Welcome to the October bulletin

It's Black History Month and D.H. Lawrence has been an inspiration to various black writers over the decades. Derek Owusu, author of That Reminds Me (2020), is published by Stormzy’s #Merky Books and is a novel-in-verse that explores identity, belonging, and mental health. Derek’s first interest in literature was inspired by Lawrence's short story 'St. Mawr' and led him to teach his brother to read as a means of keeping him out of trouble.  . 

Lawrence was also inspiration to a host of black American poets of the 1940s and 1950s, specifically Claude McKay, Jean Toomer, Langston Hughes, Richard Wright and Ralph Ellison. In Lawrence they saw a fellow 'outsider' fighting the establishment and experiencing forms of censorship. If it was difficult for a miner's son to be accepted by the literati, imagine being black. 'Negro writers' argues Langston Hughes 'just by being black, have been on the blacklist all our lives”. 

You can read more about how Lawrence inspired these writers here

If you want anything included in the bulletin, lob it over to me ( or Brenda (      .  

If you missed the festival this year, fear not. Recordings are available on the website. Here's the links:

David Game -  'DH Lawrence and Australia'

Paul Eggert - ‘Birds, beasts and flowers’

Malcolm Pittock - 'Lawrence's Jessie poems' 

Clive Leivers - Interview with Clive Leivers, president of the Haggs Farm Preservation Society.

Judith Ruderman - The Lawrence Birthday Lecture ‘A life of illness and resilience: Reflections on Lawrence’s letters in a time of pandemic’

D H Lawrence embraces climate change
In 2008 Mark Lynas published Six Degrees, exploring our future on a hotter planet. It doesn’t make for a comfortable read. The book was updated in 2020 as some of the predictions had happened sooner than he could have imagined. Climate change, species extinction, and pollution are the defining issues of the Anthropocene – a proposed term for the absolute mess we’ve got ourselves into. All of which brings us neatly on to The Voice of Nethermere, the new cantata inspired by Lawrence’s debut novel The White Peacock.     
In this, Alan Wilson and Malcolm Gray transported Lawrence’s poetic words into a freshly produced script with colourful and dramatic music as part of the 2020 Lawrence Festival Day. The tragedy of this story gave an allegorical message as to the serious effects of climate neglect, and the music and libretto portrayed the darkness of such a disaster if this were allowed to happen. Songs such as ‘We are stewards of this earth’ captured these sentiments, allowing an insight into the novel as well as linking out to contemporary issues. This is the first time the book has been set to music in such a way.
We hope that future festival events produce other interpretations and discussions of Lawrence’s work and encourage all members of the society to get involved and share their expertise.  


Wednesday 14 October


'D. H. Lawrence and the sense of scale'
Dr. Catherine Brown
Zoom link 

For anyone wishing to join by landline phone, dial:

0203 051 2874 United Kingdom

Meeting ID: 849 4042 1574
Password - will be emailed out closer to the meeting time.


Friday 30 October

Zoom link
For more details, please contact: 
From the JDHLS archives
Susan Reid, JDHLS editor

The new website of the Journal of D. H. Lawrence Studies hosts published articles all the way back to 1988‒89. A great place to start exploring this open-access archive, especially at a time when our own meetings are curtailed, is with David Newmarch’s ‘Literary and Kindred Evenings in D. H. Lawrence’s Eastwood’ This informative essay outlines the history of the Eastwood Congregational Literary Society, which was founded by the Reverend Robert Reid and featured Willie Hopkin as its most frequent speaker. The titles of Hopkin’s papers – “on questions of prickly speculation and desired to stir controversy” – remain highly topical today: ‘Is Life Worth Living?’; ‘Heredity and Environment’, and ‘The Limitations and Possibilities of Human Freedom’.

Please delve into the archive at your leisure and feel free to write to me about your own finds:
Lawrence and Academia 

The Many Drafts of D. H. Lawrence: Creative Flux, Genetic Dialogism, and the Dilemma of Endings
Elliott Morsia (Bloomsbury, 2020)

Exploring draft manuscripts, alternative texts and publishers' typescripts, The Many Drafts of D. H. Lawrence reveals new insights into the writings and writing practices of one of the most important writers of the 20th century. Focusing on the most productive years of Lawrence's writing life, between 1909 and 1926 – a time that saw the writing of major novels such as Women in Love and the controversial The Plumed Serpent, as well as his first major short story collection – this book is the first to apply analytical methods from the field of genetic criticism to the archives of this canonical modernist author.

The book unearths and re-evaluates a variety of themes including the body, death, love, trauma, depression, memory, the sublime, selfhood, and endings, and includes original transcriptions as well as reproductions from the manuscripts themselves. By charting Lawrence's writing processes, the book also highlights how the very distinction between 'process' and 'product' became a central theme in his work.

You can read an interview with Elliott here

Visit his website here

Torpedo the Ark included six new posts on the work of D. H. Lawrence this month:
1. Back to School in Age of Coronavirus
2. Education Education Education a la D.H. Lawrence
3. Fairy Tale 
4. Hold Your Post-Historical Horses! It's the D. H. Lawrence Birthday Post 2020
5. In Praise of Fighters: At the Gym and on the Battlefield with D. H. Lawrence

6. On the Backs of Tiger's

1, 2, and 5 examine some of Lawrence's ideas on education; 3 reminds readers of Lawrence's position on fairies;

4 is a celebration of the horse on city streets; and, finally, 6 is to do with the unconscious in Nietzsche and Lawrence.

Also on torpedo the ark this month, are posts discussing the work of Peter Sloterdijk, Masha Kaléko, and Juliette Gréco 

From the Archive...

In October 1976, James Hunt became Formula One World Champion, and Selby Coalfield and the National Theatre were opened. But for us, something more significant happened. The 2nd issue of the newsletter was published. And as you can see, it featured a very significant 94 year old...



Be still when you have nothing to say; when genuine passion moves you, say what you've got to say online...

We found this beautiful drawing of Lawrence on a stone on the Instagram account of our_family_rocks so we got in contact with Rachel Syson (nee Kinton) and asked her what inspired her project.
“I love to paint these wonderful, natural rocks and leave them for people to find. I am part of #nottsrocks, where lots of local Nott's residents create their art for others. I create mine so that my family can take a memory of our lost, loved ones with us and share their story with others, I created one with D.H. Lawrence on it because I am a local resident to Eastwood, our Kinton family has been here for many years. Many of my relatives lived, worked (down the pit) and died in Eastwood. My Auntie, who died of Pancreatic Cancer, was proud to be from Eastwood. We see her everywhere in the form of a rainbow.
In 1987 she wrote, The Eastwood Cook Book by Enid Porter. It was printed in the D H Lawrence review Vol,19 in spring of 1987. I've been thinking about it a lot recently and I would love to find a copy. If anybody has a copy or knows where I can get one, please get in contact. “


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