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Studies in Classic American Literature (The Cambridge Edition of the Works of D. H. Lawrence) Hardcover – January 27, 2003
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Top Customer Reviews
DHL's prevailing theory is that to emerge as a distinct cultural, as well as distinct political entity free from Europe, America had to go through some growing pains before arriving at its authentic self. America had to kill off the European in its heart. He starts out with Ben Franklin, whom he gives a real trouncing for the overly self-conscious act of assigning an American character with a shopping list of virtues. (It should come as no surprise that DHL especially has trouble with "chastity.") Ben may be generating a fake, a lie, but he marks the beginning of an effort to break with the old homeland, Europe. Hector St. John de Crevecoeur is next in line for a beating. He moved his unfortunate family to the frontier, wrote the letters glowing with the accounts of the American Dream amongst the nature and the "savages" and then went back to France to revel in literary salons. When he returned, the wife and farm had met brutal ends in that American dream in which he had left them, so he settled in New York City. DHL screams, "Fake!" But Crevecoeur did announce the concept of an ideal tied to the unique attributes of the new world.Read more ›
We begin with Benjamin Franklin. Lawrence derides him for advocating "the perfectability of man" (Lawrence 15) and creating a list of virtues, and proceeds in doing the same himself. "I will try always to recognize and submit to the gods in me and the gods in other men and women." This is of course merely a symbol; Lawrence was not pagan. But it begs the question: If we are supposed to accept all these new rules at face value, based only on Lawrence's discursive analyses and often abstract philosophizing, doesn't it stand to reason that Benjamin Franklin's rules were open to symbolic interpretation as well? I marvel at Lawrence, actually. He makes a good deal of sense, but he too hits a wrong note sometimes. And then speaks entirely in absolutes for the whole book, as if his opinion truly is the only one. Suffice to say Benjamin Franklin was a good deal more intelligent than Lawrence makes him out to be and was horrifically underserved by Lawrence.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
DH Lawrence Still has a rock inside his snowball. These opinion still entertain and challenge us after the man has been dead 70 some years.Published 7 months ago by Ray A Burleigh
I read this is high school c. two score and eight years ago. It's not a book you forget.
Outstanding critique of classic American Literature.
Lawrence riffs like he's writing liner notes for a Bob Dylan album. Read more
I was required to purchase this book for class, but I am so glad I did because his witty quips about famous American literary figures were hilarious.Published on March 9, 2014 by Kathryn Kuntz
If you are focusing on american literature beeing an american or a foreigner this book is absolutely necesary.
Moby Dick comment is vivid as the book itself
In this analysis of (not always) well-known classic US authors D. H. Lawrence gives his personal, but very revealing, view on the heart of the American soul, the old and the new... Read morePublished on January 23, 2010 by Luc REYNAERT
delightful. the essay on moby dick alone is worth the read. has stayed fresh in my memories for over 20 years. Read morePublished on December 17, 2006 by Kindle Customer
This passionate brief survey of American Literature contains much spontaneous flowing masterful and original writing. Read morePublished on June 4, 2006 by Shalom Freedman