18 October 2013

If the World Recovers Its Belief in Reason

Ivor Brown, I Commit to the Flames (London: Hamish Hamilton, 1934), pp. 108-109:
[D. H.] Lawrence was neither novel nor coherent. Much of his yelping was simply verbose reiteration of Blake's apothegms; if it be original to place the seat of consciousness in the belly or lower, he is entitled to such fame as that discovery may bring. That he really had no settled opinions may be deduced from the huge volume of letters, in which he is to be found in a state of continual self-contradiction. But his neo-barbarism suited a period in which traditional civilisation was out of favour; his instinctivism suited people who wanted some quasi-philosophic justification for having a good time and lacked the courage to indulge themselves without a little highbrow support. If the world recovers its belief in reason, there will be considerable surprise that Lawrence was ever accepted as a prophet.