January 28, 2020
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The Half-Done

Of interest to those who share Chaudhuri's passion for Lawrence's poetry, a minority.

The Half-Done
D.H. Lawrence And 'Difference'
By Amit Chaudhuri
OUP Rs 495; Pages: 238
In a departure from his earliest published works of fiction, Amit Chaudhuri’s latest book is his 1993 dissertation on D.H. Lawrence titled D.H. Lawrence and ‘Difference’: Postcoloniality and the Poetry of the Present. Chaudhuri tells us his study of Lawrence’s ‘difference’ emerges from his own position as a post-colonial reader of English literature. He selects those poems of Lawrence dismissed as ‘unfinished’ or ‘incomplete’ and through them attempts to show Lawrence’s critique of a monolithic, controlled process of reading and writing. The political implications of this kind of reading, Chaudhuri argues, is the difference of Lawrence’s theory of poetry from that of mainstream English poetry, as well as a questioning of Lawrence’s own ‘Englishness’ and his place in the canon of their literature.

Chaudhuri’s book is another one in the now well-established tradition of The Empire Writes Back. His attempt to dismantle the seemingly unshakeable structure of Englishness as imposed on the colonies and its natives is one that’s been worked through by several literary critics in the last 20 years. This book, then, is of interest to those who share Chaudhuri’s passion for Lawrence’s poetry, a minority. It is for his novels that Lawrence is loved.

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