Review of Out of Sheer Rage

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Author: Jonathan Bolton
Editor: Jeffrey W. Hunter
Date: 2002
Publisher: Gale
Document Type: Book review; Critical essay
Length: 1,011 words

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[(review date Spring 2000) In the following review, Bolton finds Out of Sheer Rage "amusing and provocative," but concludes that "those seeking a keener understanding of Lawrence will be disappointed."]

British novelist and freelance writer Geoff Dyer's entertaining book takes its title aptly from a phrase in D. H. Lawrence's correspondence regarding his Study of Thomas Hardy, lines which also serve as an epigraph to Dyer's study of Lawrence: "Out of sheer rage I've begun my book on Thomas Hardy. It will be about anything but Thomas Hardy I am afraid--queer stuff--but not bad." Dyer's book [Out of Sheer Rage], likewise, begins and ends in a rage of sorts, is about anything but Lawrence, and is queer stuff, but not bad. It had long been Dyer's ambition, he tells his readers, to write a "sober academic study" of the writer who made him first want to become a writer. At the same time, Dyer is hoping to make progress on a new novel. The result is something of a compromise between these disparate impulses, an autobiography in which the author narrates how he came to terms with certain life crises while on the trail of D. H. Lawrence. Lacking the patience and organization required of typical scholars (a "group of wankers," Dyer claims, "huddled in a circle, backs turned to the world so that no one would see them pulling each other off"), he opts for something far less masturbatory--a personal narrative of his own trivial ailments and misadventures as...

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Gale Document Number: GALE|H1100039045