School of English and Drama

DH Lawrence: Controversy and Legacy

Module code: ESH381

Credits: 15.0
Semester: SEM1

  • Semester 1: Monday 3 pm - 5 pm

Contact: Dr Suzanne Hobson
Overlap: None
Prerequisite: None

The shadow cast by D.H. Lawrence over the history and study of literature in the 20th century is a long one. In his own lifetime, he engaged both positively and negatively with some of the most fashionable literary and intellectual currents of the day (he was, for example, both a Modernist and a Georgian poet, a Nietzschean and a critic of war, an Anti-Imperialist and a Primitivist). After his death, his writings were claimed for tradition of working-class writing in England, both for and against feminist campaigns against the suppression of female sexuality and for a new 'postcolonial' approach to early twentieth-century texts. Most famously the 'Lady Chatterley' trial in 1960 gained iconic significance as the event that marked the beginning of a new period of sexual freedom. This module aims to reconsider Lawrence's writings in the light of this history of rediscovery and controversy. It takes seriously (and where necessary not so seriously) Lawrence's claims to be a poet and a thinker, reading his philosophical writings alongside two of his models, Nietzsche and Schopenhauer, and traces the important shifts in his fiction writing from the early provincial stories to the later 'leadership' novels. It looks at influential responses to Lawrence in the 1950s and 60s and considers what these responses might reveal about how literary legacies are shaped and how this changes the way we read Lawrence's texts in the present.

Connected course(s): UDF DATA
Assessment: 100.0% Coursework
Level: 6