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Towards the “sacred responsibility of authority”: D.H. Lawrence’s Kangaroo

Marija Knežević
p. 159-174

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1Kangaroo offers ample material for the study of the complex exchange between culture and narrative. Drawing on Edward Said’s book, Beginnings: Intention and Method, this paper considers the novel’s position within a group of works of similar contextual and structural interest and traces the conditions of authority within and beyond the narrative.

2Said understands “authority” in connection with the “author,” “that is, a person who originates or gives existence to something” (83). He also derives this word from the past participle of the verb augere, i.e. auctus, wherefrom comes the word auctor (= founder).

Auctoritas is production, invention, cause, in addition to meaning a right of possession. Finally, it means continuance, or a causing to continue. Taken together these meanings are all grounded in the following notions: 1. that of the power of an individual to initiate, institute, establish—in short, to begin; 2. that this power and its product are an increase over what had been there previously; 3. that the individual wielding this power controls its issue and what is derived therefrom; 4. that authority maintains the continuity of its course. (84)

3Authority always goes together with what Said calls molestation, i.e., “a consciousness of one’s duplicity, one’s confinement to a fictive, scriptive realm, whether one is a character or a novelist” (84). Molestation occurs, he says, “when novelists […] remind themselves of how the novel is always subject to a comparison with reality and thereby found to be illusion” (84). Besides, as “[e]very novel is at the same time a form of discovery and also a way of accommodating discovery, if not to a social norm, then to a specialized ‘novelistic’ reading process,” Said says that “every novelist has taken the genre as both an enabling condition and a restraint upon his inventiveness” (82). Yet, invention, which he calls authority, together with restraint, i.e. molestation, “have conserved the novel because novelists have construed them together as beginning conditions, not as conditions for limitlessly expansive fictional invention” (83).

4If we look at the beginning of Kangaroo as “the main entrance to what [the novel] offers” (Said 3), we already see the interesting operation of the tandem authority-molestation. Fully depicting its protagonist’s controversial position in the new world, Kangaroo opens with a paragraph describing a group of taxi-drivers looking at a “strange, foreign-looking little man,” a “foreign-looking little stranger” (K 7), “[a] comical-looking bloke” and his wife, who may be “Bolsh[ies]” or “Fritzies” (8). However, these strange people turn out to be true English, “of the Old Country” (8), who, convinced that everything is played out in Europe, have come for a new beginning in the newest country in the world. Only after a dozen pages is the reader certain that he is reading about a couple of strangers. We gradually enter the mind of the protagonist and learn about his main incentive to come here. Richard Lovatt Somers is an English writer, who, having suffered utter disillusionment during World War I, has decided to abandon Europe and rest for good, comfortably settled in the ship of his marriage, isolated in the great vacant space of an uncorrupted country, but actually in great need of connectedness, because, being a man of letters, he needs to communicate. Somers’s feeling of being decentred, of inhabiting a virtual space of absence, is projected on every aspect of his surroundings, geographical, social, political, and, finally, determines not only the contextual but also the narrative structure of the novel. Abandoning the focalization of the opening for the evocation of the moral and mental conflicts of Richard Lovatt Somers emphasizes his position as a stranger and, therefore, problematizes his perspective.

***

5I cannot help comparing Somers with two other literary shipwrecked men. The first, of course, is Robinson Crusoe, in the novel often considered to be the first English novel; the other, for this purpose, is Jimmy, alias Snowman, in Margaret Atwood’s novel Oryx and Crake (2003). Both of them have escaped the old world; respectively, the orderly English society, in search of adventure, and the apocalypse provoked by man. All three narratives result from the need to relate the serious threat to their protagonists’ existence, after which they are found in a paradisal place, on a beach emptied of men where they struggle to create some sort of order.

6Like the children in Golding’s The Lord of the Flies, who on their paradisal island do exactly what they were taught to do at home, however repellent home had been, these three “travellers” ironically create replicas of their worlds in the “empty” world they try to inhabit. The classical, the modern, and the postmodern author have different narrative choices that give shape to the perceived surroundings. Unlike Crusoe, who, having regained his strength of spirit, without any second thoughts, observes the island as rightfully his to possess and gives us a story of re-creation, in the recent novels, the chaotic mass, deformation, and, finally, emptiness, reflect the mental and spiritual torture and disorder of the protagonists, who find it much more difficult to reconstitute themselves, primarily because the old order has crushed them, the past has deprived them of words. Therefore, while Crusoe starts keeping his journal, Snowman gives up the idea of writing because all the readership he can possibly imagine has stayed in the past; as to Somers, a writer of essays and poetry, who has come to Australia, where he hoped to escape the imprisonment of the culture he no longer believes in, he writes nothing.

7In all three novels, the narrative is prompted by a past event. Yet, unlike Defoe, who, believing in progress, develops his narrative in a chronological order, with a beginning, a middle, and an end, the later novelists, ironically aware of their protagonists’ construed existence, produce deconstructive narratives. Both Oryx and Crake and Kangaroo commence in medias res, like the Iliad, but only to reveal rather hopeless odysseys, because in the post-apocalyptic world “there is nowhere to go” (but back to one’s past, where, eventually, Crusoe goes). Like Crusoe, who keeps returning to his wreck for provisions, Snowman repeats his scavenging journeys to the remnants of civilization—which backward motion makes room for the retrospective unfolding of the pre-apocalyptic world’s move towards the crisis; in Kangaroo, the analepsis is postponed for almost two thirds of the book. Finally, the juxtaposition of the two worlds “leads to an overwhelming question”: what will man do with the historical virginity of the place?

8Just as Crusoe has colonized Friday, Jimmy is not utterly alone but surrounded by the genetically perfected Children of Crake. The Crakers might have avoided a human destiny but for Snowman who, having shepherded them from the ruins (and a laboratory called “Paradice” [sic!]) into the lagoon, is the rightful narrator of their history and the messenger of their creator. As we learn that in the pre-apocalyptic technocratic world, Jimmy’s passion for words was frustrated, it is only in relation with the Crakers that he accomplishes his existence. Yet, although he now gains the ability to speak, he is aware that his words are false, that the Crakers’ truth is but his construction. Moreover, he knows that he has fictionalized even himself in this process, but he agrees that it is better than being nothing.

9Unlike Crusoe who claims his undoubted authority upon the tale and its power to create an illusion of reality, the new novels do not only include the distanced third person narrator, but, as in Swift’s parable The Battle of the Books, in their ironical self-awareness they must also fight for their space within the rich literary heritage (Cf. Said 10). In Kangaroo it is not only some other authors’ writings that threaten to displace Somers’s own writing (for example, letters he receives from England, or works that force themselves upon his language; when in the chapter “Nightmare,” Somers wants to describe the landscape of south-west England he remembers that George Eliot and Hardy have already done so), but it is his own past writing as well as, for example, the essay on democracy mentioned by Kangaroo. While Kangaroo can still claim an energy that makes the novel a thought-adventure, in the postmodern texts the anxiety about self-creation is greater and the texts even think of themselves as writing; therefore Atwood’s novel proposes that even prophecy be derivative. Yet, the authority of writing, Said says, does not “reside simply in the speaker’s anterior privilege,” rather it is “nomadic: it is never in the same place, it is never always the centre, nor is it a sort of ontological capacity for originating every instance of sense” (23). He suggests understanding writing as writing-as-action, a performance (24).

***

10Coming back to Kangaroo in this light, we meet Somers, whose first perception of Australia is coloured with apprehension caused by the unfamiliarity of appearances, “the vast, uninhabited land” (13), its “wonderful, new and unbreathed” (14) air, which make Australia seem “outside everything […] You just walk out of the world and into Australia. And it’s just somewhere else” (203). Walking into the bush, which is like entering “the nowhere” (354), Somers is nervous because of its “curiously unapproachable” (14) mystery, its lifelessness, “manlessness” (355), its “unbreakable silence, loneliness” (177). It is “so phantom-like, so ghostly […] so deathly still” (14). In the following phase of his blindness to Australia, Somers confesses that his outlook is being culturally conditioned, as the landscape “seems to lurk just beyond the range of our white vision” (77). Next it appears as a series of squatting forms, “all worn down low and blunt” (76). The dull quality of the contours, their absence actually, makes the landscape impossible to be seen, “as if your eyes hadn’t the vision in them to correspond with the outside landscape” (77). Gradually, Australia grows into an inverted world. When the sun slopes, for Somers, it slopes upwards and northwards, the land disappears “as if the day had been an illusion,” and the “unnatural West-Australian moon” (14) comes into the Australian upturned sky: “overhead the marvellous southern milky way was tilting uncomfortably to the south, instead of crossing the zenith; […] so that you feel all on one side if you look at it […] with Orion standing on his head in the west” (15). When the symbol of the uttermost limits of human expectations stands on its head, the southern world doesn’t only seem different, but “[p]erhaps everything was different,” thinks Somers. “Perhaps,” he thinks, “if St. Paul and Hildebrand and Darwin had lived south of the equator, we might have known the world all different” (16). But he admits that “iffing,” i.e. conditional assertions are useless in a world of overturned reasoning.

11Just as Jimmy, with his physical disintegration (from starvation), irresistibly reminding one of J. Alfred Prufrock’s emasculation, addresses himself not really to the Crakers as a prophet, but to us as a text (Cf. Couturier-Storey and Storey), or a zone of consciousness, “a white illusion of a man” (Atwood 263), so Somers sees the process of settling this place of inversed seasons and heavens, as a process of being emptied, followed by physical disintegration. “Pommy” is the colloquial expression for a newcomer, explains the narrator, supposed to be short for pomegranate. Pomegranate, pronounced invariably pommygranate, is a near enough rhyme to immigrant, in a naturally rhyming country. Furthermore, immigrants are known in their first months, before their blood “thins down,” by their round and ruddy cheeks. (K 147, italics original)

  • 1 We have met with a similar notion in Lawrence’s essay “The Spinner and the Monks” in his travel boo (...)

12To stress the power of language as an arbitrary system of signs used to create an image of reality, the narrator playfully points to the obvious derivation: “Let etymologists be appeased: it is the authorised derivation” (147). This physical change, when a settler develops “this curious transparent blood of the antipodes” (148), is followed by another phase of “absentness,” disintegration of meaning, when one “unlearn[s] a lot” and becomes “clear of soul,” “inwardly lost” (213). Besides, not only is it twice suggested that he behaves like woman (once Kangaroo tells him that he is “slow and backward like woman” [106], the other time Jack suggests that “[l]ike a woman—[he likes] to feel safe all around” [289]), but at one point he even feels “like a woman who is with child by a corrosive friend” (164). He protests against being denied his own personality1 and wants to preserve his own male singleness.

13Struggling to uphold the validity of his voice, Somers blames the corrosive influence of the other for his own sense of emptiness: the country being “a vast empty desert,” there must be the same desert at the centre of its inhabitants. He thinks about “the big empty spaces of [their] consciousness” (40) their paralysing “unanimity of harmlessness” (306), their lack of “a core,” that made each physical manifestation of life hollow, unreal. “[N]one of the [settler’s] houses had any foundation” (273) to his mind; their “half-naked babies [sit] like bits of live refuse in the dirt” (273); Sydney harbour seemed “wild, lost, and undiscovered, as it was in Captain Cook’s time” (305); two Australian ships “seemed lost as everything else […] like bits of palpable memory, that persisted, but were only memory images” (305); the “strange, antipodal city” of Sydney as a whole, being a replica of London, seemed unreal, “with a magic like […] vast, endless, sun-hot, afternoon sleep with the world a mirage” (307). Even language degenerates into a grotesque combination of words deformed by bad spelling, as is the case with their bungalows’ names “Torestin” and “Wyewurk.” So that what stands for England, on whose authority Somers so desperately depends, is the “shadow of an old sceptre” (22), emptied of meaning. “[T]his Englishness all crumbled out into formlessness and chaos” (22), into a vacant freedom, terrified him like an empty shell which he wanted washed up by a “wave about fifty feet high round the whole coast of Australia[!]” (26).

  • 2 This point was made by Marina Ragachewskaya at the International D.H. Lawrence Conference, Power, C (...)

14I am indebted to Marina Ragachewskaya for pointing out the difference between the power of rhetoric and the power of narrative that this novel plays upon.2 This difference is given pronounced importance especially because the first is connected with the character of Kangaroo who gives the title to the novel, but whose rhetoric of love is rejected by Somers, although with an intense feeling of loss. Kangaroo’s rhetoric is denied, Ragachewskaya explains, because it becomes another instance of emptiness for Somers. It has neither the power to tell the story nor a source to derive it from, the opposite of Somers, who does give us a story of love in the chapter devoted to marriage, “Harriett and Lovatt at Sea in Marriage,” and even a story of destruction in the chapter “The Nightmare.”

15When Somers denies politics and only wants to be “between the sea” and “the humanless sky of Australia” (332), unlike Crusoe and Snowman, who are given “collocutors” to mould, he rejects writing anything, metaphorically speaking, on the empty sheet. Yet the narrator protests against this “aimless solitariness” (345), because, in the end, as John Worthen says, “for all its newness and agelessness, Australia was not offering this novel […] any way out, except into […] isolation […] or into Somers’s solitary meanderings along the shore, peering at sea creatures and shells” (Worthen 268). Depicting the progression of emptiness, having emptied, as Macdonald Daly says (xxi), even its primum mobile, its protagonist, of meaning, the narrative voice risks disintegrating gradually, having nothing else to do but to invoke the comparative absurdity of mechanical life: “Home, to tea. The clicking of the clock. Tic-tac! Tic-tac! The clock. Home to tea. Just for clock-work’s sake” (K 333). Besides, when verbal signs become quasi signs, and all the existent metaphors are dead, the narration slips into exhaustion and meaninglessness, bringing out words, it seems, for the sake of their own absurd sound, and gets drowned in an absurd repetitive musical pattern of further dissipation. Therefore, if a politician resembles an aspiring queen-bee, the narrative, that has been forced to silence so many painful times, has nothing else to do but play with words: “And the queen-bee buzzing with beatitudes. Beatitudes, beatitudes. Bee attitudes…” (283).

16Yet, the narrator, who has fathered his protagonist, feels betrayed now: he will not let himself be emptied, and wants authority over his own text, the creation of new meaning which is his sole raison d’être. This issue is stressed when viewed against the background of the post-war world in which, as Walter Benjamin argues, discussing the nature of storytelling, people perceiving themselves in their immediate universe have become unable to find a pivotal set of values with regard to which to evaluate their standards. As it has become impossible to relate experience, the ability to tell stories has started to decrease (Cf. Benjamin 14). In this respect, when Somers exclaims that he’d “rather have the moon for motherland” (K 63), than be engulfed in politics and social stuff, the narrator pulls down his unobtrusive mask, contradicting him: “[a] man must have some ideas about the things he’s up against, otherwise he’s a simple wash-out” (22). He knows very well that his position would be rendered redundant in a world emptied of men, but the one in that in which he exists, one can never avoid being political, because, among other things, as Jay Clayton argues, “the person who works to define or maintain a specific cultural vision is engaged in the creation of new meaning” (Clayton 14), which is a fundamental form of political action (Cf. Clayton 15).

17The narrator’s impatience is already shown in the change from indirect to direct characterisation. Richard Lovatt Somers soon becomes “our friend,” “poor Richard Lovatt,” “an anticipatory fool” (K 279), “the poor dear” (282), “little Richard” (306), only the initials “RL” (279), even “the stifling R” (279). While Somers is looking for the means to mediate his present, but becomes aware that the present cannot be reduced to words, the narrator (who shares the same problem) starts laughing at the other, and does it at the moment of his greatest anxiety: when Somers stands alone, musing about his “muzzeins,” his call and answerer, and his dark god. All his musings are suddenly reduced to these few words : “For heaven’s sake let me get out. I suffocate” (280), implores Somers, but the narrative voice is categorical: “Where to? If you’re going to get out you must have something to get out on to.” The narrator of this novel, just like the narrator of “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock,” has searched for the possibility of a meaningful act and knows that there is no getting out of “this mass. Which is the history of relativity in man” (208).

  • 3 In his “Preface to the New York Edition” of Roderick Hudson, Henry James says that “relations stop (...)

18The text now starts becoming deconstructed and the narrator engages deeper in metafictional language, asking why exactly there should be any “doing” in a novel, when everything turns out to be a mere surface reality. “So what’s wrong with Richard’s climbing a mental minaret or two in the interim” (284), he asks, only to immediately subvert the illusion of a temporal order within his narrative: “Of course, there isn’t any interim” (284) The suffocating adjacency of events, therefore, the nightmarish war experience, the repetition of European conflicts as well as Somer’s gaze onto the tabula rasa of Australia, the problems of friendship and love, etc, has to do with the geometry this particular storyteller has chosen.3

But you know that Harriett is brushing her hair in the sun, and Kangaroo looking at huge sums of money on paper, and Jack fishing and Vicky flirting and Jazz bargaining, so what more do you want to know? We can’t be at the stretch of tension all the time, like the E string on a fiddle. If you don’t like the novel, don’t read it. (284)

19The narrative not only rejects the idea that it should mimic reality, but it also insists that it cannot be a subservient repetition of the immediate experience of its protagonist. If the character can be, to use Said’s term, molested with disillusionment and left with cosmic truths that erase all the superior instances and show the self’s final insignificance and the silent “[i]nsouciant soullessness. Eternal indifference […] timelessness and nowhere” (334), the narrative cannot avoid spatiality and temporality. As it assumes there is a reader, it must include some outward garments, if only to tear them. Yet, if, in the words of Jay Clayton, “narrative teaches us that only those events that have the shape of a good story possess value and meaning, or the value of meaning” (41), then Kangaroo may be understood to be emptying its fundamental prompts of their meaning not only to show that the world it inhabits is devoid of meaning, but also to show that it has the intention of creating a new meaning.

  • 4 “If God himself had not willed repetition, the world would never have come into existence.” Soren A (...)

20Probing out various facets of the circumambient universe, the novel is condemned to tiresome repetitions: of reactions, impressions, insights, and calls itself “this gramophone of a novel” (K 280). We know that for Lawrence repetitions meant a re-creation of the very creative impulse and the natural flow of thought, but also, where some other novel would use quotations (for example A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man), to point to the recognized molestation of its authority, the narrative in this novel uses repetition to mock itself and preserve its ironic authority. Besides, relying on Kierkegaard who links repetition with the essence of creation,4 Said argues that narratives do not simply repeat reality but “create another sense altogether by repeating, by making repetition itself the very form of the novel.” (Said 87). He also draws on Gilles Deleuze’s Différence et répétition to conclude that such intentional repetition “opposes the laws of nature and the moral law, goes beyond good and evil, and stands against the generality of habit and the particularity of memory. Moreover, [it] ‘appears as the logos of the solitary, the singular, the logos of the private thinker’” (87).

  • 5 “We insist that a novel is, or should be, also a thought-adventure, if it is to be anything at all (...)
  • 6 In the chapter “Bits,” the narrator suddenly plays a role that seems to occupy a border zone betwee (...)

21Pointing to the necessity of self-creation, and dramatizing its right over itself, Kangaroo takes the risk of creating, as Macdonald Daly argues in his “Introduction” to the 1997 Penguin edition of the novel, an almost absent subject, a virtual need for plot, and a lack of recognisable form (xv-xvi). Breaking with literary conventions necessitated metafictional language. As “life starts with a new feeling and ends with a form” (K 98), the novel, which for Lawrence should be like life, must not be confined within a form, because, however significant it may seem, to him it is always a perverting sign. What’s more, as a thought-adventure,5 which is a daring leap into the unknown, the novel must witness this process of disintegration of ready-made forms and step out onto a visually, linguistically, and narratively almost inaccessible, or even empty, platform. This is because “there is no morse-code for interpreting the new life-prompting […] and there will never be. It needs a new term of speech invented each time. A whole new concept of the universe gradually born, shedding the old concept” (297). As the narrator claims the uniqueness of his voice, so Lawrence the writer wants his (implied) reader to acknowledge his power as a creator of difference. His novels intend to make the reader see how, while the novel “derivates, begets, continues, augments,” there is always “a nagging, molesting awareness that beyond [the proclaimed truths] there is something still more authentic, beside which fiction is secondary” (Said 85). It is maybe this conversation,6 between the protagonist, the narrator, and the author, that “makes [the novel] so much lighter and brisker” (282).

22Remembering Henry James’s literary metaphor in which he compares a conventional novel with pudding, Lawrence doesn’t want to argue on the side of his novel, but declares : “if the pudding doesn’t please you, leave it” (284), adding, seemingly absurdly “I don’t mind your saucy plate. I know too well that you can bring an ass to water, etc” (284). This is to say that he is not in the least the impulsive thought-adventurer he may seem—but a cunning novelist, who imagines a dialogue with the reader, which both establishes fictional truth and makes it always transcendent. Besides, he also knows that he cannot free his novel from the constraints of his personality. Therefore, driving the novel off himself becomes a significant means for the author to retain, paradoxically, the authority over his text and to show that there is no final disconnection between the two.

23What’s more, after the most beautiful Lawrentian pages depicting a poignant yet selfless love for Australia’s Edenic beauty, in which we see Harriett with her “arms-full of bloom, gold plumage of many branches of different wattles, and the white heaths, the scarlet bells, with deep-blue reed-blobs” (355), and Somers, faun-like, “jumping out from among the flowers, to plunge into the brake for a new flower,” Somers decides to leave it and make a clean break; after the deepest sympathy he has shown towards his character, the narrator decides that an embittered godless modern man will not disable his basic communicative function and his criticism of the “horrible human mistake of Europe and probably of the even worse human mistake of America” (347). The author’s voice radiates, indeed, with all “the sacred responsibility of authority” (107).

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Bibliographie

Atwood, Margaret. Oryx and Crake. London: Virago, 2003.

Benjamin, Walter. “Storyteller,” in Modern Criticism and Theory, ed. David Lodge and Nigel Wood. Harlow: Longman, 2000 [11-29].

Boulton, James T., ed. The Selected Letters of D.H. Lawrence, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 1997.

Clayton, Jay. The Pleasures of Babel: Contemporary American Literary Theory. New York-Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1993.

Couturier-Storey, Françoise et Jeff Storey. “History and Allegory in Margaret Atwood’s Oryx and Crake,” Cycnos; Volume 22, n°2, La science-fiction dans l’histoire, l’histoire dans la science-fiction at http://revel.unice.fr/cycnos/document.html?id=607, March 14th, 2008.

James, Henry. Roderick Hudson. Harmondsworth: Penguin. 1986.

Lawrence, D.H. Kangaroo. Ed. Bruce Steele, with an introduction and notes by MacDonald Daly. Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1994.

Said, Edward. Beginnings: Intention and Method, New York: Columbia University Press, 1985 (first published 1975).

Worthen, John. The Life of an Outsider. London: Allen Lane, 2005.

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Notes

1 We have met with a similar notion in Lawrence’s essay “The Spinner and the Monks” in his travel book Twilight in Italy (1916).

2 This point was made by Marina Ragachewskaya at the International D.H. Lawrence Conference, Power, Creativity, and Law, April 10-12, 2008, Université Paris Ouest, Centre de Recherches Anglophones.

3 In his “Preface to the New York Edition” of Roderick Hudson, Henry James says that “relations stop nowhere, and the exquisite problem of the artist is eternally to draw, by a geometry of his own, the circle within which they shall happily appear to do so.” (James 37)

4 “If God himself had not willed repetition, the world would never have come into existence.” Soren Asbye Kierkegaard, Repetition: An Essay in Experimental Psychology, quoted in Said 88.

5 “We insist that a novel is, or should be, also a thought-adventure, if it is to be anything at all complete” (K 279).

6 In the chapter “Bits,” the narrator suddenly plays a role that seems to occupy a border zone between the protagonist’s interior monologue or the narrator’s quasi-essayistic intrusion into the novel, with Somers’s protest: “It has nothing to do with me.” (K 282) Here it seems that the protagonist , for a moment, gains the power to release himself from the narrator’s grip, but the narrator soon recovers his authority, ironically introducing the reader into the text: “I hope, dear reader, you like plenty of conversation in a novel: it makes it so much lighter and brisker” (280, italics original).

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Marija Knežević, « Towards the “sacred responsibility of authority”: D.H. Lawrence’s Kangaroo », Études Lawrenciennes, 41 | 2010, 159-174.

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Marija Knežević, « Towards the “sacred responsibility of authority”: D.H. Lawrence’s Kangaroo », Études Lawrenciennes [En ligne], 41 | 2010, mis en ligne le 24 janvier 2014, consulté le 20 septembre 2017. URL : http://lawrence.revues.org/153 ; DOI : 10.4000/lawrence.153

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Auteur

Marija Knežević

Marija Knežević teaches 19th and 20th century British literature and Canadian Literature at the University of Montenegro. Her research primarily focuses on the work of D.H. Lawrence, but her recent interests include contemporary British and Canadian literature, travel writing, as well as Native American literature. Together with Aleksandra Nikčevi-Batrićevi, she co-edited Culture-Bound Translation and Language in the Global Era and History, Politics, Identity: Reading Literature in a Changing World (Cambridge Scholars Publishers, 2008), as well as Recounting Cultural Encounters (Cambridge Scholars Publishing, due 2009).

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