“Out of a pattern of lies, art weaves the truth.”

This is not at all from my Pulitzer journey, but I re-read the first chapter of D. H. Lawrence’s Studies in Classic American Literature for class today, and he says so many fascinating, provocative, and often true things about literature and reading, I just had to mention it here.  If you’ve read it, go back and hit an old favorite chapter again–there’s more there than you saw before.  And if you haven’t, give it a look.  He will anger you, confuse you, and even contradict himself, but he’ll make you think.

And now that I’m realizing he was writing about American literature in 1922/1923, I have to consider his ideas more seriously as I look at these early 20s Pulitzer winners.  There’s always more to learn.


3 comments on ““Out of a pattern of lies, art weaves the truth.”

  1. Alexander Darling says:

    Lawrence was AMAZING!!! Eastern thought + a literature crtic = glorious madness.

    • jwrosenzweig says:

      Glorious and mad are definitely fair assessments. The Eastern thought side was the bit I was always on the fence for….sometimes it was really beautifully deep, but sometimes I feel like DHL has picked up just the Eastern thoughts he can twist to his own ends, or intentionally misunderstood them to make them fit a situation. As someone better versed in the East than I am, you found his takes pretty accurate?

      • Alexander Darling says:

        I must agree; DHL does pull the “take what supports my argument” stunt, which I can see is a little disruptive. However, Howard Zinn does the same thing (as we discovered in Chapter 2), just as Las Casas does, and just all people will do from the beginning of humanity till its end. I think that Lawrence is just more upfront about it. It seems that his work has those obvious gaps for no reason other than the fact that he doesn’t feel the need to cover them up.

        As for the reach into Eastern philosophy, well, he talked about it thoroughly enough for me to get a firm grasp of what he seemed to be trying to communicate… but the man is 79 years gone now, so who knows?

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