It is with some difficulty, after reading the book which suggests the title above, that one refrains from calling its author, Mr. D. H. Lawrence, an interesting 'fellow'-as an act of reciprocity. He has been visiting us, sojourning physically, I believe, in New Mexico, and mentally, I am sure, among our raciest exponents of belles-lettres. He is a good guest: he studies his host and makes extraordinary efforts to adapt himself to the habits and manners of the family. One surmises that he is now wearing a sombrero, driving a Ford, drinking iced water qualified perhaps with white mule, reading the Albuquerque Americal1, and smoking Camel cigarettes. The internal evidence for this surmise lies in the style which 'the greatest of living English writers' employs to address his American audience. For the nonce, Mr. Lawrence is resolved to be a genuine Americano. Something of a linguist, he has attempted to master the idiom and -actually to write his book in the vernacular. A critic to the manner born, like Mr. Mencken, may justly complain that his idiom is by no means flawless; yet to the uncensorious native there is a subtle flattery in hearing the loved accents of the mother tongue slipping so nonchalantly from the lips ofa gifted alien. Here are examples:
(I) Marie Antoinette got her head off for playing dairymaid, and nobody dusted the seats of your pants till now for all the lies you put over us. [Apostrophe to Rousseau and other advocates of a return to Nature.]
I will admit that my first impression, after a hasty dip into these studies, was that Mr. Lawrence was rather vaing!oriously engaged in demonstrating how much more expeditiously and perfectly than Mr. Francis Hackett, late of the New Republic, he had become an Americatlo. I did him an injustice. Mr. Lawrence has a more serious purpose chan that. He has even what certain of our own critics would call a 'messianic' purpose. He has borrowed our language and discussed our classics in order to deliver, in a style intelligible to us and with illustratipilS suited to our comprehensions, his own message. This book, like his novels and his philosophical works, has a thesis. I think that he may now congratulate himself on having put his thesis 'across' in a fashion to engage sympathetic attention from many readers who have been unable to penetrate through the dense und.erbrush of his fiction to the philosophic cave-man, Mr. Lawrence himself, glaring fuliginous from his cavern, and far more interested in winning male converts to his philosophy than silly women to hear his story.