On Wednesday May 14, in the D.H. Lawrence Heritage Centre in Eastwood, Dr. Andrew Harrison, of the University of Nottingham, delivered an exceptionally engaging talk on the subject of Lawrence’s use of experimental writing in Sons and Lovers, to a large audience gathered for the regular monthly meeting of the D.H. Lawrence Society.
Detailed reference was made to selected passages from this absorbing and powerful novel, to illustrate how Lawrence employs revolutionary ways of exploring and describing the emotional and unconscious forces affecting his main characters.
He referred to the beautifully observed, and liberating, instance in the novel when Paul Morel spontaneously scatters cowslips over Clara’s hair as she kneels to smell flowers.
The speaker revealed certain necessary concessions the young Lawrence had to make in preparing this work for publication, such as omitting the word “natural” from the mention of Clara’s “faint natural perfume” (which made Paul “wild with hunger”, when they went to the opera ), thus entirely changing the meaning.
There followed a lively and enthusiastic discussion.
Andrew hopes his new book, A Critical Biography of Lawrence, will be published by the end of the year.
Next month, on Wednesday June 11, at 7pm, Clive Leivers, of the Haggs Farm Preservation Society, will be speaking about D.H. Lawrence and the Haggs.
The current neglected state of the Haggs Farm - visits to which had such a crucial influence on Lawrence’s development as a major artist and as an individual - is now cause for serious international concern.