D.H. LAWRENCE: A Biogrphy by Jeffrey Meyers
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D.H. LAWRENCE: A Biogrphy

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Absorbing, intense, satisfying life of D.H. Lawrence by the author of Hemingway (1985) and The Enemy: A Biography of Wyndham Lewis (1982). Where Meyers' Hemingway was flawed by scholarly reserve, his Lawrence is aided by the fierce energies of Lawrence himself, and the biographer throws himself into the page with Élan, especially in trying to pin down Lawrence's homosexual yearnings, Meyers' new material includes close looks into Lawrence's inability to father children and the course of his tuberculosis, the effect of coal mining and Congregationalism on his life, new research on his parents--with a rich opening up of his mother's death--and on the suppression of The Rainbow, as well as providing fresh biocritical studies of poems, stories, and the novels. Lawrence in many ways is the most compelling writer-poet of the century, a quarrelsome man who would mock the hand that fed him and scorn his closest friends with a high, steely, insulting voice. It was all part of spontaneousness, of saying absolutely what he felt, and it allowed him to enter like a god into bird, beast, and flower. Friends feared his manic egoism and yet knew that his X-ray mind deepened their self-awareness; he was always trying to help them get a grip on their slipshod self-understanding and change their world. Nor was anyone safe from his pen: ""If I need any woman for my fictional purpose, I shall use her. Why should I let any woman come between me and the flowering of my genius."" (No question mark!) With Lawrence, love and hatred were bare. nerved, twin snakes wrestling entwined. At his death, Lawrence's wife Frieda wrote, ""If England ever produced a perfect rose, he was it, thorns and perfume and splendor."" Lawrencians will find their love refreshened.

Pub Date: June 19th, 1990
Publisher: Knopf