Vishvesh Obla wrote:
> He couldn’t dismiss Lawrence, since he probably saw something of him
> in Lawrence, and at the same time, couldn’t reconcile with him as well,
> since that would amount to undermine the very foundations of his
I just wanted to add a note that it was in "After Strange Gods: ...
Heresy" that Eliot wrote about Lawrence's heresy against cultural and
religious orthodoxy. A decade earlier in the Dial review (still attached
below) Eliot seemed to be mainly criticizing Lawrence for so clearly
expounding his (DHL's) own views in a work of fiction (TSE: "[DHL] still
theorizes at times when he should merely see."). The lack of doing that
was one of the things Eliot admired so much in Henry James. Sometime
later Lawrence wrote "Never trust the artist. Trust the tale." I don't
know the context but the quote alone seems to me to be a statement that
TSE would have approved.
On a personal note Vishvesh I notice that your email header shows a
real name of Vishvesh Obla but the email address shows obla_vishvesh.
Don't tell me vishvesh_obla was already taken. ;-)
Thank You, Rick.
Yeah, we have had many a discussion on this subject in the past few years.
I have myself wanted to compile everything that Eliot wrote on Lawrence.
Eliot did say a lot of things about Lawrence. As noted in this article too,
he said quite a few things that were quite uncharacteristic of his critical
sensibility. (for instance – let’s take a statement from your quote itself
– ‘ His theory has not yet reached the point at which it is no longer a
theory’ : he never elaborated on what he thought was Lawrence’s theory to
convincingly make a statement as that). He couldn’t dismiss Lawrence, since
he probably saw something of him in Lawrence, and at the same time, couldn’t
reconcile with him as well, since that would amount to undermine the very
foundations of his orthodoxy! I thought this article captured some
essential perspectives of such a conflict and hence posted it here.
--- On Tue, 4/13/10, Rickard A. Parker <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
From: Rickard A. Parker <[log in to unmask]>
Subject: Re: T.S. Eliot and D.H. Lawrence : A Conflict
To: [log in to unmask]
Date: Tuesday, April 13, 2010, 5:57 AM
Vishvesh, thank you for the essay. I read Lady Chatterly's Lover
ages ago and didn't care for it much and so never read Lawrence again.
Thus I don't know much about Lawrence but I have a few links for those
who want to get more details on what Eliot wrote about Lawrence (we
had a good discussion on After Strange Goda not too long ago.)
First, here is what Eliot had to say about
One writer, and indeed, in my opinion, the most interesting novelist in
England--who has apparently been somewhat affected by Dostoevsky, is
Mr D. H. Lawrence. Mr Lawrence has progressed--by fits and starts,
it is true; for he has perhaps done nothing as good as a whole as
Sons and Lovers. He has never yet, I think, quite surrendered himself
to his work. He still theorizes at times when he should merely see.
His theory has not yet reached the point at which it is no longer a
theory, he still requires (at the end of Aaron's Rod) the mouthpiece
for an harangue. But there is one scene in this book--a dialogue
between an Italian and several Englishmen, in which one feels that
the whole is governed by a creator who is purely creator, with the
terrifying disinterestedness of the true creator. And for that we
can forgive Mr Lawrence his subsequent lapse into a theory of human
An index to an online version of Eliot's Dial articles:
Full text of "After strange gods : a primer of modern heresy":
T. S. Eliot on Literary Morals
On T. S. Eliot’s After Strange Gods
by Russell Kirk