Lawrence and Bloomsbury I: Significant Form

Fernihough Anne

in D. H. Lawrence

Published in print July 1993 | ISBN: 9780198112358
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191670770 | DOI:
Lawrence and Bloomsbury I: Significant Form

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Clive Bell's Art (1914), one of the key texts of Bloomsbury art-criticism, is at best an incoherent work and, at worst, a disturbingly elitist one. Peter Fuller, in Art and Psychoanalysis, is harshly critical of it in ways that few people would wish to question, attacking Bell as ‘opinionated, arrogant, ultimately downright reactionary’, yet nonetheless finding in Bell's theory ‘kernels of truth’ that can shed light on his own arguments. In spite of its faults, Bell's Art is an important text for the student of D. H. Lawrence's art-criticism. Lawrence had many direct and indirect connections with Bloomsbury, and Bell and Roger Fry are two of the very few art-critics he takes the trouble to criticize overly. In fact, his attack on Bloomsbury aesthetics is vociferous and uncompromising. As a result, literary history has generally defined Lawrence's views on art in opposition to those of Bloomsbury, which is not the most fruitful way of approaching the art-criticism of either camp.

Keywords: Clive Bell; art-criticism; Bloomsbury; art; D. H. Lawrence; aesthetics; Roger Fry

Chapter.  8628 words. 

Subjects: Literary Studies (20th Century onwards)

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