Wednesday, March 20, 2013


Enough of this Silly Worship of Foreigners

D.H. Lawrence, letter to Catherine Carswell (November 27, 1916):
It amazes me that we have bowed down and worshipped these foreigners as we have. Their art is clumsy, really, and clayey, compared with our own. I read Deerslayer just before the Turgenev. And I can tell you what a come-down it was, from the pure and exquisite art of Fennimore [sic] Cooper — whom we count nobody — to the journalistic bludgeonings of Turgenev. They are all — Turgenev, Tolstoi, Dostoevsky, Maupassant, Flaubert — so very obvious and coarse, beside the lovely mature and sensitive art of Fennimore Cooper or Hardy. It seems to me that our English art, at its best, is by far the subtlest and loveliest and most perfect in the world. But it is characteristic of a highly-developed nation to bow down to that which is more gross and raw and affected....No, enough of this silly worship of foreigners. The most exquisite literature in the world is written in the English language.

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