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ELT: VOLUME 34:3, 1991 of the trilogy; nor can it stand as a theme independent of others." This is certainly true, but in the interests of his thesis, Onions has been stressing Sassoon's failure to conform to Onions's views of heroism, and this hardly seems fair. At the end of the chapter Onions's bias becomes even more clear: "The fully heroic figure was only established— convincingly, that is—by Manning." Manning seems to have done this "convincingly" for Onions by agreeing with him. At times, Onions's preference for the heroic viewpoint offered by tragedy recalls John H. Johnston's view that the proper form for war poetry must be the epic. One major disappointment is that, despite its title, Onions devotes practically none of his space to World War I drama. Three plays (one definitely pre-war) by Alan Monkhouse, one play (dismissed in a single sentence) by Granville Barker, roughly three pages devoted to Journey's End, and another three pages devoted to Maugham's For Services Rendered are not enough to make this a book about drama of the Great War. Onions comments, and rightly, that any selection is bound to strike some as "arbitrary," and he indicates that he has deliberately excluded "Works which treat the war obliquely or symbolically, such as Shaw's Heartbreak House (1919) or—less significantly—H. F. Rubinstein's Britannia Calling (1930)," but that certainly does not account for some other omissions—Shaw's O'Flaherty, V. C., for instance—which conform to Onions's emphasis on the Western Front and on the nature of heroism much more directly than does Maugham's play. If one has room for cameo descriptions of scores of forgotten novels in a chapter on "Minor Works," surely there might have been space for such wartime productions as Stephen Phillips's Armageddon or Bruce Bairnsfather and Arthur Eliot's The Better 'Ole, as well as for plays that appeared during the 1920s and 1930s. Since there is much less available scholarship about Great War drama than about World War I fiction or poetry, a comprehensive treatment of plays about the war could have made Onions's book much more valuable. Fred D. Crawford Central Michigan University Lawrence's Later Novels John B. Humma. Metaphor and Meaning in D. H. Lawrence's Later Novels. Columbia: University of Missouri Press, 1990. xii + 116 pp. $22.50 372 Book Reviews JOHN B. HUMMA's Metaphor and Meaning in D. H. Lawrence's Later Novels is a carefully argued study that takes an intensely "organic" view of Lawrence's eight later novels; that is, Humma attempts to demonstrate how Lawrence's interlocking images are often part of resonant metaphors that not only comprise the best art of one period of his fiction (from Aaron's Rod through The Escaped Cock), but also reflect, refine, and enhance the visionary doctrine. Humma believes that in his later novels, such meticulous evidence of the wedding of Lawrence's form and meaning has been overlooked by critics. His short, dense book addresses this failure in admirable fashion, and its methodology is primarily a sustained attention to the various symbologies and related myths and fables that undergird the Lawrencian vision in each novel. In the process of such a unified critical perspective, Humma sometimes overreads and overestimates the effectiveness of the art, myth, or novel he examines; but often he locates a real distinctiveness and working design in the linguistic structures employed by Lawrence in his last decade. Humma defines and traces such qualities as a recognizable "quickness" of style combined with intricate structures of interpenetrating imagery and contrapuntal metaphors—all part of Lawrencian technique that confirms the novelist's indebtedness to myth, fantasy, and the accumulating traditions of literature. In the longer fictions of this period Humma locates—as opposed to the largely "symbolic" techniques of such earlier work as Sons and Lovers, The Rainbow, and Women in Love—a complex system of conceits that infiltrates each work. The result, Humma insists, is a resonance that is noticeably different from Lawrence's art before the 1920s. Aaron's Rod becomes the key transitional text for the study of Lawrence's...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1559-2715
Print ISSN
0013-8339
Pages
pp. 372-376
Launched on MUSE
2010-05-21
Open Access
No
Archive Status
Archived
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