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Burning Man: The Trials of D. H. Lawrence

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An electrifying, revelatory new biography of D. H. Lawrence, with a focus on his difficult middle years "Never trust the teller," wrote D. H. Lawrence, "trust the tale." Everyone who knew him told stories about Lawrence, and Lawrence told stories about everyone he knew. He also told stories about himself, again and again: a pioneer of autofiction, no writer before Lawrence An electrifying, revelatory new biography of D. H. Lawrence, with a focus on his difficult middle years "Never trust the teller," wrote D. H. Lawrence, "trust the tale." Everyone who knew him told stories about Lawrence, and Lawrence told stories about everyone he knew. He also told stories about himself, again and again: a pioneer of autofiction, no writer before Lawrence had made so permeable the border between life and literature. In Burning Man: The Trials of D. H. Lawrence, acclaimed biographer Frances Wilson tells a new story about the author, focusing on his decade of superhuman writing and travel between 1915, when The Rainbow was suppressed following an obscenity trial, and 1925, when he was diagnosed with tuberculosis. Taking after Lawrence's own literary model, Dante, and adopting the structure of The Divine Comedy, Burning Man is a distinctly Lawrentian book, one that pursues Lawrence around the globe and reflects his life of wild allegory. Eschewing the confines of traditional biography, it offers a triptych of lesser-known episodes drawn from lesser-known sources, including tales of Lawrence as told by his friends in letters, memoirs, and diaries. Focusing on three turning points in Lawrence's pilgrimage (his crises in Cornwall, Italy, and New Mexico) and three central adversaries--his wife, Frieda; the writer Maurice Magnus; and his patron, Mabel Dodge Luhan--Wilson uncovers a lesser-known Lawrence, both as a writer and as a man. Strikingly original, superbly researched, and always revelatory, Burning Man is a marvel of iconoclastic biography. With flair and focus, Wilson unleashes a distinct perspective on one of history's most beloved and infamous writers.


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An electrifying, revelatory new biography of D. H. Lawrence, with a focus on his difficult middle years "Never trust the teller," wrote D. H. Lawrence, "trust the tale." Everyone who knew him told stories about Lawrence, and Lawrence told stories about everyone he knew. He also told stories about himself, again and again: a pioneer of autofiction, no writer before Lawrence An electrifying, revelatory new biography of D. H. Lawrence, with a focus on his difficult middle years "Never trust the teller," wrote D. H. Lawrence, "trust the tale." Everyone who knew him told stories about Lawrence, and Lawrence told stories about everyone he knew. He also told stories about himself, again and again: a pioneer of autofiction, no writer before Lawrence had made so permeable the border between life and literature. In Burning Man: The Trials of D. H. Lawrence, acclaimed biographer Frances Wilson tells a new story about the author, focusing on his decade of superhuman writing and travel between 1915, when The Rainbow was suppressed following an obscenity trial, and 1925, when he was diagnosed with tuberculosis. Taking after Lawrence's own literary model, Dante, and adopting the structure of The Divine Comedy, Burning Man is a distinctly Lawrentian book, one that pursues Lawrence around the globe and reflects his life of wild allegory. Eschewing the confines of traditional biography, it offers a triptych of lesser-known episodes drawn from lesser-known sources, including tales of Lawrence as told by his friends in letters, memoirs, and diaries. Focusing on three turning points in Lawrence's pilgrimage (his crises in Cornwall, Italy, and New Mexico) and three central adversaries--his wife, Frieda; the writer Maurice Magnus; and his patron, Mabel Dodge Luhan--Wilson uncovers a lesser-known Lawrence, both as a writer and as a man. Strikingly original, superbly researched, and always revelatory, Burning Man is a marvel of iconoclastic biography. With flair and focus, Wilson unleashes a distinct perspective on one of history's most beloved and infamous writers.

39 review for Burning Man: The Trials of D. H. Lawrence

  1. 5 out of 5

    Joel Adams

    A powerful, passionate and idiosyncratic tour through three key moments of Lawrence’s life as an artist. Layered as a Dantesque narrative of descent and ascension, offers real insight into Lawrence as person and author.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Michael Richter

    A superbly written biography of D.H. Lawrence, written in a beautiful analogy to Dante's Divine Comedy. Many episodes were revelatory gems. At times the books arch got lost in the details, but the information and prose always felt rich. A superbly written biography of D.H. Lawrence, written in a beautiful analogy to Dante's Divine Comedy. Many episodes were revelatory gems. At times the books arch got lost in the details, but the information and prose always felt rich.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Dan

    My thanks to NetGalley and the publisher Farrar, Straus and Giroux for an advanced copy of this new literary biography. Frances Wilson in her new biography Burning Man: The Trials of D. H. Lawrence, comes at her subject not at the beginning of his life, nor his end but at his most creative, troubling, and wandering. Focusing on the years 1915 starting with his troubles on The Rainbow from censors and publishers to the year 1925 when Lawrence is diagnosed with tuberculosis, Wilson follows a large My thanks to NetGalley and the publisher Farrar, Straus and Giroux for an advanced copy of this new literary biography. Frances Wilson in her new biography Burning Man: The Trials of D. H. Lawrence, comes at her subject not at the beginning of his life, nor his end but at his most creative, troubling, and wandering. Focusing on the years 1915 starting with his troubles on The Rainbow from censors and publishers to the year 1925 when Lawrence is diagnosed with tuberculosis, Wilson follows a large cast of characters who appear in various forms throughout his writings. With focus on the lesser known characters Ms. Wilson explores his relationships with both his wife and his patron, and others and how that framed the character that was Lawrence. In addition the amount of traveling he did, during some very difficult times is astonishing. This is not an easy book to read. Familiarity with the texts and the man are helpful. However the structure, borrowed from Dante's The Divine Comedy is intriguing and carrys the narrative along. The stories are generally interesting, and and amusing. I don't think I would like to have been around him much. I don't think my opinion was changed on either the man or his writing, but I did very much enjoy the journey as I read.

  4. 4 out of 5

    David Edmonds

  5. 4 out of 5

    Lucy

  6. 4 out of 5

    Paul Gagne

  7. 4 out of 5

    Sepehr

  8. 4 out of 5

    Damien Patton

  9. 5 out of 5

    Joe

  10. 4 out of 5

    Melon109

  11. 4 out of 5

    Kit

  12. 4 out of 5

    TBV (on semi-hiatus)

  13. 5 out of 5

    Iris

  14. 4 out of 5

    ColumbusReads

  15. 4 out of 5

    Cassidy (Reminders of the Changing Time)

  16. 5 out of 5

    Grace Fletcher-Hackwood

  17. 4 out of 5

    Theodor

  18. 4 out of 5

    Stephanie Laurindo

  19. 4 out of 5

    Jo

  20. 4 out of 5

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  21. 4 out of 5

    Carolina Barberis Diaz

  22. 5 out of 5

    Stephanie

  23. 5 out of 5

    Lindsey Arant

  24. 4 out of 5

    Jess S-R

  25. 5 out of 5

    K.G.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Michelle

  27. 5 out of 5

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  28. 5 out of 5

    Julia L

  29. 5 out of 5

    Ke'Renza Nunes

  30. 5 out of 5

    Erin

  31. 4 out of 5

    flossie

  32. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

  33. 5 out of 5

    Mira123

  34. 4 out of 5

    Catie

  35. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer

  36. 4 out of 5

    Creolecat

  37. 4 out of 5

    Manuela Cleves

  38. 4 out of 5

    Allie

  39. 4 out of 5

    Taylor Carr

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