Winter 1941 • Vol. Nonfiction |

Lawrence’s Problems

D.H. Lawrence took his ideas quite seriously. He did not think of himself as an "artist" in the usual sense of this word. He had no use for men who spent their lives expressing themselves for the sheer sake of expression. His dominating interest was in the moral assimilation of experience, or rather, since it was not passive but aggressive, in the molding of objective conditions to fit his personal needs. Often the poet in him catches a glimpse of nature and records its quivering radiance, or responds to the teeming earth, to the movement of light, to the electric energy of living things. But the response is by the way, as he hurries to a sermon or to a biopsy which will reveal the extent of the malignancy which ails modern life. Why then has criticism concerned itself almost exclusively with the problem of Lawrence rather than with Lawrence's problems? Are his ideas so childish that they are beyond notice? We seem to read him only in order to psychoanalyse him. Our neglect is unint

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