawrence visited a number of local archaeological sites in April 1927. The resulting essays describing these visits to old tombs were written up and collected together as Sketches of Etruscan Places, a beautiful book that contrasts the lively past with Mussolini’s fascism.

Lawrence
continued to produce fiction, including short stories and The Escaped Cock (also published as The Man Who Died), an unorthodox reworking of the story of Christ’s Resurrection. During these final years Lawrence renewed a serious interest in oil painting. Official harassment persisted and an exhibition of some of these pictures at the Warren Gallery in London was raided by the British police in mid 1929 and a number of works were confiscated. Nine of the Lawrence oils have been on permanent display in the La Fonda Hotel in Taos since shortly after his death. They hang in a small office behind the hotel’s front desk and are available for viewing.

Lawrence continued to write despite his failing health. In his last months he wrote numerous poems, reviews, essays, and a robust defence of his last novel against those who sought to suppress it. His last significant work was a reflection on the Book of Revelation, Apocalypse. After being discharged from a sanatorium, he died at the Villa Robermond in Vence, France due to complications from tuberculosis. Weekley returned to live on the ranch in Taos and later her third husband brought Lawrence’s ashes to rest there in a small chapel set amid the mountains of New Mexico.

While writing Women in Love, Lawrence developed a sexual relationship, in the town of Tregerthen, with a Cornish farmer named William Henry Hocking. The affair, though brief, seems to indicate that Lawrence’s fascination with themes of homosexuality related to his own sexual orientation. Indeed, in a letter written during 1913, he writes, “I should like to know why nearly every man that approaches greatness tends to homosexuality, whether he admits it or not…” He is also quoted as saying, “I believe the nearest I’ve come to perfect love was with a young coal-miner when I was about 16.”

The obituaries following Lawrence’s death were, with the notable exception of E. M. Forster, unsympathetic or hostile. However, there were those who articulated a more balanced recognition of the significance of this author’s life and works. For example, his longtime friend Catherine Carswell summed up his life in a letter to the periodical Time and Tide published on March 16, 1930. In response to his critics, she claimed:

In the face of formidable initial disadvantages and life-long delicacy, poverty that lasted for three quarters of his life and hostility that survives his death, he did nothing that he did not really want to do, and all that he most wanted to do he did. He went all over the world, he owned a ranch, he lived in the most beautiful corners of Europe, and met whom he wanted to meet and told them that they were wrong and he was right. He painted and made things, and sang, and rode. He wrote something like three dozen books, of which even the worst page dances with life that could be mistaken for no other man’s, while the best are admitted, even by those who hate him, to be unsurpassed. Without vices, with most human virtues, the husband of one wife, scrupulously honest, this estimable citizen yet managed to keep free from the shackles of civilization and the cant of literary cliques. He would have laughed lightly and cursed venomously in passing at the solemn owls–each one secretly chained by the leg–who now conduct his inquest. To do his work and lead his life in spite of them took some doing, but he did it, and long after they are forgotten, sensitive and innocent people–if any are left–will turn Lawrence’s pages and will know from them what sort of a rare man Lawrence was.

Aldous Huxley also defended Lawrence in his introduction to a collection of letters published in 1932. However, the most influential advocate of Lawrence’s contribution to literature was the Cambridge literary critic F. R. Leavis who asserted that the author had made an important contribution to the tradition of English fiction. Leavis stressed that The Rainbow, Women in Love, and the short stories and tales were major works of art. Later, the Lady Chatterley Trial of 1960, and subsequent publication of the book, ensured Lawrence’s popularity (and notoriety) with a wider public.

A number of feminist critics, notably Kate Millett, have questioned Lawrence’s sexual politics, and this questioning has damaged his reputation in some quarters since then. On the other hand, Lawrence continues to find an audience, and the ongoing publication of a new scholarly edition of his letters and writings has demonstrated the range of his achievement.

lawrenceportraitklein.jpgLawrence is perhaps best known for his novels Sons and Lovers, The Rainbow, Women in Love and Lady Chatterley’s Lover. Within these Lawrence explores the possibilities for life and living within an Industrial setting. In particular Lawrence is concerned with the nature of relationships that can be had within such settings. Though often classed as a realist, Lawrence’s use of his characters can be better understood with reference to his philosophy. His use of sexual activity, though shocking at the time, has its roots in this highly personal way of thinking and being. It is worth noting that Lawrence was very interested in human touch behaviour (see Haptics) and that his interest in physical intimacy has its roots in a desire to restore our emphasis on the body, and re-balance it with what he perceived to be western civilization’s slow process of over-emphasis on the mind.

Among the most praised, The Prussian Officer and Other Stories provides insight into Lawrence’s attitudes during World War I. His American volume The Woman Who Rode Away and Other Stories develops his themes of leadership as explored in the novels Kangaroo, The Plumed Serpent and Fanny and Annie.

Although best known for his novels, Lawrence wrote almost 800 poems, most of them relatively short. His first poems were written in 1904 and two of his poems, Dreams Old and Dreams Nascent, were among his earliest published works in The English Review. His early works clearly place him in the school of Georgian poets, a group not only named after the present monarch but also to the romantic poets of the previous Georgian period whose work they were trying to emulate. What typified the entire movement, and Lawrence’s poems of the time, were well-worn poetic tropes and deliberately archaic language. Many of these poems display what John Ruskin called the “pathetic fallacy,” the tendency to ascribe human emotions to animals and even inanimate objects.

It was the flank of my wife
I touched with my hand, I clutched with my hand,
rising, new-awakened from the tomb!
It was the flank of my wife
whom I married years ago
at whose side I have lain for over a thousand nights
and all that previous while, she was I, she was I;
I touched her, it was I who touched and I who was touched.

– excerpt, New Heaven and Earth

rainbowold.jpgJust as World War I dramatically changed the work of many of the poets who saw service in the trenches, Lawrence’s own work saw a dramatic change, during his years in Cornwall. During this time, he wrote free verse influenced by Walt Whitman. He set forth his manifesto for much of his later verse in the introduction to New Poems. “We can get rid of the stereotyped movements and the old hackneyed associations of sound or sense. We can break down those artificial conduits and canals through which we do so love to force our utterance. We can break the stiff neck of habit…But we cannot positively prescribe any motion, any rhythm.” Many of his later works took the idea of free verse to the extremes of lacking all rhyme and metre so that they are little different from short ideas or memos, which could well have been written in prose.

Lawrence rewrote many of his novels several times to perfect them and similarly he returned to some of his early poems when they were collected in 1928. This was in part to fictionalise them, but also to remove some of the artifice of his first works. As he put in himself: “A young man is afraid of his demon and puts his hand over the demon’s mouth sometimes and speaks for him.” His best known poems are probably those dealing with nature such as those in Birds Beasts and Flowers and Tortoises. Snake, one of his most frequently anthologised, displays some of his most frequent concerns; those of man’s modern distance from nature and subtle hints at religious themes.

In the deep, strange-scented shade of the great dark carob tree
I came down the steps with my pitcher
And must wait, must stand and wait, for there he was at the trough before me.

– excerpt, Snake

Look! We have come through! is his other work from the period of the end of the war and it reveals another important element common to much of his writings; his inclination to lay himself bare in his writings. Although Lawrence could be regarded as a writer of love poems, his usually deal in the less romantic aspects of love such as sexual frustration or the sex act itself. Ezra Pound in his Literary Essays complained of Lawrence’s interest in his own “disagreeable sensations” but praised him for his “low-life narrative.” This is a reference to Lawrence’s dialect poems akin to the Scots poems of Robert Burns, in which he reproduced the language and concerns of the people of Nottinghamshire from his youth.

Tha thought tha wanted ter be rid o’ me.

‘Appen tha did, an’ a’.

Tha thought tha wanted ter marry an’ se
If ter couldna be master an’ th’ woman’s boss,
Tha’d need a woman different from me,
An’ tha knowed it; ay, yet tha comes across

Ter say goodbye! an’ a’.
– excerpt, The Drained Cup

Pound was the chief proponent of modernist poetry and although Lawrence’s works after his Georgian period are clearly in the Modernist tradition, they were often very different to many other modernist writers. Modernist works were often austere works in which every word was carefully worked on and hard-fought for. Lawrence felt all poems had to be personal sentiments and that spontaneity was vital for any work. He called one collection of poems Pansies partly for the simple ephemeral nature of the verse but also a pun on the French word panser, to dress or bandage a wound. His wounds still needed soothing for the reception he regularly received in England with The Noble Englishman and Don’t Look at Me being removed from the official edition of Pansies on the grounds of obscenity. Even though he lived most of the last ten years of his life abroad, his thoughts were often still on England. His last work Nettles published in 1930 just eleven days after his death were a series of bitter, “nettling” but often amusing attacks on the moral climate of England.

O the stale old dogs who pretend to guard
the morals of the masses,
how smelly they make the great back-yard
wetting after everyone that passes.

– excerpt, The Young and Their Moral Guardians

Two notebooks of Lawrence’s unprinted verse were posthumously published as Last Poems and More Pansies.

eroticworks.jpgLawrence’s criticism of other authors often provides great insight into his own thinking and writing. Of particular note is his Study of Thomas Hardy and Other Essays and Studies in Classic American Literature. In the latter, Lawrence’s responses to Whitman, Melville and Edgar Allan Poe shed particular light on the nature of Lawrence’s craft.

Lawrence continued throughout his life to develop his highly personal philosophy, many aspects of which would prefigure the counterculture of the 1960s. His unpublished introduction to Sons and Lovers established the duality central to much of his fiction. This is done with reference to the Holy Trinity. As his philosophy develops, Lawrence moves away from more direct Christian analogies and instead touches upon Mysticism, Buddhism, and Pagan theologies. In some respects, Lawrence was a forerunner of the growing interest in the occult that occurred in the 20th century, though he himself would have identified as a Christian.

D. H. Lawrence also painted a selection of erotic works. These were exhibited at the Dorothy Warren Gallery in London’s Mayfair in 1929. This exhibition included A Boccaccio Story, Spring and Fight with an Amazon. The exhibition was extremely controversial, with many of the 13,000 people visiting mainly to gawk. The Daily Express reported “Fight with an Amazon represents a hideous, bearded man holding a fair-haired woman in his lascivious grip while wolves with dripping jaws look on expectantly, [this] is frankly indecent.”

Quotation

  • * “Be a good animal, true to your instincts.” — The White Peacock
  • * “Mrs Morel always said the after-life would hold nothing in store for her husband: he rose from the lower world into purgatory, when he came home from pit, and passed into heaven in the Palmerston Arms.” — Sons and Lovers (edited out of the 1913 edition, restored in 1992)
  • * “I think I am much too valuable a creature to offer myself to a German bullet gratis and for fun.” — Letter to Harriet Monroe, 1 October 1914
  • * “Don’t you find it a beautiful clean thought, a world empty of people, just uninterrupted grass, and a hare sitting up.” – Women in Love
  • * “Never trust the artist. Trust the tale.” — Studies in Classic American Literature (also rendered as “Never trust the teller; trust the tale.”)
  • * “Ours is essentially a tragic age, so we refuse to take it tragically.” — Lady Chatterley’s Lover
  • * “Her father was not a coherent human being, he was a roomful of old echoes.” — Women in Love
  • * “They say the sea is cold, but the sea contains the hottest blood of all.” — “Whales Weep Not”
  • * “If I were the moon, I know where I would fall down” — “The Rainbow”
  • * “I never saw a wild thing sorry for itself. A small bird will drop frozen dead from a bough without ever having felt sorry for itself.” — “Self-Pity”

biobio.jpgD H Lawrence is considered by some to be one of the great literary artists of the twentieth century, but the texts of his writings, whether published during his lifetime or since, are, for the most part, textually corrupt.

The Cambridge Edition of the Letters and Works of D H Lawrence represents a major scholarly undertaking, which aims to provide new versions of the texts which are as close as can now be determined to those which the author would have wished to see printed. This ongoing project, started in 1979, will eventually encompass over 40 separate volumes, each complete with a high quality critical apparatus. The following list is based around the books in this authoritative standard edition. In general, where a text is not yet available in the Cambridge series, reference has been made to other reliable sources.

Novels

  • * The White Peacock (1911), edited by Andrew Robertson, Cambridge University Press, 1983, ISBN 0-521-22267-2
  • * The Trespasser (1912), edited by Elizabeth Mansfield, Cambridge University Press,1981, ISBN 0-521-22264-8
  • * Sons and Lovers (1913), edited by Helen Baron and Carl Baron, Cambridge University Press, 1992, ISBN 0-521-24276-2
  • * The Rainbow (1915), edited by Mark Kinkead-Weekes, Cambridge University Press, 1989, ISBN 0-521-00944-8
  • * Women in Love (1920), edited by David Farmer, Lindeth Vasey and John Worthen, Cambridge University Press, 1987, ISBN 0-521-23565-0
  • * The Lost Girl (1920), edited by John Worthen, Cambridge University Press, 1981, ISBN 0-521-22263-X
  • * Aaron’s Rod (1922) edited by Mara Kalnins, Cambridge University Press, 1988, ISBN 0-521-25250-4
  • * Kangaroo (1923) edited by Bruce Steele, Cambridge University Press, 1994, ISBN 0-521-38455-9
  • * The Boy in the Bush (1924), edited by Paul Eggert, Cambridge University Press, 1990, ISBN 0-521-30704-X
  • * The Plumed Serpent (1926), edited by L.D. Clark, Cambridge University Press, 1987, ISBN 0-521-22262-1
  • * Lady Chatterley’s Lover (1928), edited by Michael Squires, Cambridge University Press, 1993, ISBN 0-521-22266-4
  • * The Escaped Cock (1929) (later re-published as The Man Who Died)
  • * The Virgin and the Gypsy (1930)

Short stories

  • * The Prussian Officer and Other Stories (1914), edited by John Worthen, Cambridge University Press, 1983, ISBN 0-521-24822-1
  • * England, My England and Other Stories (1922), edited by Bruce Steele, Cambridge University Press, 1990, ISBN 0-521-35267-3
  • * The Fox, The Captain’s Doll, The Ladybird (1923), edited by Dieter Mehl, Cambridge University Press, 1992, ISBN 0-521-35266-5
  • * St Mawr and other stories (1925), edited by Brian Finney, Cambridge University Press, 1983, ISBN 0-521-22265-6
  • * The Woman who Rode Away and other stories (1928) edited by Dieter Mehl and Christa Jansohn, Cambridge University Press, 1995, ISBN 0-521-22270-2.
  • * The Virgin and the Gipsy and Other Stories (1930), edited by Michael Herbert, Bethan Jones, Lindeth Vasey, Cambridge University Press, 2006 (forthcoming), ISBN 0-521-36607-0
  • * Love Among the Haystacks and other stories (1930), edited by John Worthen, Cambridge University Press, 1987, ISBN 0-521-26836-2
  • * Collected Stories (1994) – Everyman’s Library, a comprehensive one volume edition that prints all sixty two of Lawrence’s shorter fictions in chronological sequence
  • * The Rocking-Horse Winner (1926)
  • * The Horse Dealer’s Daughter (1922)
  • “The Odour of Chrysanthemums” (written between 1901 and 1914)

Poetry

  • * Love Poems and others (1913)
  • * Amores (1916)
  • * Look! We have come through! (1917)
  • * New Poems (1918)
  • * Bay: a book of poems (1919)
  • * Tortoises (1921)
  • * Birds, Beasts and Flowers (1923)
  • * The Collected Poems of D H Lawrence (1928)
  • * Pansies (1929)
  • * Nettles (1930)
  • * Last Poems (1932)
  • * Fire and other poems (1940)
  • * The Complete Poems of D H Lawrence (1964), ed. Vivian de Sola Pinto and F. Warren Roberts

Plays

  • * The Widowing of Mrs Holroyd (1914)
  • * Touch and Go (1920)
  • * David (1926)
  • * The Fight for Barbara (1933)
  • * A Collier’s Friday Night (1934)
  • * The Married Man (1940)
  • * The Merry-go-round (1941)
  • * The Complete Plays of D H Lawrence (1965)
  • * The Plays, edited by Hans-Wilhelm Schwarze and John Worthen, Cambridge University Press, 1999, ISBN 0-521-24277-0

Non-fiction

  • * Study of Thomas Hardy and other essays (1914), edited by Bruce Steele, Cambridge University Press, 1985, ISBN 0-521-25252-0, Literary criticism and metaphysics
  • * Movements in European History (1921), edited by Philip Crumpton, Cambridge University Press, 1989, ISBN 0-521-26201-1, Originally published under the name of Lawrence H. Davison
  • * Psychoanalysis and the Unconscious and Fantasia of the Unconscious (1921/1922), edited by Bruce Steele, Cambridge University Press, 2004 ISBN 0-521-32791-1
  • * Studies in Classic American Literature (1923), edited by Ezra Greenspan, Lindeth Vasey and John Worthen, Cambridge University Press, 2003, ISBN 0-521-55016-5
  • * Reflections on the Death of a Porcupine and other essays (1925), edited by Michael Herbert, Cambridge University Press, 1988, ISBN 0-521-26622-X
  • * A Propos of Lady Chatterley’s Lover(1929) – Lawrence wrote this pamphlet to explain his most notorious novel
  • * Apocalypse and the writings on Revelation (1931) edited by Mara Kalnins, Cambridge University Press, 1980, ISBN 0-521-22407-1, His last book touching on primitive symbolism, paganism and pre-Christian religion
  • * Phoenix: the posthumous papers of D H Lawrence (1936)
  • * Phoenix II: uncollected, unpublished and other prose works by D H Lawrence (1968)
  • * Introductions and Reviews, edited by N. H. Reeve and John Worthen, Cambridge University Press, 2004, ISBN 0-521-83584-4
  • * Late Essays and Articles, edited by James T. Boulton, Cambridge University Press, 2004, ISBN 0-521-58431-0

Travel books

  • * Twilight in Italy and Other Essays (1916), edited by Paul Eggert, Cambridge University Press, 1994, ISBN 0-521-26888-5
  • * Sea and Sardinia (1921), edited by Mara Kalnins, Cambridge University Press, 1997, ISBN 0-521-24275-4
  • * Mornings in Mexico (1927)
  • * Sketches of Etruscan Places and other Italian essays (1932), edited by Simonetta de Filippis, Cambridge University Press, 1992, ISBN 0-521-25253-9

Works translated by Lawrence

  • * Lev Isaakovich Shestov All Things are Possible (1920)
  • * Ivan Alekseyevich Bunin The Gentleman from San Francisco (1922), tr. with S. S. Koteliansky
  • * Giovanni Verga Maestro-Don Gesualdo (1923)
  • * Giovanni Verga Little Novels of Sicily (1925)
  • * Giovanni Verga Cavalleria Rusticana and other stories (1928)
  • * Antonio Francesco Grazzini The Story of Doctor Manente (1929)

Manuscripts and early drafts of published novels and other works

Scholarly studies of Lawrence’s existing manuscripts reveal him to have been a careful craftsman. He often revised his works in a radical way by rewriting them, often over a period of years. Given this, it is interesting to compare these earlier drafts with the final, published versions

  • * Paul Morel (1911-12), edited by Helen Baron, Cambridge University Press, 2003, ISBN 0-521-56009-8, an early manuscript version of Sons and Lovers
  • * The First Women in Love (1916-17) edited by John Worthen and Lindeth Vasey, Cambridge University Press, 1998, ISBN 0-521-37326-3
  • * Mr Noon (1920?) – Parts I and II, edited by Lindeth Vasey, Cambridge University Press, 1984, ISBN 0-521-25251-2
  • * The Symbolic Meaning: The Uncollected Versions of Studies in Classic American Literature, edited by Armin Arnold, Centaur Press, 1962
  • * Quetzalcoatl (1925), edited by Louis L Martz, W W Norton Edition, 1998, ISBN 0-8112-1385-4, Early draft of The Plumed Serpent
  • * The First and Second Lady Chatterley novels, edited by Dieter Mehl and Christa Jansohn, Cambridge University Press, 1999, ISBN 0-521-47116-8. These two books,The First Lady Chatterley and John Thomas and Lady Jane were earlier drafts of Lawrence’s last novel

Letters

  • * The Letters of D. H. Lawrence, Volume I, September 1901 – May 1913, ed. James T. Boulton, Cambridge University Press, 1979, ISBN 0-521-22147-1
  • * The Letters of D. H. Lawrence, Volume II, June 1913 – October 1916, ed. George J. Zytaruk and James T. Boulton, Cambridge University Press, 1981, ISBN 0-521-23111-6
  • * The Letters of D. H. Lawrence, Volume III, October 1916 – June 1921, ed. James T. Boulton and Andrew Robertson, Cambridge University Press, 1984, ISBN 0-521-23112-4
  • * The Letters of D. H. Lawrence, Volume IV, June 1921 – March 1924 , ed. Warren Roberts, James T. Boulton and Elizabeth Mansfield, Cambridge University Press, 1987, ISBN 0-521-00695-3
  • * The Letters of D. H. Lawrence, Volume V, March 1924 – March 1927, ed. James T. Boulton and Lindeth Vasey, Cambridge University Press, 1989, ISBN 0-521-00696-1
  • * The Letters of D. H. Lawrence, Volume VI, March 1927 – November 1928 , ed. James T. Boulton and Margaret Boulton with Gerald M. Lacy, Cambridge University Press, 1991, ISBN 0-521-00698-8
  • * The Letters of D. H. Lawrence, Volume VII, November 1928 – February 1930, ed. Keith Sagar and James T. Boulton, Cambridge University Press, 1993, ISBN 0-521-00699-6
  • * The Letters of D. H. Lawrence, with index, Volume VIII, ed. James T. Boulton, Cambridge University Press, 2001, ISBN 0-521-23117-5
  • * The Selected Letters of D H Lawrence, Compiled and edited by James T. Boulton, Cambridge University Press, 1997, ISBN 0-521-40115-1

Works about Lawrence Bibliographic resources

  • * Paul Poplawski (1995) The Works of D H Lawrence: a Chronological Checklist (Nottingham, D H Lawrence Society)
  • * Paul Poplawski (1996) D. H. Lawrence: A Reference Companion (Westport, Conn, and London: Greenwood Press)
  • * P. Preston (1994)A D H Lawrence Chronology(London, Macmillan)
  • * W. Roberts and P. Poplawski (2001)A Bibliography of D H Lawrence. 3rd ed. (Cambridge, Cambridge University Press)
  • * Charles L Ross and Dennis Jackson, eds. (1995) Editing D H Lawrence: New Versions of a Modern Author (Ann Arbor, Michigan: University of Michigan Press)
  • * Keith Sagar (1979)D H Lawrence: a Calendar of his Works (Manchester, Manchester University Press)
  • * Keith Sagar (1982) D H Lawrence Handbook (Manchester, Manchester University Press)

Biographical studies

  • * Catherine Carswell (1932) The Savage Pilgrimage (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, reissued 1981)
  • * Frieda Lawrence (1934) Not I, But The Wind (Santa Fe: Rydal Press)
  • * E. T. (Jessie Chambers Wood) (1935) D. H. Lawrence: A Personal Record (Jonathan Cape)
  • * Edward Nehls (1957-59) D. H. Lawrence: A Composite Biography, Volumes I-III (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press)
  • * Emile Delavenay (1972) D. H. Lawrence: The Man and his Work: The Formative Years, 1885-1919, trans. Katherine M. Delavenay (London: Heinemann)
  • * Harry T. Moore (1974) The Priest of Love: A Life of D. H. Lawrence (Heinemann)
  • * Paul Delany (1979) D. H. Lawrence’s Nightmare: The Writer and his Circle in the Years of the Great War (Hassocks: Harvester Press)
  • * G H Neville (1981) A Memoir of D. H. Lawrence: The Betrayal (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press)
  • * John Worthen (1991) D. H. Lawrence: The Early Years, 1885 – 1912 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press)
  • * Mark Kincaid-Weekes (1996) D. H. Lawrence: Triumph to Exile, 1912 – 1922 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press)
  • * Brenda Maddox (1994) D. H. Lawrence: The Story of a Marriage (W. W. Norton & Co)
  • * David Ellis (1998) D. H. Lawrence: Dying Game, 1922 – 1930 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press)
  • * John Worthen (2005) D. H. Lawrence: The Life of an Outsider (London: Penguin/Allen Lane)
  • * Scandalous! the musical based on the life of D. H. Lawrence. Created by Glyn Bailey, Keith Thomas and Theasa Tuohy. Website / Scandalousthemusical.com

Drama

  • * Look! We Have Come Through! based on the letters and works of D. H. Lawrence and his wife, Frieda. Scripted by James Petosa and Carole Graham Lehan. Nominated for Helen Hayes Award 1998

Musical Theatre

  • * Scandalous! the musical based on the life of D. H. Lawrence. Created by Glyn Bailey, Keith Thomas and Theasa Tuohy. Website:/ Scandalousthemusical.com

Literary criticism

  • * Michael Bell (1992) D. H. Lawrence: Language and Being (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press)
  • * Richard Beynon, (ed.) (1997) D. H. Lawrence: The Rainbow and Women in Love (Cambridge: Icon Books)
  • * Michael Black (1986) D H Lawrence: The Early Fiction (Palgrave MacMillan)
  • * Michael Black (1991) D. H. Lawrence: The Early Philosophical Works: A Commentary (London and Basingstoke: Macmillan)
  • * Michael Black (1992) Sons and Lovers (Cambridge University Press)
  • * Michael Black (2001) Lawrence’s England: The Major Fiction, 1913 – 1920 (Palgrave-MacMillan)
  • * Keith Brown, ed. (1990) Rethinking Lawrence, Milton Keynes: Open University Press
  • * Anthony Burgess (1985) Flame Into Being: The Life And Work Of D.H. Lawrence (William Heinemann)
  • * Aidan Burns (1980) Nature and Culture in D. H. Lawrence (London and Basingstoke: Macmillan)
  • * L D Clark (1980) The Minoan Distance: The Symbolism of Travel in D H Lawrence, University of Arizona Press
  • * Colin Clarke (1969) River of Dissolution: D. H. Lawrence and English Romanticism (London: Routledge and Kegan Paul)
  • * Carol Dix (1980) D H Lawrence and Women, Macmillan
  • * R P Draper (1970) D H Lawrence: The Critical Heritage, London: Routledge and Kegan Paul
  • * Anne Fernihough (1993) D. H. Lawrence: Aesthetics and Ideology (Oxford:Clarendon Press)
  • * Anne Fernihough, ed. (2001) The Cambridge Companion to D H Lawrence (Cambridge, Cambridge University Press)
  • * Graham Holderness (1982) D. H. Lawrence: History, Ideology and Fiction (Dublin: Gill and Macmillan)
  • * John R. Harrison (1966) The Reactionaries: Yeats, Lewis, Pound, Eliot, Lawrence: A Study of the Anti-Democratic Intelligentsia (Victor Gollancz, London)
  • * Graham Hough (1956) The Dark Sun: A Study of D H Lawrence, Duckworth
  • * John Humma (1990) Metaphor and Meaning in D.H. Lawrence’s Later Novels, University of Missouri Press
  • * Frank Kermode (1973) Lawrence (London: Fontana)
  • * Mark Kinkead – Weekes (1968) The Marble and the Statue: The Exploratory Imagination of D. H. Lawrence, pp. 371-418. in Gregor, lan and Maynard Mack (eds.), Imagined Worlds: Essays in Honour of John Butt (London: Methuen,)
  • * F. R. Leavis (1955) D H Lawrence: Novelist (London, Chatto and Windus)
  • * F. R. Leavis (1976) Thought, Words and Creativity: Art and Thought in D H Lawrence (London, Chatto and Windus)
  • * Sheila Macleod (1985) Lawrence’s Men and Women (London: Heinemann)
  • * Barbara Mensch (1991) D. H. Lawrence and the Authoritarian Personality (London and Basingstoke: Macmillan)
  • * Kate Millett (1970) Sexual Politics (Garden City, NY: Doubleday)
  • * Colin Milton (1987) Lawrence and Nietzsche: A Study in Influence (Aberdeen: Aberdeen University Press)
  • * Robert E Montgomery (1994) The Visionary D. H. Lawrence: Beyond Philosophy and Art (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press)
  • * Alastair Niven (1978) D. H. Lawrence: The Novels (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press)
  • * Cornelia Nixon (1986) Lawrence’s Leadership Politics and the Turn Against Women (Berkeley: University of California Press)
  • * Tony Pinkney (1990) D. H. Lawrence (London and New York: Harvester Wheatsheaf)
  • * Charles L. Ross (1991) Women in Love: A Novel of Mythic Realism (Boston, Mass.: Twayne)
  • * Keith Sagar (1966) The Art of D H Lawrence (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press)
  • * Keith Sagar (1985) D H Lawrence: Life into Art (University of Georgia Press)
  • * Daniel J. Schneider (1986) The Consciousness of D. H. Lawrence: An Intellectual Biography (Lawrence, Kan.: University Press of Kansas)
  • * Michael Squires and Keith Cushman (1990) The Challenge of D. H. Lawrence (Madison, Wisconsin: University of Wisconsin Press)
  • * Peter Widdowson , ed. (1992) D. H. Lawrence (London and New York: Longman)
  • * John Worthen (1979) D. H. Lawrence and the Idea of the Novel (London and Basingstoke, Macmillan).
  • * T R Wright (2000) D H Lawrence and the Bible (Cambridge, Cambridge University Press)

source

This well-known clip introduces Master Chief Urgayle to the CRT (SEAL) trainees. He recites a D.H. Lawrence poem, Self-Pity, “I never saw a wild thing sorry for itself….”, followed by the uncredited “The ebb and flow of the Atlantic tides, the drift of the continents, the very position of the sun along its ecliptic. These are just a few of the things I control in my world.”








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