From Library Journal
Sagar, Keith. Life into Art: a critical biography of D.H. Lawrence. Univ. of Georgia Pr. (Penguin Literary Biographies). 1985. c.363p. bibliog. index. $30; pap. $12.95. biog/lit Two new lives of Lawrence on the occasion of his centenary. Burgess's book is the more surprising, for Burgess, a confirmed Joycean, is temperamentally and artistically at odds with Lawrence. But Burgess admires Lawrence's ``intransigence,'' sympathizes with his ``sufferings on behalf of free expression,'' and strongly identifies with him as a professional writer, engaged ``in the daily struggle to make words behave.'' Burgess is most interesting when he is offering idiosyncratic literary judgments (he argues on behalf of Kangaroo ) or recording the history of his own attitudes toward Lawrence. The book has an engaging personal flavor throughout, and could serve as a readable though somewhat eccentric introduction to Lawrence. Sagar is one of the most industrious and eminent of English Lawrence scholars, and his Life into Art is much more academic. Sagar is also interested in Lawrence's transformation of his experience into literature and in Lawrence's developing career as a writer. Unlike Burgess, who regards Lawrence with detached interest, he sometimes approaches passionate conviction. Life into Art is a major study of Lawrence and his literary career, notable for its sure, judicious command of its subject. Because Sagar focuses so fully on Lawrence's writings, he is finally not competing with Harry Moore's standard biography, The Priest of Love (Southern Illinois Univ. Pr., 1977. rev. ed.). Keith Cushman, English Dept., Univ. of North Carolina, Greensboro
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