Popular Culture

Moss, Gemma (2020) Popular Culture. In: The Edinburgh Companion to D. H. Lawrence and the Arts. Edinburgh University Press, Edinburgh, pp. 145-159. ISBN 9781474456623

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Abstract

This chapter considers Lawrence's complicated relationship with popular culture by analysing his novel, non-fiction and letters. Lawrence’s fiction published in the 1920s - especially The Lost Girl, St. Mawr, and Lady Chatterley's Lover - became increasingly critical of popular culture as his ideas about it became intertwined with other key areas of his thought: technology, sex and urban life. Lawrence saw technologies of mass production and consumption as significant forces shaping people’s thought and actions. His novels and essays anticipate arguments made by Frankfurt School theorists about the problems of an increasingly mechanised, capitalist society in which the culture industry plays a significant role. However, Lawrence also wanted his fiction to be popular in the sense that he wanted it to be widely read, and his criticisms of popular culture were influenced by his own experience of censorship. Pornography and Obscenity (1929) is Lawrence's most direct attack on popular culture and censorship. I argue that this little-discussed text reveals a significant development in Lawrence's thought, as he asks his readers to engage in dialectical thinking – which would become the core tool of Frankfurt School Critical Theorists – to resist popular culture, ideology and industrial modernity.

Item Type: Book Section
Date: 31 October 2020
Subjects: Q300 English studies
Divisions: Faculty of Arts, Design and Media > School of English
Depositing User: Gemma Moss
Date Deposited: 05 Sep 2020 10:12
Last Modified: 22 Oct 2020 14:52
URI: http://www.open-access.bcu.ac.uk/id/eprint/9824

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