Review of D. H. Lawrence’s Australia: Anxiety at the Edge of Empire, by David Game

Abstract

Preconceptions of another country can take hold of an artist’s imagination – as ‘America’ did Kafka’s and Lorca’s – but who knew that D. H. Lawrence developed a comprehensive idea of ‘Australia’ long before his one hundred-day visit? Or how central that was to his later work? The objective of David Game, Honorary Lecturer at the Australian National University, is modestly expressed: to ‘throw new light on the significance of [Lawrence's] overall engagement with Australia – its place in his life and art’ (7). He does much more in a work of major scholarship.

Preconceptions of another country can take hold of an artist’s imagination – as ‘America’ did Kafka’s and Lorca’s – but who knew that D. H. Lawrence developed a comprehensive idea of ‘Australia’ long before his one hundred-day visit? Or how central that was to his later work The objective of David Game, Honorary Lecturer at the Australian National University, is modestly expressed: to ‘throw new light on the significance of [Lawrence's] overall engagement with Australia – its place in his life and art’ (7). He does much more in a work of major scholarship.

Showing that two decades of extensive reading of ‘Australian’ material preceded Kangaroo and The Boy in the Bush, Game argues the thought study and writing constitute an ‘Australian period’, 1920–1924, in Lawrence’s work and that it illuminates decisions Lawrence made for his literary, intellectual and personal journeying. To frame his argument, Game places Australia comprehensively…

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Published 2 November 2018 in Volume 33, No. 3. Subjects: English literature & writers, D. H. Lawrence.

Cite as: Holloway, Barbara. ‘Review of D. H. Lawrence’s Australia: Anxiety at the Edge of Empire, by David Game.’ Australian Literary Studies, vol. 33, no. 3, 2018. https://doi.org/10.20314/als.6a844f24ab.