D.H. Lawrence: New Worlds

D.H. Lawrence: New Worlds

D.H. Lawrence: New Worlds

D.H. Lawrence: New Worlds


"D. H. Lawrence: New Worlds brings together a group of new essays from a cross-section of Lawrence studies today. The authors in the collection include such leading international Lawrentians as Michael Squires, John Worthen, Ginette Katz-Roy, Virginia Hyde, Peter Preston, and Jack Stewart. The collection testifies to the international nature of Lawrence studies with essays from Lawrence scholars in the United States, Canada, England, France, Israel, and Japan. In addition, the collection demonstrates that although Lawrence has been misread as sexist, Lawrence studies has continued to attract women scholars." Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved


Keith Cushman and Earl G. Ingersoll

In December 1924 the italian critic carlo linati published an essay on D. H. Lawrence entitled “Un esploratore di uomini” [“An explorer of men”] in Corriere della Sera, the newspaper that Lawrence once considered “about the best… in Europe” (L v. 90). in his essay Linati sees Lawrence as a writer whose works combine great imaginative intensity with insufficiently controlled theme and structure. the issue of Corriere della Sera with Linati's essay “wandered in” (L. v. 200) to Lawrence in Oaxaca on 22 January 1925. the vigorous, colorful—and little-known—letter that Lawrence immediately wrote Linati is one of Lawrence's most fascinating and appealing descriptions of his own art.

Lawrence found Linati's article extremely stimulating, all the more so because it criticized his writings for precisely those qualities that Lawrence believed were their most distinctive and important. Linati was curiously perceptive. He had somehow grasped the essence of Lawrence's art without knowing what to make of it. the formalist assumptions Linati brought to bear were not useful. He was eager to “tidy [Lawrence] up” in “a world so anxious for outside tidiness.” But in Lawrence's opinion, books were not “toys, nicely built up of observations and sensations, all finished and complete.” He didn't “care a button for neat works of art.” He couldn't “bear art that you can walk round and admire” (L v. 200–201). Books that are too neat and tidy run the risk of lifelessness.

Lawrence responded to Linati's further criticism that he was too intensely engaged in his writings by insisting that the author should not be like someone in a theater audience, sitting high above the stage and “benignly look[ing] down on the foibles, follies, and frenzies of so-called fellow-men.” Novels are not “little theatres where the reader sits aloft and watches… and sighs, commiserates, condones and smiles.” Linati should “stick to . . .

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