The vast body of Lawrence scholarship has veered between the extremes of uncritical celebration and violent denigration. This first extended study of Lawrence's aesthetics draws on a number of modern critical approaches to present an original and balanced analysis of Lawrence's literary and art criticism, and of the complex cultural context from which it emerged. Emphasising the influence on this most`English' of writers of a German
intellectual and cultural heritage, Anne Fernihough focuses on Lawrence's connections with the völkisch ideologies prevalent in Germany from 1910-1930, from which both Heideggerian philosophy and Nazism emerged.
The deep-seated affinities between Lawrentian and Heideggerian aesthetics are examined for the first time, and the author highlights Lawrence's `green' critique of industrialization. New light is shed on Lawrence's hostility towards Freud, contrasting the two writers' thinking on art and the unconscious. The book's reassessment of Lawrence's relationship with Bloomsbury opposes the received view that Lawrence and the Bloomsbury art critics were poles apart. This
fascinating and lucid study reveals Lawrence's art criticism as pluralistic and anti-authoritarian, a necessary antidote to his sometimes brutally authoritarian politics and to the dogma and rigidity that
pervades so many other areas of Lawrence's thought.
`a book distinguished by careful and detailed discrimination ... A book which sets up an intelligent and sympathetic dialogue between Lawrence and currently predominating critical theories and concerns is a rarity.'
Times Literary Supplement
'... carefully attentive to words and images,'
'an eloquent and erudite attempt to define Lawrence's organicist aesthetics in terms that allow it ultimately to fall on the positive side of the political fence ... The high point of the volume ... is a staggering exposition, in three chapters, of Lawrence's deep-seated, unconscious, and universally denied alliance with the Bloomsbury aesthetics of Clive Bell and Roger Fry. It is this which will mark the book as a defiitive step forward in Lawrence
studies, and make it required reading for all concerned with his work.'
Macdonald Daly, University of Nottingham, Modern Language Review, 25, 1995
`...carefully attentive to words and images.'
English vol. 43/176
`This formidably knowledgeable and learned book marks a radical new direction in Lawrence studies...probably the most significant book written about Lawrence this decade. Anyone interested in Lawrence will be learning from it for years to come.'
Notes and Queries Vol.240 No.2
`Fernihough offers an exciting and thorough introduction to the aesthetic writing of Lawrence and a wealth of very poignant local readings of his fiction. It is also a book which show Lawrence as a truly international writer.'