The American Lawrence

The American Lawrence

Lee M. Jenkins

Print publication date: 2015

ISBN: 9780813060507

Publisher: University Press of Florida


This book posits an “American Lawrence,” exploring D. H. Lawrence’s role as a creator as well as a critic of American literature between 1922 and 1925 when he was resident in the New World. The American Lawrence, this book argues, ought to be included in the globalized definition of American literature which obtains in American Studies today. The book reconstructs Lawrence’s underexplored yet important relationship, as a poet, with transatlantic Imagism, with the local American modernism sponsored by Alfred Stieglitz and William Carlos Williams, and with the regional, New Mexico modernism promoted, among others, by Mary Austin and Alice Corbin Henderson. Lawrence’s American fictions—“St. Mawr,” “The Princess,” and “The Woman Who Rode Away”—are read here as incursions into the generic and gendered conventions of American literature (American Romance, the Indian captivity narrative) and as stories which register the complex, triethnic politics of northern New Mexico. This book also assesses Lawrence’s relationships, as collaborator, as male muse, and as antagonist, with women writers and painters in northern New Mexico, among them his hostess in Taos, Mabel Dodge Luhan, and the artists Dorothy Brett and Georgia O’Keeffe.