Lawrence and Expressionism

  • Henry Schvey
Part of the Macmillan Studies in Twentieth-Century Literature book series (STCL)


Although it is not unusual to see the name of D. H.Lawrence coupled in some way with Impressionism, Fauvism, Cubism, or Futurism (movements which Lawrence knew and wrote about), there have been very few attempts to connect his work with German Expressionist literature or art. The reasons for this are indeed substantial: Lawrence was apparently unfamiliar with the movement, and never mentions the term ‘Expressionism’ or any of its leading exponents in his writings. Indeed, as Breon Mitchell writes in his essay ‘Expressionism in English Drama and Prose Literature’, the impact of Expressionism ‘on the English novel was practically nil…. Expressionism in prose literature was not even recognized by English critics, let alone emulated by English novelists…. English critics first began to discuss Expressionism around 1924, that is, at about the same time as it was dying out in Germany’ — concluding that ‘the thematic material used by the Expressionists held little attraction for English writers’.1


Dangerous Fire English Writer Outstretched Hand International Phenomenon Religious Truth 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Breon Mitchell, ‘Expressionism in an English Drama and Prose Literature’, in Expressionism as an International Phenomenon, ed. Ulrich Weisstein (Paris: Didier; Budapest: Akademiai Kiado, 1973 ) p. 183.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Max Wildi, ‘The Birth of Expressionism in the Work of D.H. Lawrence’, English Studies, 19 (1937) 241–52.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 9.
    Oskar Kokoschka, Dichtungen and Dramen (Hamburg: Christians, 1973) p. 41. For Kokoschka’s illustration portraying ‘the flayed body of a dying or dead man with twisted limbs in the arms of a pale woman with brutal hands and bared teeth… a strange version of the Pietà as well as an evocation of that monster who kills through her love’, see ‘The Symbolist Legacy in the Works of Kokoschka’, in Homage to Kokoschka. Prints and Drawings Lent by Reinhold, Count Bethusy-Huc ( London: Victoria and Albert Museum, 1976 ) pp. 18–22;Google Scholar
  4. 9.
    Henry I. Schvey, Oskar Kokoschka: The Painter as Playwright (Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 1982), passim.Google Scholar
  5. 10.
    Quoted in Peter Selz, German Expressionist Painting ( Berkeley: University of California Press, 1974 ) p. 15.Google Scholar
  6. 12.
    Quoted in The Paintings of D. H. Lawrence ed. Mervyn Levy (London: Adams and MacKay, 1964) p. 63.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Henry Schvey 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • Henry Schvey

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations