Introduction: “Words Writ to the Music”

  • Susan ReidEmail author
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Music and Literature book series (PASTMULI)


This chapter, “Introduction: ‘Words Writ to the Music’”, traces Lawrence’s aesthetic development from 1908, when he began writing about “Art” in terms of “absolute music”, through to a rhythmic turn realised in the writing of The Rainbow and Women in Love (largely completed by 1918). Lawrence’s first essay “Art and the Individual” and drafts of early poems reveal his detailed engagement with discourses about the relationship between words and music, and a search for new literary forms that anticipated the blending of the arts in modernism. His breakthrough to a mature style is related here to explorations of rhythm suggested by the Chladni patterns of sound waves made visible in sand, an acoustic and musical model of importance for Lawrence and his contemporaries that resonates throughout this book.


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© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of Northampton NorthamptonNorthamptonshireUK

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