Lawrence went on to produce other memorable works including his Last Poems (1932), Etruscan Places (1932), Apocalypse (1931), The Virgin and the Gipsy (1930), The Man Who Died (1929), and his most widely known novel, Lady Chatterley's Lover (1928). His passion for writing continued until his death on March 2, 1930, at the age of 44. He was buried in Vence, France, with a simple ceremony attended by Frieda, her daughter Barbara, the Aldous Huxleys, Achsah Brewster, Ida Rauh, and a few others. Frieda commissioned a headstone made of pebbled mosaic in the design of a phoenix.However, she wrote to Bynner a week later stating her ultimate wish to transport Lawrence's body back to Kiowa Ranch: "Now I have one desire to take him to the ranch and make a lovely place for him there. He wanted so much to go" (Memoirs and Correspondence, 235).
Frieda arranged for her new Italian companion, Angelo Ravagli, to escort her to America; and they stayed at the ranch, inspecting its condition, from June to November of 1931. Janet Byrne claims in her biography that Frieda spent much of her time at the Lobo [Kiowa Ranch] trying to coax memories of Lawrence onto paper" (Byrne, 360). It was in the old cabin that Frieda produced her book about life with Lawrence, "Not I, But the Wind...," a phrase from the first line of one of Lawrence's poems celebrating their love and interconnectedness. Meanwhile, Ravagli cleared the ranch of accumulated scrap and made plans for a larger cabin that was to have cold running water, electricity, and “especially a big kitchen” (Aldington, p. 179; Squires & Talbot, 375). Frieda later recreated Ravagli's attitude toward the old "upper ranch" in her autobiography:
'I will build a house, a house fit to live in, not an old
cow shed like this one but a fit place for human beings to
live in. Here the packrats are running overhead like elephants
and the chipmunks will soon drive us out. Get a string and
show me where you want your new house and how big you want
it.' (Memoirs and Correspondence, 28)
First, however, legal issues regarding Lawrence's estate required Frieda to return to England for the probate hearing which finally decided in her favor and secured her financial independence. (Lawrence had unfortunately died without updating his will, which had become lost in the various moves, and two of his siblings had thus attempted to claim a share of the inheritance.) Frieda and Ravagli arrived back at the Kiowa Ranch on May 2, 1933, and began almost immediately to lay the foundation of the new log cabin. During this time, Frieda completed the final draft of "Not I, But the Wind...," including many of Lawrence's early letters she had found in her mother's desk in Germany. The book was published in October of 1934 with favorable reviews, rating her book above the horde of others produced by friends and acquaintances soon after his death. Frieda is also credited with penning the most poignant epitaph: "What he had seen and felt and known he gave in his writing to his fellow men, the splendour of living, the hope of more and more life . . . a heroic and immeasurable gift" (Memoirs and Correspondence, 106).
On the fifth anniversary of Lawrence's death (March 1935), Frieda sent Ravagli to Vence to retrieve Lawrence's remains. Ravagli had built at the ranch the simple, chapel shaped memorial high on a hill with a spectacular view of the desert. Frieda had formed the idea for the shrine while visiting the British Museum in London and experiencing the peaceful ambiance of its Egyptian exhibit. After Lawrence's body was exhumed and cremated, the ashes were brought back to New Mexico along with a controversy bordering on the comic.28 Some versions of the story say Lawrence's ashes were accidentally spilled or purposely dumped and then replaced with fireplace ash; others say they were eaten in chili or stirred into tea. The urn and its contents were forgotten and retrieved several times enroute from New York to the ranch, and plans by Mabel and Brett to steal the ashes and scatter them over the desert were foiled by Frieda's counter plan of either mixing the ashes into the concrete or cementing them behind the altar of the newly built shrine. The confusion and possessiveness over the ashes add a touch of mystery to the transfer, and as biographer Brenda Maddox writes: "This ambiguity of resting place gave rise to the sense that Lawrence was nowhere and everywhere" (501).
Frieda was outspoken in promoting and defending Lawrence's literary talents after his death. Her unique perspective as the "wife of D.H. Lawrence" was continually being sought. When the Dial Press decided to publish in 1944 The First Lady Chatterley (an early version of his last novel), Frieda was asked to write the foreword. In it she calls the novel "the last word in Puritanism" since only "an Englishman or a New Englander could have written it." She ends by hailing Lawrence's integrity: "He never wrote a word he did not mean at the time he wrote it. He never compromised with the little powers that be; if ever there lived a free, proud man, Lawrence was that man" (Memoirs and Correspondence, 456). Her own strength of character is reflected in these lines from her autobiography: "Whatever happens to me, good or ill, however people hurt me one way or another, I won't let my blood turn sour and my spirit grow resentful" (Memoirs and Correspondence, 20). Frieda corresponded with many of the Lawrence scholars of her day and tactfully answered their questions; these included E.W. Tedlock, Jr., who wrote the descriptive bibliography of manuscripts in her possession, The Frieda Lawrence Collection of D.H. Lawrence Manuscripts (1948) and also Harry T. Moore, whose biography of Lawrence, The Priest of Love, was first published in 1954 as The Intelligent Heart. Over the years, she also made astute observations like this one from a letter to English scholar Edward Gilbert regarding Lawrence's prolific and enigmatic nature:
Lawrence wrote like a tree puts out leaves and grows tall and
spreads. It was not a cerebral conscious activity. That was his
open for others to come along. He was great enough to know that
life goes on and there is no ultimate word.
(Memoirs and Correspondence, 343 344)
Referring to the couple’s infamous quarreling, Frieda dismisses conflict as "natural" between two people of dominant personalities who love each other with intimacy and frankness. Furthermore, she provided counterbalancing opposition to keep his novels from being, in Lawrence's term, "too much me." Frieda maintains that Lawrence "always listened to her, even when he was angry" (Memoirs and Correspondence, 130).
She expanded Lawrence's perspective by bringing him into contact with German high culture and the innovative sociological and psychological ideas then being espoused by Max Weber (the epitome of Heidelberg enlightenment), Sigmund Freud, and his disciple Otto Gross (with whom Frieda had a brief pre Lawrence love affair). Frieda claims she was "full of undigested theories" at the time she met Lawrence ("Not I, But the Wind...," 3). One of the first conversations she shared alone with him had centered on Oedipal themes, which are played out dramatically in Sons and Lovers; and, as a result, Lawrence revised the novel to accommodate his new understanding.29 Worthen believes that the revision of Sons and Lovers was "Frieda's most important contribution to his writing" and that afterward "Lawrence would constantly return to the theme of men and women (but especially women) breaking away from their security and risking themselves in their bid for self fulfilment" (Early Years, 446).
The German erotic movement, to which Frieda had been introduced, was initiated as a rebellious response to the overpowering Bismarckian patriarchy. Gross's ideas had been shaped in part by a group of Bohemian intellectuals active in Schwabing around the turn of the century known as "The Cosmic Circle" (die kosmische Runde), who built upon the matriarchal concepts of the Swiss anthropologist J.J. Bachofen, author of Mother Right (1861). Cultural historian Martin Green describes their beliefs: "They stood for life values, for eroticism, for the value of myth and primitive cultures, for the superiority of instinct and intuition to the values of science, for the primacy of the female mode of being" (73). These ideals, and others such as "blood consciousness," were in tune with Frieda's basic personality and, through her, contributed to Lawrence's own philosophy and fiction. Frieda's relationship with Gross in 1907 had been liberating to her at a time when she felt stifled, thus helping to establish her self identity and sexual confidence. However, she recognized the danger of his extreme and radical idealism. As she later wrote, "something was wrong in him; he did not have his feet on the ground of reality" (Memoirs and Correspondence, 102). She preferred the stability of the more responsible and conservative artist rebel born of the working classes. Theory was thus tested in the crucible of the Lawrences' shared life experience, but within the traditional framework of marriage. The young and curious Lawrence responded enthusiastically to Frieda's foreignness, like a much needed breath of fresh air, calling her "the most wonderful woman in all England" and "the woman of a lifetime" (Letters 1:376, 384). Frieda later confessed to the added challenge of bridging the gulf between English and German upbringing "beyond class there was the difference in race, to cross over to each other," she wrote: "Only the fierce common desire to create a new kind of life, this was all that could make us truly meet" ("Not I, But the Wind...," vii). Frieda considered it her task and responsibility to release Lawrence from his "British" inhibitions, thereby freeing his creative talent and helping him to "flower."
Although the degree of Frieda's influence on Lawrence's writing is still hotly debated, it is generally agreed that she was an integral part of his life during their eighteen years together. Biographer Rosie Jackson says of Frieda's contributions throughout Lawrence's career:
She continued to offer criticism, ideas, support and stimulus. She
constantly read his work and gave vigorous feedback. She encouraged
him to extend his imaginative range, to take risks, to move into new
areas with his fiction, to be more direct. . . . In these and other
ways, Frieda was an essential part of Lawrence's imaginative process.
His creative projection went from him to her and back before it entered
his writing. She is also one of the most constant features in his
imaginative landscape. As if Lawrence were sustaining an inner
dialogue with her throughout his fiction, Frieda appears in work after
work. (63 64)
Consequently, Frieda has since served other writers as a model for fictional characters in the role of a "goddess of Eros" or a life affirming Magna Mater (as in Aldous Huxley's The Genius and the Goddess, for example). According to her own biographer, "Frieda's face has been the unseen heraldic sign on the flyleaf of hundreds of works" (Green, 338). She refused to be reduced to those mythic archetypes alone, however, and defended herself by saying to a critic, "You belittle him [Lawrence] if you think I was just a passionate female to him and rather dumb" (Memoirs and Correspondence, 333). Lawrence called her special gift a "genius for living," and Frieda claimed that "the chief tie between Lawrence and me was always the wonder of living . . . every little or big thing that happened carried its glamour with it" ("Not I, But the Wind...," 36, 70).
Frieda enjoyed being a patron of the arts and soon became a valued member of the Taos community. Among her friends were Millicent Rogers (Standard Oil heiress and Mabel's successor as cultural hostess in Taos), Rebecca James (secretary of the Harwood Foundation in Taos), and Georgia O'Keeffe (artist and wife of Alfred Stieglitz). O'Keeffe described her first impression of Frieda in 1934:
I can remember clearly the first time I ever saw her, standing
in a doorway with her hair all frizzed out, wearing a cheap red
calico dress that looked as though she had just wiped out the
frying pan with it. She was not thin, not young, but there was
something radiant and wonderful about her. (Feinstein, 250)
Of her ranch gatherings and "down home" cookouts, Byrne states, "Frieda's tastes were understated and egalitarian. . . . Hot dogs and pots of chili preceded hand cranked ice cream, and artists rubbed elbows with the titled and high ranking" (383). Byrne continues, "To a younger generation of writers, artists, and musicians, many of whose careers she had helped cultivate and finance, she was something of a retired diva" (412). Her free time was spent on embroidery, knitting, and painting. One watercolor, preserved at the University of Texas, depicts Lawrence as St. Francis with birds and fishes in a Tyrolian setting, reflecting Frieda's Germanic roots and her religious upbringing.30 The Kiowa cabins were decorated in the style of Bavarian summer cottages. She also kept the Lawrence Memorial supplied with fresh pine boughs and graciously welcomed visitors at the Kiowa Ranch. Claire Morrill, longtime Taos shopkeeper and author of A Taos Mosaic, relates her memories of Frieda's broad smile and guttural laugh and how she had a "way of building someone's bit of small talk into something important and unobtrusively giving it back to him as his own" (118). Morrill adds, "There were few who knew her in Taos who did not really love her" (121). Frieda’s joyous nature is reflected in a 1951 letter to an old friend: "I wake up in the morning and the sun rises on my bed and I run around the house happy and grateful to be alive (this is a morning country). I love doing what I do. . . . I am a lucky old woman!" (Memoirs and Correspondence, 342)
In 1938 Frieda bought the Los Pinos house (just north of Taos in El Prado) to escape the cold winter months on Lobo Mountain. She writes to her son, Monty, in August of 1939, "We will have a bathroom and lots of water in Los Pinos" (Memoirs and Correspondence, 275). There was also a workshop big enough to hold a kiln for Ravagli's ceramic work. As Frieda got older, she spent less time at the ranch and began making arrangements with the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque to take it over. Frieda and Ravagli were married on Halloween of 1950 by a Justice of the Peace in Taos, thereby entitling him to half of her remaining estate. In November of 1955, she deeded the Kiowa Ranch property to the university with explicit instructions that ten acres be maintained and left open to the public as a "perpetual memorial," a mecca for unpublished writers and others (Appendix T-T3). Her gift to the university was accepted by resolution of the Board of Regents at a meeting held on November 19, 1955 (Appendix U-U2), and has since been known as the "D.H. Lawrence Ranch."
Frieda's unfinished autobiographical novel, "And the Fullness Thereof," was published posthumously in 1961 within Frieda Lawrence: The Memoirs and Correspondence. In it she writes how Lawrence "walked into her life, naturally and inevitably as if he had always been there, and he was going to stay" (104). She compares her full life to the diversity of nature surrounding her at the ranch:
Through every window the out of doors comes right up to me.
There is this ever changing great sky and the desert below
and the dark line of the Rio Grande. I never get tired of
seeing it. And my past life is spread out before me like
this great view. Now I am old I can look over it as I do
from this mountainside over the valley below. I have known
love and passion and ecstasy and hate and pain, but now there
is peace in me . . . . (Memoirs and Correspondence, 133)
She has also been the subject of several biographies, herself. Like Lawrence, Frieda defies neat categorization; however, she was an individualist who lived the unorthodox kind of life she wanted. As a proto feminist, Frieda "had no feminist framework in and through which to articulate her struggle," says Jackson, "nor did she see the need for one" (65). Nonetheless, she arrived at similar goals through her own unique path. Frieda died of a stroke at her El Prado home on her 77th birthday, August 11, 1956. She had requested to be buried just outside the Lawrence Memorial and for a farewell ad to be placed in El Crepuscolo, a Taos newspaper edited by Johnson, thanking all her friends for their friendship and signed: Frieda Emma Johanna Maria Lawrence Ravagli. The ranch service took place on August 13 and included a reading of Psalm 121 ("I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills . . .") and Lawrence's poem "Song of a Man Who Has Come Through."
Lawrence's Influence in America
The formative years of the Taos/Santa Fe art colonies were concentrated between 1900 and 1920 and initially centered on painting. Writers converged on the region shortly after, with Alice Corbin Henderson taking the literary lead in Santa Fe, reflecting her Chicago experience as editor and co founder of Poetry, the nation's premier magazine of creative verse. Another pioneer of the literary scene was Harvard educated author Witter Bynner, Santa Fe's perennial host and benefactor. Together they filled a social role equivalent to that of Mabel Dodge Luhan in Taos. Both the Taos and Santa Fe colonies were well established and entering their "Golden Age" period by the time of Lawrence's arrival in America. The colonies were enjoying the stimulation from the post World War I influx of creative talents drawn to the region's beauty, remoteness, climate, multiculturalism, and history along with its tolerance and support of restless, unconventional artists. Taos was a smaller and more rustic colony, simultaneously dependent upon and competitive with Santa Fe's. Taos had the Indian pueblo while Santa Fe had the Museum of New Mexico and featured better access to transportation via the AT&SF Railway, thus creating two distinct communities with a shared artistic identity. The yearly summer crowd infecting Taos with creative spirit was described by a national magazine: "Artists affect everyone and everyone affects artists, until Taos is now a whirlpool of self expression. . . . All Taos is art conscious" (Arrell Morgan Gibson, 63).31 Lawrence is prominently linked with the development of the Taos region in general reference books and travel guidebooks. Even the Taos County Chamber of Commerce Webpage proudly presents this Lawrence quotation as motto: "You cannot come to Taos without feeling that here is one of the chosen spots on Earth" (Taos Chamber of Commerce Website). His contribution to the Taos/Santa Fe artist and writer colonies was significant due to the number of contacts he made while living in New Mexico. These include the poet, Bynner (who wrote of his experiences in Journey with Genius: Recollections and Reflections Concerning the D.H. Lawrences); the editor of the Laughing Horse literary journal, Willard Johnson (who published a special issue dedicated to Lawrence); the Danish painters, Kai Gotzsche (who painted Lawrence's portrait and provided cover art for Lawrence's translation of Giovanni Verga's Mastro Don Gesualdo) and Knud Merrild (who wrote A Poet and Two Painters: A Memoir of D.H. Lawrence and produced cover art for Lawrence's story collection The Captain's Doll in addition to portraits of him); journalist, Joseph Foster (who wrote D.H. Lawrence in Taos); and Mabel Dodge Luhan (who wrote Lorenzo in Taos).32 Lawrence was also acquainted with some of the important founding members of the Taos colony: Walter Ufer and Victor Higgins (both were among the original Los Ochos Pintores which formed the Taos Society of Artistsin 1912 to promote critical recognition and marketing), Leon Gaspard (a renowned Russian artist), and Andrew Dasburg (one of the most influential painters in both the Santa Fe and Taos colonies). Ufer, Gaspard, Foster, Johnson, and Mabel Luhan all made visits to the ranch in the summer of 1924. The actress Ida Rauh saw the Lawrences at Kiowa Ranch in May of 1925 to read over his play David. And Willa Cather, a regular summer visitor to Santa Fe, came to Kiowa in July of the same year. She described the Lawrences as "very unusual, charming, and thrilling people" (as in Ellis, 354). Soon after, Cather would write Death Comes for the Archbishop (1927), portraying Catholic pioneers in the Southwest. Another Santa Fe luminary introduced to Lawrence was Mary Austin, an author and Indian rights activist. Even before Lawrence's arrival in America, the New Republic lumped them together as being leaders of the "Back to Montezuma" school of "primitivism" because of their stated sympathies for Native Americans. They both had critiqued modern culture by invoking Indian folk art and lore.
In addition, Lawrence was responsible for importing the considerable talents of the Honorable Dorothy Brett, an alumna of the Slade School of Art in London. Brett permanently settled in Taos, eventually becoming an American citizen. Her memoirs, entitled Lawrence and Brett: A Friendship (1933), is a valuable diary-like source on ranch activities and cabin description. She produced cover art for the original U.S. editions of Lawrence's The Boy in the Bush (1924) and The Plumed Serpent, the latter painting created at the ranch in the spring of 1925 (see Appendix Q). Her portraits, including several of Lawrence, and her distinctive paintings of Indian ceremonials have earned considerable repute, many being displayed in major American and European museums.33 She claimed it was her goal to "paint the inner life of the Indian . . . his reverence for the earth, the world that feeds him and keeps him alive" (Morgan, 54). As a Lawrence devotee, Brett transferred his symbolic "vitalism" into the visual medium. Her large painting entitled The Kiowa Ranch (produced on site in 1925), with the collaborative addition of figures made by Lawrence and Frieda (Appendix B), hangs in the exhibition "Lawrence's Women" at the Millicent Rogers Museum in Taos accompanied by other works by Brett, Frieda, and Mabel. A selection of Lawrence's own paintings was acquired by Saki Karavas (now deceased), the former proprietor of the La Fonda Hotel that is located on historic Taos Plaza; and the showing is advertised by an outside wall plaque.
Lawrence's significance can likewise be traced forward to artists drawn to northern New Mexico later. In 1929 Georgia O'Keeffe spent several weeks at the Kiowa Ranch and was inspired by the stately pine outside the Lawrence cabin to paint The Lawrence Tree as seen looking up through the branches at a starry sky (Appendix I). Aldous and Maria Huxley stayed the summer with Frieda at Kiowa Ranch in 1937, and there Huxley completed his Ends and Means (1937). He previously had used local terrain for a scene in Brave New World (1932) and modeled the character of Rampion in Point Counter Point (1928) after Lawrence. Mississippi born playwright Tennessee Williams was another visitor to see Frieda and the memorial in August of 1939. He was so moved by the experience that he started drafting I Rise in Flame, Cried the Phoenix a few days later as a direct result of the trip. The one act play centers on the final days of Lawrence's life. Williams later wrote with Donald Windham an adaptation of Lawrence's short story "You Touched Me" a comic play which was revised several times in the 1940s. According to Williams's biographer, Donald Spoto, "there can be no doubt of Lawrence's influence on Williams's early prose and poetry particularly regarding the mystic confluence of sex, nature, and power" (74). Also in 1939 the poet W.H. Auden rented Lawrence's cabin from Frieda (describing her as the "original Earth Mother") and in 1940 adapted Lawrence's short story "The Rocking Horse Winner" for radio. In June and July of 1941 Richard Aldington, the Lawrences' friend and author of the book D.H. Lawrence: Portrait of a Genius, But..., visited and collected a set of Kiowa Ranch butterflies which he offered to share with Frieda (Frieda Lawrence and Her Circle, 85). The poet Stephen Spender spent the summer of 1948 at Kiowa Ranch where he wrote much of his autobiography, World Within World (1951). The conductor/composer Leonard Bernstein stayed a week the same summer and worked on his second symphony, The Age of Anxiety (based on the work of Auden), using Frieda's old upright piano. The popular conductor Leopold Stokowski was another among the numerous talented individuals who made the pilgrimage to the ranch.
Many American writers, besides those already named, have felt compelled to study, write about, and pay homage to Lawrence and his works. Poet William Carlos Williams wrote "An Elegy for D.H. Lawrence" in which he laments: "Poor Lawrence/ worn with a fury of sad labor/ to create summer from/ spring's decay" (Williams, 64 67).34 H.D.'s poem "The Poet" is thought to be a tribute to Lawrence with its "shrine so alone" in the desert: "everyone has heard of the small coptic temple,/ but who knows you,/ who dwell there?" (Collected Poems, 465).35 She also wrote the novel Bid Me to Live: A Madrigal (1960) as a debate with Lawrence through her characters of Julia and Rico. Author Norman Mailer wrote The Prisoner of Sex (1971), providing a rhetorical defense of Lawrence against early feminist attack during the heat of the sexual revolution. Anais Nin wrote a sensitive examination of Lawrence's works entitled D.H. Lawrence: An Unprofessional Study (1932, 1964), a book which is thought to have matured her as a writer. The scholar Harry T. Moore made the following observation in the 1964 introduction (reprinted 1994):
The particular kind of intuition emotional knowledge
for which we are so grateful in Miss Nin's own later
fiction, she first applied to her explication of Lawrence.
Surely this book was an important stage in her own
development. . . . And what she so wonderfully knew
in youth, and could see in Lawrence's writings, is still
very valuable, valuable to all of us. (12)
Henry Miller became almost obsessed in his study of Lawrence's mystical philosophy while writing The World of D.H. Lawrence: A Passionate Appreciation (1980).He described his sense of commitment by saying: "The only way to do justice to a man like that, who gave so much, is to give another creation. Not explain him but prove by writing about him that one has caught the flame he tried to pass on" (Letters to Anais Nin, 117).36 Miller believed that Lawrence's essays embodied many of the intellectual ideas that he himself was trying to forge in his own works. What started as an assignment to put his "competition" behind him led to a lifelong fascination with, and esteem for, Lawrence's genius. Pulitzer Prize winning author Bernard Malamud incorporated his interest in Lawrence's life into his novel, Dubin's Lives (1979), dealing with the love and marriage of a biographer who has selected Lawrence as his current subject. Critic Eugene Goodheart remarks, "Dubin's Lawrence speaks to the troubled domestic lives of Americans in the middle of the century" (Legacy, 150). Joyce Carol Oates, who shared Lawrence's humble, working class upbringing, wrote The Hostile Sun: The Poetry of D.H. Lawrence (1973) in praise of his writing and philosophy. She pointed to the "protean nature of reality" revealed in his works and how he discerned "a pattern of harmony and discord, which is Lawrence's basic vision of the universe and the controlling aesthetic behind his poetry" (12, 20).
Lawrence's legacy to other American writers and especially poets has been considerable, as his successors attest. Jeffrey Meyers asserts that "his art has survived through association and transmission" across a broad spectrum (Legacy, 2). Karl Shapiro has stated that Lawrence was a very "American" writer and called him "one of the few moderns who really understood Whitman and learned from him. . . . Lawrence taught everybody the best free verse and the brightest imagery in the clearest of voices . . . ."37 In answer to the age old question of what one book of poems to take to a desert island, Shapiro chose Lawrence's, ultimately referring to Lawrence as the "god of letters" ("The Unemployed Magician," 378 395). Theodore Roethke created some of his poems after the fashion of Lawrence's Birds, Beasts and Flowers in which no creature is too small or unworthy of notice. He acknowledged his profound debt shortly before death: "In terms of immediate influence, I read a lot of Lawrence's prose, almost all of it."38 Robert Bly expressed his gratitude: "those masterly generous acts of attention that we call D.H. Lawrence's poems lie underneath all my 'Morning Glory' and seeing poems."39 Knowledge of Lawrence's works helped to shape Bly's organic theories on poetry. Galway Kinnell favored the "otherness" and "mystery" represented in the animal and love poems, hailing Lawrence "among the great germinal poets of modern times" (54). Kenneth Rexroth borrowed from Lawrence's example of emotional force and frank personal style for his own love poems. He remarked in his Introduction to Selected Poems of D.H. Lawrence that the "accuracy of Lawrence's observations haunts the mind permanently" (11). Gary Snyder discovered Lawrence in high school and considered him one of his greatest teachers:
I have a great respect for Lawrence. . . . [S]omebody
was passing around a copy of Lady Chatterley's Lover
wow . . . I thought: I would like to read some more of
this fellow. So I went to the Public Library and I
found Birds, Beasts and Flowers listed in the catalogue.
I read the book and I said: This man knows what he is
talking about, and I was converted to the poetry right
there, and to modern poetry. (Towards a New American Poetics, 119)
Robert Creeley, exasperated with the tone of "deadness" spread by T.S. Eliot's poem The Waste Land, wrote to Charles Olson, "Lawrence is worth 50,000 Pounds in any market,"40 and in another letter, "I love, again, that man, still, the most" (Creeley, 2:126, 3:99). Even the young Robert Frost was enthusiastic about Lawrence's poetry, writing to Edward Garnett in 1915: "I'll tell you a poet with a method that is a method: [D.H.] Lawrence. I came across a poem of his . . . and it was such a poem that I wanted to go right to the man that wrote it and say something" (Frost, 179). The well read Lawrence was adept at absorbing literary traditions and making them uniquely his own, thus influencing poets with a wide range of styles from "high" to "low." For example, Robert Lowell, who praised Lawrence for his free verse (Lowell, 124), shifted from elaborately formal early poetry to supple free forms, reminiscent of Lawrence's, while the Beat poet Allen Ginsberg gained from Lawrence's rhythmic control and sharp detail as well as his bold experiments in form. As one critic points out, "Lawrence showed American poets how to write as individuals fully alive in thought and feeling, at all times responsive to the passing moment" (Roberts W. French, 134).
Evidence of Lawrentian inspiration and influence can also be seen woven into the works of modern women writers. Both Amy Lowell and Harriet Monroe were strong supporters of Lawrence and furthered his career in America. Lowell welcomed him as an "Imagist" poet by including his poetry in her anthologies and sent him gifts of money and a typewriter; Monroe published his poems in Poetry magazine. Pultizer Prize winner Marianne Moore declared it "an eager delight" (249) to accept his poetry for publication in the Dial during her reign as editor 1925 1929. Sylvia Plath recorded in her journals that Lawrence was one of her two great teaching masters. According to a biographer, she named her first child Frieda both for a relative and for Frieda Lawrence, whom she admired (Wagner Martin, 174). Eudora Welty has said of Lawrence (in The Eye of the Story): "He is first wonderful at making a story world, a place, and then wonderful again when he inhabits it . . ." (97). Critic Carol Siegel notes the fluidity of both Lawrence's and Welty's fiction in representing female desire and how they follow the same mythic traditions: "The specific myths she chooses to rework and her fondness for sun imagery are strongly reminiscent of Lawrence's texts" (166). Welty's story "At the Landing" is frequently compared to Lawrence's novella The Virgin and the Gipsy and cited as a prime example of the Lawrentian imagery prevalent in her work. Kay Boyle wrote that Lawrence's Studies in Classic American Literature gave her "a singular courage" as a writer (16); this led her to his other works, such as St. Mawr, which then echo in her own writing.41 Lawrence's influence can also be traced in Elizabeth Bishop, Denise Levertov, Adrienne Rich, Carson McCullers, and Meridel LeSueur (to limit the list strictly to Americans).42 Women's literature both recognizes Lawrence's contribution in portraying female issues and is at the same time ambivalent, borrowing from Lawrence and sometimes reacting against him in creative dialogue. Despite Lawrence's veneration for the "living male power," Sandra Gilbert observes: "Over the years, I've noticed that women students are often especially drawn to this writer's work, as if . . . they sensed something quasi feminist in it" (“Preface,” xii).
On the academic front, Lawrence continues to evoke new lines of study among scholars. As suggested above, feminist critics, in revisionary studies, have vigorously interrogated Lawrence's views on women (like Kate Millett) and have located him historically within the debates over the early women's movement in England (Hilary Simpson); more recently they have even placed him within a women's literary tradition (Sandra Gilbert, “Preface”; Siegel).43 Gender studies examine the roles of men and women in their various interrelationships as portrayed in Lawrence's fiction. His focus on nature is highly relevant to an age that places emphasis on ecological awareness (as in Dolores LaChapelle's Future Primitive of 1996). Lawrence's fiction aptly lends itself to psychological approaches due to the Oedipal themes that stand out in some works like Sons and Lovers, in particular. Lawrence studies have kept pace with the shifts in psychological criticism as his works have been filtered through Freudian, Jungian, Lacanian, Kleinian, and even Deleuzian (anti Oedipal) interpretations.44 In 2001 the Modern Language Association of America issued Approaches to Teaching the Works of D.H. Lawrence, ed. Elizabeth Sargent and Garry Watson, containing more than 30 contemporary approaches to Lawrence in the classroom. His international standing also remains high, as shown in The Reception of D.H. Lawrence Around the World (1999), edited in Japan by Takeo Iida with esteemed contributors from East and West. In an obituary the Manchester Guardian claimed, "Mr. Lawrence was a writer who has exercised a more potent influence, perhaps, over his generation than any of his contemporaries."45 As one of the most widely studied authors of the 20th century, he extends his influence into the future.
Perhaps the largest impact Lawrence had on American policy was the result of the "Lady Chatterley Trials" that virtually abolished state censorship and upheld the freedom of speech for literature, thus contributing to the national pendulum's swing toward legal and social liberalism (particularly during the 1960s and 1970s).46Lady Chatterley's Lover (1928) had been under ban, disturbing the public watchdogs on several accounts: inter class relationships, adultery, divorce, explicit sexual scenes, and particularly certain four letter words that Lawrence had attempted to purge of their "dirtiness" by placing them in poetic contexts. During the U.S. Supreme Court trial held in 1959, Grove Press defended Lawrence against the Postmaster General's charge of "obscenity" by establishing the novel's "redeeming social importance," which then allowed the book to be shipped through the U.S. Postal Service (Rembar).47 The American victory acted as a contributing catalyst for the 1960 London case of Regina v. Penguin Books, which also supported the literary merit of Lady Chatterley's Lover. Penguin, a publisher of mass market paperbacks, won the right to reprint a thirty year anniversary edition of Lawrence's works, including this last, most controversial novel. The book was legitimized for a third time in 1962 by a similar Supreme Court of Canada trial involving the unexpurgated New American Library edition of Lady Chatterley's Lover, which elicited positive testimony from leading Canadian writers and scholars (Nause, 198 202). After the Chatterley trials, an estimated 10,000,000 copies of Lawrence's books were sold world wide in less than a decade, confirming Lawrence's far reaching international influence (Jackson and Jackson, 11). The general engagement with Lawrence can best be accounted for by this passage from one of his 1925 letters: "I can't bear art that you can walk around and admire. . . . An author should be in among the crowd. . . . [W]hoever reads me will be in the thick of the scrimmage, and if he doesn't like it if he wants a safe seat in the audience let him read somebody else" (Letters 5:201). Lawrence challenges readers and writers to think, thus continuing to have relevance to society today.
8. Ranch Uses
Over the years the University of New Mexico (UNM) has used the Lawrence Ranch in various educational capacities. The Department of Art and Art History has been offering its Annual Summer Art Workshops there since 1981. These workshops provide a variety of topics on regional art and nature designed to enhance experimental approaches of study. An annual Taos Summer Writers' Conference, developed by Prof. Sharon Oard Warner, Director of Creative Writing, began in 1999 and features various genres of writing instruction. Two merit based scholarships (for poetry and fiction) are given in connection with it, and the D.H. Lawrence Fellowship has now been reinstated. Poet Robert Creeley is among those who held a past fellowship with summer residence at the ranch. This fellowship, originally established in 1958 to "sustain a living tradition of artistic creation at the D.H. Lawrence Ranch" (UNM website) and to grant developing writers a month of scenic inspiration and solitude, was temporarily suspended in 1992 due to poor cabin conditions at nearby Kiowa Village and the lack of a dependable water supply. While conditions still make it unfeasible to house the fellowship recipient at the ranch, lodging will be provided in Taos. The English Department and Sigma Tau Delta (National English honor society) sometimes conduct one- and two day excursions to the ranch. Prof. Hugh Witemeyer of the English Department heads a committee of ranch supporters and has led both student groups and a UNM Regent's delegation to the ranch. Dr. Art Bachrach, professor (retired) and owner of a well known Taos bookshop, also conducts a tour of the ranch in connection with a summer enrichment course he teaches for Southern Methodist University's Taos branch. Currently, a survey of UNM department heads is being made to further incorporate the Lawrence Ranch into UNM curriculum, and the Taos Art Institute has expressed renewed interest in using it as a teaching center.
The ranch has also attracted Lawrence related festivals and conferences. The D.H. Lawrence Festival of 1970, held at the Kiowa Ranch conference center and organized by Ernest (E.W.) Tedlock and other UNM faculty, was attended by some two hundred scholars and students from as far away as England and France. Several personal acquaintances of Lawrence were among those present, including Helen Corke, Lawrence's inspiration for the heroine in The Trespasser (1912); David Garnett, son of editor/mentor Edward Garnett; Mrs. Enid Hopkin Hilton, a friend from Lawrence's Eastwood days; and, from the New Mexico years, writer Joseph Foster and ranch neighbors A.D. Hawk and Dorothy Brett.48 In 1980 the Taos Art Association sponsored a Lawrence Festival with Anthony Branch as director and actress Greer Garson as president. This gala event, honoring the fiftieth anniversary of Lawrence's death, drew such celebrities as Julie Harris and Elizabeth Taylor. Scheduled activities included a memorial service at the shrine and a discussion on the topic "The Influence of D.H. Lawrence on Living and Writing Today." The Seventh International Conference of the D.H. Lawrence Society of North America (in association with the Phoenix Rising Society) was held at Taos in 1998 with participants from fourteen countries.49 Based on the theme "D.H. Lawrence and New Worlds," it furnished scholarly papers in thirty eight sessions over a period of six days. Presentations were interspersed with other activities such as tours of the Lawrence Ranch, considered by many the central highlight.
NOTES 1Lawrence had two arm chairs, both built in 1924. One he built himself, shaped with a hand ax and carved with a penknife (Brett, 122). Both Frieda Lawrence and Mabel Dodge Luhan describe it a "rough" piece of furniture, says Frieda in "Not I, But the Wind..." (v); a "delicate, decorous chair," says Luhan in Lorenzo in Taos (212). Frieda says she embroidered a piece of petit point for this chair, and Lawrence himself sometimes stitched it (v), but this piece has not survived. Mabel also built a chair for Lawrence, modeling it in the wide, deep, and heavy Spanish style she describes, apparently like a Spanish Colonial "priest's chair" which derived from Romanesque thrones. She painted it pale pink with "touches of green in the carving," and Lawrence jokingly referred to it as the "Iron Maiden" (Luhan, Lorenzo in Taos, 202, 203). It appears possible that the chair displayed at the ranch is the latter.
2Brett tells how the Taos Indians used this term (89), but Witter Bynner suggests, instead, that it was "Red Wolf" (8); in reality, both names were probably used since the fox and wolf belong to the canine family. The Taos Indian nickname for Frieda was "Angry Winter" (Brett, 89).
3Ravagli returned to Italy in 1960 and died in 1976. The red fox statue now adorns Ravagli's memorial at a cemetery in Spotorno, Italy, as recently confirmed by Stefania Michelucci (5).
4"The Spirit of Place" is the name of the opening essay in his Studies in Classic American Literature. The earlier, more idealistic, versions of these studies were collected by Armin Arnold in 1961 under the title The Symbolic Meaning and they will be included in the Cambridge Edition of SCAL.
5Lawrence tells how Rananim was first planned late in 1914 (Letters 2:268) and he directly cites the song version of "Ranani Zadikim Zadikim l'Adonai" ("Rejoice in the Lord, O ye righteous," Psalm 33:1), referring to the psalm as sung by Koteliansky. A link seems likely, too, with the Hebrew adjective "ra'annanim" (green, flourishing) from Psalm 92:14 (K. W. Gransden, 22 32).
6E.W. Tedlock, Jr., later edited her Memoirs and Correspondence; see also Michael Squires, D.H. Lawrence's Manuscripts, containing correspondence between Frieda and the bookseller Jake Zeitlin, and others, and revealing significant details of the dispersal of the Lawrence manuscripts over a period of 30 years.
7 See both the first and second editions of Gilbert’s Acts of Attention; Shapiro’s statement is in his personal letter (1985), in Legacy (Reference List).
8Other Lawrence organizations include Phoenix Rising of New Mexico, the D.H. Lawrence Society of England, the Rananim Society, the Haggs Farm Preservation Society of England, and the D.H. Lawrence Societies (besides those named in the text) of England, Japan, Korea, China, Australia, and Italy. In Iida's book, writers discuss the lively Lawrence circles and scholarship in Britain, the United States, France, Italy, Germany, Poland, Finland, Mexico, Canada, Australia, Japan, Korea, China, and India. International Lawrence conferences have been held in diverse locations, including Boston, Shanghai, Montpellier, Ottawa, Nottingham, Paris, Taos, and Naples. The next two are scheduled for Kyoto and Santa Fe.
9The Modern Language Association of America has also published a new book presenting numerous ways of teaching Lawrence’s works (see Elizabeth Sargent and Garry Watson in the Reference List).
10On this largest collection, in the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center at the University of Texas, see Roberts, 23 37. In addition, the UNM Lawrence collection includes a number of items by both D.H. Lawrence and Frieda Lawrence. Included, for example, are typescripts of some of the essays in Reflections on the Death of a Porcupine. The University of California (Berkeley) also has significant Lawrence manuscripts and typescripts; and among other Lawrence repositories in the United States are libraries at Yale, Harvard, Princeton, Cornell, Duke, Stanford, UCLA, Northwestern, the University of Illinois, and the New York Public Library. (There are still a few private collectors, as well.) Of course, the University of Nottingham has an excellent collection of Lawrence manuscripts, typescripts, and art works as well as the renowned D.H. Lawrence Centre.
11Some of the other literary journals devoted to Lawrence include Études Lawrenciennes (University of Paris), Journal of the D.H. Lawrence Society (Eastwood, England), D.H. Lawrence Studies of Kyoto (Japan). D.H. Lawrence Studies (Korea), Rananim (Australia), and the recently announced (2000) Quaderni Lawrenciani (Italy). The Newsletter of the D.H. Lawrence Society of North America is edited at the University of Maine (Presque Isle) by Eleanor Green.
12The book is a 1915 first edition of The Rainbow with the Frank Wright book jacket.
13Helen Croom (Bristol, England) is the owner of an academic listserve as well as the Rananim listserve; for the latter, Tina Ferris (Diamond Bar, California) and R. H. Albright (Boston, Massachusetts) are the Moderators. Charles Rossman, Professor of English at the University of Texas (Austin), was the originator of the academic service.
14See Peter Preston, 28, recording that 1990 1991 was the first year in which the number topped 10,000. The Broxtowe Borough Council had purchased the property for the Visitors' Centre and shop in the former year.
15This essay, like others by Lawrence on Native Americans, will be in the Cambridge Edition of
Mornings in Mexico and Other Essays. The texts have been established through examination of the surviving manuscript and typescript material from Lawrence's New Mexico period.
16Referring to 1923, for instance, Warren Roberts, James T. Boulton, and Elizabeth Mansfield, editors of Lawrence's letters of that period, state that "never before or afterwards were so many Lawrence books published in so short a time" (Letters 4:18). One reason for the flurry of publications was the enterprise of Lawrence's new American publisher, Thomas Seltzer (from 1920 to 1924). According to the same editors of Letters 4: "Altogether, twenty of Lawrence's books appeared with the Seltzer imprint, and of eight major works published between May 1921 and March 1923 only one was published first in England" (2). Another five Lawrence books appeared in 1924 1925 during the remainder of the American period and five more were completed and near publication by the time he returned to Europe. See also Nicholas Joost and Alvin Sullivan on The Dial and Sharyn R.Udall on Laughing Horse.
17This letter to his agent Robert Mountsier on Nov. 6, 1922 (among other letters) tells in detail of his desire to go to the ranch and to invite others there. But see John Turner and Worthen, distinguishing between this plan and the earlier one of Rananim (135 71).
18See especially Knud Merrild and David Ellis.
19After Frieda's departure, Lawrence journeyed west again, reuniting with the Danish painters, Merrild and Gotzsche, in Los Angeles, then rambling with Gotzsche through western Mexico and eventually to Vera Cruz. In Mexico, he wrote his co authored novel, The Boy in the Bush (with Mollie Skinner), published in 1924.
20Upon his arrival in cloudy London, he sent "Spud" Johnson an essay of exultant praise for the sunny Southwest and its free-kicking spirit ("Dear Old Horse, A London Letter"), intending it as the first in a series of travel pieces for Johnson's Laughing Horse. Only one other of this group ("Paris Letter") was published in his lifetime, but a third, "Letter from Germany," appeared in 1934.
21 See note 5 above.
22"Diary" notebook (1920 1924), in Tedlock's Frieda Lawrence Collection, 98. This notebook, now in the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center at the University of Texas at Austin, contains notes about finances along with manuscript versions of some of the poems for Birds, Beasts and Flowers.
23Lawrence had dismissed Mountsier in February 1923 and had no American agent until the following spring, when the English agent Curtis Brown began to handle Lawrence's American market as well as the English.
24Lawrence was at this time at the height of his "Pan cluster," comprising the century's most notable revival of the "all" god (see Patricia Merivale, 194 219). Lawrence envisioned not simply Pan's resurrection in the New World but his survival here from primordial times despite his legendary "death" in the Old World. On St. Mawr, see also James Cowan, American Journey, 90 96; and Charles Rossman, xiii xxxii.
25The title, as published in Johnson's Laughing Horse, contained these last two words "Tired Out," but Lawrence's own manuscript and typescript do not. It is probable that the Cambridge Edition of Mornings in Mexico and Other Essays, including this piece, will use the shorter title.
26The other essays include "The Future of the Novel" (published in 1923 as "Surgery for the Novel or a Bomb"), "Why the Novel Matters," and "The Novel and the Feelings" (both written in 1925 but unpublished in Lawrence's lifetime).
27In 1929, for example, Lawrence was still deeply concerned with affairs at the ranch, writing Brett about the importance of ascertaining its boundaries: "Glad you had the rights of the ditch fixed. One day, when you can get a chance, do try and get someone to fix the real boundaries of the ranch locate them, I mean. If some old timer can remember the corner tree, then you can take the sights. Old Willie Vandiver [the blacksmith at San Cristobal] might know. You know the ranch property is really a square, and is quite a bit bigger than the present enclosure. And the piece above the house, up towards the raspberry canyon, is really inside the bounds, and I should like that secured especially, as it keeps us private. If we could find out the corner marks, we could fence bit by bit" (Letters 7:506).
28Although there has been controversy about the authenticity of the ashes, Lawrence's Cambridge biographers have found their papers in order.
29In Psychoanalysis and the Unconscious and Fantasia of the Unconscious (1921, 1922), however, Lawrence quarrels with Freud, disassociating himself from Freud's ideas of the incest motive in the unconscious. Although Lawrence never lived to see revisions of Freud by Jacques Lacan and others, some critics today read him in terms of post-Freudian stances (see, for example, Cowan, Trembling Balance; Earl Ingersoll; and Margaret Storch, Sons and Adversaries). Of course, Lawrence was interested in investigations of unconscious motivations in literary tradition, itself in such modes as drama, dramatic monologue, first person narration, free indirect discourse, and "stream of consciousness."
30In a letter to Richard Aldington, Frieda uses similar imagery for Lawrence: "I see him in the tradition of . . . Francis of Assisi with Lorenzo's [Lawrence's] almost uncanny love for animals and plants" (Frieda Lawrence and Her Circle, 88).
31See also Robert R. White, Patricia Janis Broder, Sherry Clayton Taggett and Ted Schwartz, and Luhan, Edge of Taos Desert and Taos and Its Artists.
32Dates for these books are as follows: Bynner, 1951; Merrild, 1938; Foster, 1972; Luhan, 1932. Merrild's was later reprinted with another title: With D.H. Lawrence in New Mexico: A Memoir of D.H. Lawrence (1964). See also Lois Rudnick on Luhan.
33Brett's portraiture is shown, for example, in the National Portrait Gallery and Tate Gallery, London; the Glasgow Institute of Fine Arts; the Metropolitan Museum, New York; Boyer Gallery, Philadelphia; Denver Art Museum; and Dallas Museum of Fine Arts. Frank Waters particularly praises her paintings of pueblo ceremonials, stating that the "heyday of Indian dancing" is forever "framed in her gorgeous paintings" (150). See also Hignett.
34See also Rachelle Katz Lerner, 79 94, on Lawrence and William Carlos Williams.
35See Louis L. Martz, "H.D. and D.H.," 126 128, on ties between the Taos memorial and the temple in H.D.'s poem, itself reflecting the Egyptian temple in Lawrence's novella The Man Who Died (first published in a short version, The Escaped Cock, a title which is, today, often used for the entire tale). In a letter, Frieda confirms the likeness between the fiction and the actual ranch shrine as created by Ravagli and herself: "We have made a lovely place on the hill, a bit like the little temple of Isis in 'The Escaped Cock'” (Frieda Lawrence and Her Circle, 69).
36See also Evelyn J. Hinz and John Teunissen in their Introduction to Miller's The World of D.H. Lawrence, 24. Miller also wrote a second book on Lawrence, compiled late in his life from his extensive notes: Notes on 'Aaron's Rod' and Other Notes on Lawrence from the Paris Notebooks.
37Personal letter from Shapiro (1985), in Legacy, 8.
38See Neal Bowers, 11 12.
39Personal letter from Bly (1985), in Legacy, 9.
40Creeley is, of course, making a pun, referring not only to the British currency but also to Ezra Pound, who so substantially edited T.S. Eliot's The Wasteland that he has been credited with some of its distinctive features. Pound was an early supporter of Lawrence's poetry.
41The central characters in Boyle's Year Before Last and "The Rest Cure" are believed to be based partly on Lawrence, the latter drawing upon details of his last illness and death (see also Leo Hamalian, chapter 6).
42LeSueur identified deeply with The Man Who Died and was attracted to Lawrence's working class origins, his passion for the earth (influencing her descriptions of the Midwestern United States), and his fertility themes, including the mythology of Persephone (see Hamalian, chapter 4).
43Millett's Sexual Politics, at the end of the 1960s, was most hostile; Simpson provided important historicity; Gilbert’s “Preface” and Siegel’s book consider the literary influence of women writers on him and his on them. This present narrative takes into account more than 20 women writers and critics, from memoirists of the 1930s like his boyhood companion and sweetheart Jessie Chambers (E.T.) to a recent biographer who casts him as preeminently the "married man" (Brenda Maddox, whose book is entitled The Married Man in England).
44See also note 29 above.
45Manchester Guardian, 12. Alastair Niven once even made the claim that Lawrence is "the most widely studied author in the English language" after Shakespeare ("D.H. Lawrence: Literary Criticism and Recent Publications," British Book News [September 1985]), as reported in Legacy.
46While Lawrence was proclaimed a "guru" by some of the "hippie" movement, who displayed posters of him at "sing ins" and "love ins," writers on Lawrence frequently point to the irony that he was claimed by a movement with which he would have felt so little in common. His late essay "A Propos of Lady Chatterley's Lover" contains a ringing defense of "Marriage sacred and inviolable, the great way of earthly fulfilment for man and woman" (Lady Chatterley's Lover, 321 322). This essay was cited during the English trial by clergymen and other expert witnesses.
47The first of the trials (1950 57) had actually been in Japan, where the case brought against Oyama Publishing Company resulted in a restrictive decision that has, however, not been enforced in recent time (see Iida, "The Reception of D.H. Lawrence in Japan," 240 4).
48A report that Brett did not attend (for example, Sean Hignett, 260) is erroneous, for she appears in conference photographs. She was then 86 years of age and would live to be nearly 94, dying on August 27, 1977. Her ashes are scattered on the "Pink Rocks" below Lobo Mountain (see Hignett, 262 263, 270).
49See note 8 above on the other International D.H. Lawrence Conferences sponsored in part by the DHLSNA.