‘An Ambivalent Beast’ The Literary Relationship Between A.S. Byatt and D.H. Lawrence

Janktova, Renata (2020) ‘An Ambivalent Beast’ The Literary Relationship Between A.S. Byatt and D.H. Lawrence. Doctoral thesis, University of East Anglia.

[thumbnail of 2020JanktovaRPhD.pdf]
Download (2MB) | Preview


This thesis provides a critical revaluation of the work of A.S. Byatt by exposing the nature and complexity of her long-term negotiation of the legacy of D.H. Lawrence in her fiction. It endorses ambivalence as the principal driving force of the relationship and traces its roots back to Byatt’s encounter with Leavisite criticism in the 1950s. Focusing on her novels as the main stages for her dialogue with Lawrence, the thesis identifies two key areas of interchange. The first one is Byatt’s intertextual engagement with Lawrence’s writing, motivated by her admiration for Lawrence’s novelistic bravura, most particularly his visual writing and striving for immediacy and intensity in the verbal rendering of a lived experience. The thesis analyses multiple ways in which Byatt transcribes Lawrence’s texts, such as mimicking his style and parodying his texts. The second area is her negotiation of the changes in Lawrence’s literary status, partly attributed by Byatt to critical and ideological misrepresentations of his work, and of the popular obfuscation of his literary achievements following the Lady Chatterley’s Lover trial in 1960. The analysis of Byatt’s representations of Lawrence in her fiction reveals that her portrayal of Lawrence has a specific shape and dynamic, aimed at disentangling Lawrence from political and ideological debates and rehabilitating him as a significant writer of European modernism.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Arts and Humanities > School of Literature and Creative Writing (former - to 2011)
Depositing User: Nicola Veasy
Date Deposited: 14 Apr 2021 09:48
Last Modified: 14 Apr 2021 09:48
URI: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/79738

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item