The ‘Tragico-Dionysian’ and D. H. Lawrence

K. M. Newton

in Modern Literature and the Tragic

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print June 2008 | ISBN: 9780748636730
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748652082 | DOI:
The ‘Tragico-Dionysian’ and D. H. Lawrence

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This chapter addresses the work of perhaps the most committed Nietzschean of major modern writers, D. H. Lawrence. He is sometimes seen as not completely a Modernist because he does not experiment with narrative and style. No reader of The Rainbow and Women in Love can fail to notice Lawrence's repeated use of the words ‘dark’ and ‘darkness’ to represent unconscious drives and instinctual feelings. The Rainbow ended with the emergence of the modern world. In Women in Love that modern world is now the dominant focus and all the characters belong to it. It has been pointed out by previous critics that though Birkin is based on Lawrence himself and represents Lawrence's philosophical doctrine, he is often viewed sceptically, being shown as strident, contradictory, ridiculous even.

Keywords: D. H. Lawrence; The Rainbow; Women in Love; tragico-Dionysian; Modernist; Birkin

Chapter.  10582 words. 

Subjects: Literary Theory and Cultural Studies

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