This essay takes as its starting-point an intriguing claim made by Lawrence critics: that the character Juliet in Lawrence's short story 'Sun' might be understood as suffering from post-natal depression. The essay explores the gap between what is suggested by the story, and what Lawrence could have known about, considering fraught accounts of childbirth in 'Sun' and Sons and Lovers (1913). It argues that something like post-natal depression in Lawrence's work raises questions about the limits of the imagination, and focuses a nexus of concerns relating to illness, selfhood, and hope In the second and third decades of the 20th century, T. S. Eliot put forward a number of ideas about poetry that became highly influential. Enthusiastically welcomed by the more avant-garde critics of the day, they were crucial in the establishment of what is now known as British literary 'modernism'. The chief aim of this essay is to suggest that none of them really holds water and that, had Eliot not in fact been a great poet, they would never have been taken so seriously.


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