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D. H. Lawrence and 'Difference': Postcoloniality and the Poetry of the Present (Hardback)
  • D. H. Lawrence and 'Difference': Postcoloniality and the Poetry of the Present (Hardback)
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D. H. Lawrence and 'Difference': Postcoloniality and the Poetry of the Present (Hardback)

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£63.00
Hardback 240 Pages / Published: 12/06/2003
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This important study from the prizewinning novelist and critic Amit Chaudhuri explores D. H. Lawrence's position as a 'foreigner' in the English canon. Focusing on the poetry, Chaudhuri examines how Lawrence's works, and Lawrence himself, have been read, and misread, in terms of their 'difference.' In contrast to the Leavisite project of placing Lawrence in the English 'great tradition,' this study demonstrates how Lawrence's writing brings into question the notion of 'Englishness' itself. It also shows how Lawrence's aesthetic sets him apart radically from both his Modernist contemporaries and his Romantic forbears. The starting-point of this enquiry into Lawrentian 'difference' is, for the purposes of this study, the poetry, its stylistic features, the ways in which it has been read, and, importantly, involves a search for a critical language by which it, and its 'difference', might be addressed. In doing so, it takes recourse to Jacques Derrida's notions of 'grammatalogy' and 'ecriture', and Michel Foucault's notion of 'discourse'. Referring to Lawrence's travel writings about Mexico and Italy, his essays on European and Etruscan art, on Mexican marketplaces and rituals, and American literature, and especially to his poetic manifesto, 'The Poetry of the Present,' this book shows how Lawrence was working towards both a theory and a practice that critique the post-Enlightenment unitary European self. Chaudhuri also, radically, allows his own post-colonial identity to inform his reading of the poetry, and to let the poems enter into a conversation with that identity. This is the first time that Lawrence's poetry has been discussed in this way, in the light of post-colonial and post-structuralist theory; it is also the first time a leading post-colonial writer of his generation has taken as his subject a major canonical English writer, and, through him, remapped the English canon as a site of 'difference.'

Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780199260522
Number of pages: 240
Weight: 399 g
Dimensions: 223 x 144 x 17 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
In some superbly original chapters, crafted with the attunement to verbal detail of a practising poet, [Chaudhuri] shows that Lawrence's poems are less framed and finished products than fragments of a larger discourse. * Terry Eagleton, London Review of Books *
. . . genuinely groundbreaking and exciting . . . This is a poet's criticism, shrewd and deft, full of inside knowledge and technical know-how. * Terry Eagleton, London Review of Books *
D. H. Lawrence and 'Difference' is probably the single best study of Lawrence's poetry to date * Terry Eagleton, London Review of Books *
Through the sheer cumulative force of its carefully nuanced readings, Amit Chaudhuri's argument is wholly convincing. * Anne Fernihough, Times Literary Supplement *
The book forces us to rethink Lawrence's relationship to the larger questions of Modernism, class, Englishness, Western civilization, and Literature as a whole. * Anne Fernihough, Times Literary Supplement *
One gets the sense, on reading this study, of someone actually reading Lawrence rather than looking for, and finding, what they expect to find. Instead of bringing pre-formed moral and critical prejudices to bear on his reading, Chaudhuri develops a theoretical framework to accommodate his extraordinary data. * Anne Fernihough, Times Literary Supplement *
Chaudhuri is excellent on Lawrence's encounter with non-European cultures, as in Mornings in Mexico, but also on simplistic attempts to recuperate him as the noble savage of modernism. * David Wheatley, Irish Times *
D.H. Lawrence and Difference succeeds in making us appreciate how much more there is to Lawrence than we know or think we know. * David Wheatley, Irish Times *

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