D.H. Lawrence

Biografie şi Bibliografie

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David Herbert Richards Lawrence (11 September 1885 – 2 March 1930) was an English author, poet, playwright, essayist and literary critic. His collected works represent an extended reflection upon the dehumanizing effects of modernity and industrialization. In them, Lawrence confronts issues relating to emotional health and vitality, spontaneity, human sexuality and 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. Lawrence is now generally valued as a visionary thinker and significant representative of modernism in English literature, although some feminists object to the attitudes toward women and sexuality found in his works.

Biography

Early life

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.

The young Lawrence attended Beauvale Board School (now renamed Greasley Beauvale D. H. Lawrence Primary School in his honor) 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.

Wider horizons

In the autumn of 1908 the newly qualified Lawrence left his childhood home for London. While teaching in Davidson Road School, Croydon, he continued writing. Some of the early poetry, submitted by Jessie Chambers, came to the attention of Ford Madox Ford, 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, as Garnett's son David was also. Throughout these months the young author revised Paul Morel, the first draft of what became 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 Lawrence 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 to Lawrence's former modern languages professor from Nottingham University, Ernest Weekley, and with three young children. 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 Frieda 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 memorialized in the series of love poems entitled Look! We Have Come Through (1917).

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. Lawrence though, had become so tired of the work that he allowed Edward Garnett to cut about a hundred pages from the text.

Lawrence and Frieda returned to England in 1913 for a short visit. At this time, he 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 13 July 1914.

Weekley'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 signaling to German submarines off of the coast of Cornwall where they lived at Zennor. During this period he finished 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. Not published until 1920, 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.

The savage pilgrimage begins

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 region 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 (Memoirs of the Foreign Legion), 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.

Later life and career

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.

While 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.

The 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.

Death

Lawrence continued to write despite his failing health. In his last months he wrote numerous poems, reviews and essays, as well as 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. Frieda 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.

Sexuality

While writing Women in Love in Cornwall during 1916-17, Lawrence developed a strong and possibly romantic relationship with a Cornish farmer named William Henry Hocking.[6] Although it is not absolutely clear if their relationship was sexual, Friede Weekley said she believed it was. Lawrence's fascination with themes of homosexuality could also be related to his own sexual orientation. This theme is also overtly manifested in Women in Love. 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…" [7] 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."[8] However, there are also suggestions that Lawrence considered sexual deviance as destructive to the human spirit. Catherine Carswell once said of him: 'I have heard Lawrence say that sexual perversion was for him the sin against the Holy Ghost, the hopeless sin."

Lawrence'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.

Philosophy

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.

Paintings

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 claimed "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." -- opening sentence of 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"
    * "If I had my way I would build a lethal chamber as big as the Crystal Palace, with a military band playing softly, and a cinematograph working brightly; then I'd go out in the back streets and the main streets and bring them in; all the sick, the halt, and the maimed"

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)

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)
    * "last lesson of the afternoon"
    * 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
    * Selected Letters, Oneworld Classics, 2008. Edited by James T. Boulton. ISBN 978-1-84749-049-0

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

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