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ELT 40:4 1997 seemed to me to prevent your book from being a creation.... You seemed to lose in passion what you gained in sincerity and therefore 'the miracle' didn't happen." She also pores over a photograph of Dorothy Brett's painting Marie Loo and describes in detail how the elements of the painting lack integrity. She concludes her analysis by saying, "The feeling is there, the imagination & the colour but you cant yet express what you feel and see. . . . you are attempting in Marie Loo something that for the moment is beyond you." Only the mettlesome can withstand such penetrating examination and frank delivery. Although Mansfield at times must hold herself back from going on excessively about the work of others, she says precious little about her own works in progress. And although she goes after the truth relentlessly and ruthlessly in art, she does not reveal easily truths about herself. But the gradual changes that take place in her tone and the subjects she chooses to discuss in her letters over the eighteen months tell an interesting story. As the months pass, she becomes decidedly more an invalid. She thus moves from seeing her illness as something that inflicts on her periods of weakness and bouts of pain but which is nevertheless curable, to accepting that though some discomfort may be relieved, recovery will never occur. Over time her tone changes from playful, manipulative, and sometimes caustic, to sincere. Her false faces drop away and reveal a vulnerable Katherine Mansfield who reminisces frequently and with fondness, and who asks, "why are people clothed in this awful armour? Why is it shameful to feel warm hearted? Why must one go on and on pretending, 'carrying it off.'" Louise A. Poresky ________________ Rockland Community College Lawrence Reference Companion Paul Poplawski. D. H. Lawrence: A Reference Companion. Westport: Greenwood Press, 1996. xxi + 714 pp. $99.50 THIS ADMIRABLY DESIGNED and conspicuously inclusive volume ranks among the most well-conceived and practical of the omnibus source-books for major authors that sophisticated computer technology continues to make possible in these last years of the twentieth century. The optimistic "companion" term in the title amounts to an accurate description of the book's purpose and effect, for it is intelligently organized with an encompassing awareness of the multi-genre range of Lawrence's artistic achievements; the volume also reflects a meticulous 456 Book reviews grasp of all the categories and contexts of published criticism on Lawrence's work that commentators have generated so prolifically for more than seven decades. Greenwood Press has assembled a formidable yet attractive book with a sturdy binding, comfortably legible print, and uncluttered lay-out design and chapter organization. Lawrence scholars and less professionalized aficionados will be rewarded here with a provocative variety of integrated indexes, chronological listings, detailed maps, cross-referenced bibliographies, and well-documented biographical material. The price of the book may well suggest a strategic investment rather than a casual purchase, but the dividends offered by this encyclopedic work will be apparent to anyone interested in any facet of Lawrence studies. The preface to Poplawski's book outlines an intention and methodology that the volume sustains with clarity and insight. In effect, D. H. Lawrence: A Reference Companion manages to integrate two disparate functions with surprising success. The volume serves as an up-to-date example of authoritative scholarship as well as a practical "reference guide to the life, works, and critical reception of D. H. Lawrence." Such dual purpose represents a significant ambition, yet the structure of the volume sustains its goal to function both as "a reference tool for the specialist" and as an accessible guide for "beginning students and casual readers." While it is organized persuasively with all the subheadings and editing apparatus of a primary reference work, including sustained lines of both chronological and text development across Lawrence's career, the volume also contains a substantial amount of effective interpretation and commentary. For instance, Part I ("The Life") consists of an excellent essay by John Worthen—an 85-page "short biography" that is noteworthy for Worthen's dramatic emphasis on the details of Lawrence's productive summer in New Mexico in...


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pp. 456-459
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Will Be Archived 2021
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