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D.H. Lawrence (1885 - 1930)

Related: British literature - erotic fiction - Lady Chatterley's Lover - Women In Love

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 main streets and bring them in, all the sick, the halt, and the maimed; I would lead them gently, and they would smile me a weary thanks; and the band would softly bubble out the ‘Hallelujah Chorus’. --D. H. Lawrence in a 1908 letter, commenting on the masses, sourced here.

"Let all schools be closed at once. The great mass of humanity should never learn to read and write" --D.H. Lawrence.


David Herbert Lawrence (September 11, 1885 – March 2, 1930) was one of the most important, prolific and controversial English writers of the 20th century, whose output spans novels, short stories, poems, plays, essays, travel books, paintings, translations, literary criticism and personal letters. These works, taken together, represent an extended reflection upon the dehumanising effects of modernity and industrialisation. In them Lawrence confronts issues relating to emotional health and vitality, spontaneity, sexuality, and instinctive behaviour, making him iconic in an age influenced by Freud and Nietzsche.

Lawrence's unsettling opinions earned him many enemies and he endured hardships, official persecution, censorship and the misrepresentation of his creative work throughout the second half of his life, much of which he spent in voluntary exile, self defined as a "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 valued as a visionary thinker and a significant representative of modernism in English literature, although some feminists have questioned the attitudes to women and sexuality to be found within his works. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/D._H._Lawrence [Feb 2006]

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