“Lawrence, Leavis and Butler: Appropriation, Influence, Association and ‘Redemption' "

2007. In Phelps and Bell (eds), D.H. Lawrence Around the World: South African Perspectives (Echoing Green Press), pp.267-292.

This essay is concerned with the representation of race, class and gender in D.H. Lawrence’s novels, especially The Plumed Serpent and Lady Chatterley’s Lover. It argues that the novels are more ideologically nuanced than Lawrence’s non-fictional prose, and shows how this is due in part to such inherently fictional devices as free indirect discourse. It also highlights some critical and creative resonances between the production and reception of Lawrence’s work, and aspects of literary debate in South Africa. The argument is prefaced by a discussion of the ‘Leavisite’ inheritance of Lawrence criticism. Guy Butler was vehemently opposed to the influence of F.R. Leavis in the South African academic environment, and yet his own writing (and certain responses to it) invite numerous points of comparison with Lawrence.