Form and Content

(Literary Essentials: Nonfiction Masterpieces)

The significance of travel in the writings of D.H. Lawrence often seems to reflect the author’s sense of values; the troubled internal struggles of itinerant protagonists frequently seem related to the restless, wandering existence that marked much of the author’s later career. In many ways, as well, the peculiar ideals espoused by some of his leading characters may have been derived from the writer’s quest for exotic and primordial antecedents to modern mores in locations where traces of older cultures could still be found. Lawrence’s compact volume of travel notes about Mexico is of some interest for those concerned with the writer’s biography; reflections of concerns that were explored more fully in his fiction may be found in this effort as well. The work is a bright, charming, and occasionally witty series of sketches drawn from Lawrence’s personal observations; in other respects, it casts some light on the author’s conception of the ultimate impulses and imperatives with which human nature must reckon. In some ways, Mornings in Mexico illustrates the complexity of Lawrence’s attitudes toward the seemingly timeless practices of ancient peoples.

Altogether, with the exception of some time he spent on a return visit to England and Europe, Lawrence’s sojourn in the New World lasted from September, 1922, until September, 1925; during much of this period he remained in Taos, New Mexico. In March, 1923, he set forth, in the...

(The entire section is 514 words.)


(Literary Essentials: Nonfiction Masterpieces)

Brett, Dorothy. Lawrence and Brett: A Friendship, 1933.

Bynner, Witter. Journey with Genius: Recollections and Reflections Concerning the D.H. Lawrences, 1951.

Cavitch, David. D. H. Lawrence and the New World, 1969.

Clark, L.D. “D.H. Lawrence and the American Indian,” in The D.H. Lawrence Review. IX, no. 3 (1976), pp. 305-372.

Fay, Eliot. Lorenzo in Search of the Sun: D.H. Lawrence in Italy, Mexico, and the American Southwest, 1953.

Janik, Del Ivan. The Curve of Return: D.H. Lawrence’s Travel Books, 1981.

Martin, Dexter. “D.H. Lawrence and Pueblo Religion: An Inquiry into Accuracy,” in The Arizona Quarterly. IX, no. 3 (1953), pp. 219-234.

Nehls, Edward H., ed. D.H. Lawrence: A Composite Biography. Vol. 2, 1958.

Parmenter, Ross. Lawrence in Oaxaca: A Quest for the Novelist in Mexico, 1957-1959.

Rossman, Charles. “D.H. Lawrence and Mexico,” in D.H. Lawrence: A Centenary Consideration, 1985. Edited by Peter Balbert and Phillip L. Marcus.

Tracy, Billy T., Jr. D.H. Lawrence and the Literature of Travel, 1983.

Walker, Ronald G. Infernal Paradise: Mexico and the Modern English Novel, 1978.