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Goethe and Lawrence: Bildung and Wholeness.

Michael Bell

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  • 1 Open Secrets: Literature, Education and Authority from J-J Rousseau to J. M. Coetzee (Oxford: Oxfor (...)

1Those concentration camp officers who are said to have appreciated Mozart and Beethoven are often invoked as a knock-down argument against claims for the humanising function of high culture: claims which, in their modern form, stem from the European Enlightenment as, for example, in Friedrich Schiller. But what should be at stake here is not so much knowledge of high culture as the manner in which it is possessed. The contrasting conceptions of culture associated with Goethe and Lawrence, which I have elsewhere compared at some length, have a bearing on this question.1 But whereas on the previous occasion I emphasised the mutual opposition of these writers in their conceptions of culture, I now wish to stress their less obvious commonality by following the stages of their historical connection.

2Goethe was an extraordinary self-creation: with his range of artistic and scientific achievement, all arising from a coherent personal centre, he was perhaps the last plausible example in the European tradition of the ideal suggested by the phrase "renaissance man." In his own life-time, his house in Weimar was already a substantial library and museum. Lawrence was also highly cultured, as some of his acquaintance, and his own critical writings, have testified, yet he carried his culture so informally that no one thinks of him primarily under that description and some observers have notoriously missed the fact altogether. It is deeply suggestive that he had at any one time only so many books as he could literally carry in his itinerant mode of life.

  • 2 Mr Noon, ed. Lindeth Vasey (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1984), 184.
  • 3 "Thought," The Complete Poems of D. H. Lawrence, ed. Vivian de Sola Pinto and Warren Roberts, (New (...)

3Goethe is the classic representative of the German tradition of Bildung, a post-religious, Enlightenment ideal of humane self-cultivation forming a rounded personality by imbibing a range of experience, knowledge and skills. Moreover, the image of apprenticeship in the Wilhelm Meister novels suggests that the unpredictable development of the individual is contained within a traditionary order: as if, among the possible crafts to be learned, self-creation is the supreme one. It is important, however, to distinguish between Goethe’s own self-cultivation and his treatment of this theme in his fiction. For it is so evidently embodied in Goethe himself that his principled critique of it is widely overlooked. Lawrence, of course, responded very sardonically to Goethe. Gilbert Noon doubtless speaks for the author when he objects to Goethe’s "setting up the stunt of German Godlikeness and superhumanness" and Lawrence’s distaste could be extended to encompass the whole conception of Bildung.2 But something of this critique is already present in Goethe’s own educational fiction. The key quality for Lawrence is personal wholeness as in his definition of thought as "Man in his wholeness, wholly attending."3 This term privileges not a range of knowledge and skills to be acquired so much as the common centredness of thought, feeling and action in the individual concerned. Such wholeness, however, is ultimately the criterion by which Bildung is also judged even by Goethe himself. Without personal wholeness, Bildung is hollow.

  • 4 (London: Faber, 1948), 48.
  • 5 Wilhelm Meister’s Years of Travel, trans. H. M. Waidson (London: Calder, 1982), vol vi, 132.

4Hence, although Goethe and Lawrence are indeed antitypes with a deeply representative significance, their opposition is chiasmic. They arrive at the same central recognitions from within their opposite registers. Most importantly, perhaps, T. S. Eliot’s unwitting compliment to Lawrence in After Strange Gods that he was "incapable of what is ordinarily called thinking" applies equally to Goethe.4 When Rupert Birkin, in the argument about spontaneity, objects to Gerald Crich for speaking in aphorisms he is picking up a theme that runs right through Goethe’s fiction and is central to the world view of both writers: the impossibility of catching the truth of experience in the ready-mades of language. With his penchant for open-ended irony, Goethe uses in Wilhelm Meister’s Years of Travel the very form of the aphorism to express the point in a way that could almost be Birkin himself speaking: "What I really know, I know only for myself. A spoken word is rarely useful; it mostly excites contradiction, deadlock and standstill."5 But the opposition of these two writers is not only a mutual mirror image in the sense of reversing the same elements: they are the beginning and the end of a slow historical transformation whereby the whole opposition begins to shimmer if not entirely to dissolve.

  • 6 Twilight of the Idols, trans. R. J. Hollingdale (London: Penguin,1990), 114.

5The mediating term in this development is Nietzsche: he is the fulcrum on which the transformation turns. Goethe was perhaps the one figure for whom Nietzsche had absolute admiration. He cited him as an effective instance of the Űbermensch: one who could accept, and indeed affirm, his fate as if it were the effect of his personal choice. As Nietzsche put it in Twilight of the Idols "Such a spirit who has become free stands amid the cosmos with a joyous and trusting fatalism."6 Although Lawrence would not use the word "fatalism," the affirmatively trusting spirit of this remark equally defines what makes Lawrence such a rare being and that is hardly surprising insofar as Nietzsche had given philosophical articulation to crucial elements of Lawrence’s own world view. Even Lawrence’s apparent critique of Nietzsche in Women in Love only testifies to their deep affinity since the critique is itself a Nietzschean one directed against the reductive contemporary understanding of him. For it is Birkin, of course, not Gerald,who is the true Nietzschean in the novel. Meanwhile, Lawrence’s more significant critique of Nietzsche is not so much a matter of rejecting the world view as of testing it out socially and psychologically. This was pre-eminently the function of the novel as a genre and was the aspect in which Nietzsche’s own thought remained, perhaps dangerously, rough-hewn. So the succession of these three authors is less one of oppositional critique and more one of transformation through digestion. Each absorbs his forebear in such a way as to turn him into a different substance.

6Goethe is commonly thought to represent the high point of Bildung and it seems to be recognised only in specialist Germanist circles that Wilhelm Meister’s Apprenticeship already hints at an immanent critique of its claims. When Wilhelm is granted his certificate of apprenticeship and joins the Society of the Tower, the episode is fraught with irony and anti-climax. More significantly, in the much later and less well-known sequel, Wilhelm Meister’s Years of Travel, the whole ambition of Bildung is explicitly rejected. The member of the Society of the Tower who was most critical of Wilhelm from the outset was Jarno, a character based on the younger Goethe’s rather severe real-life mentor, Johann Gottfried Herder. Jarno criticised Wilhelm’s performance of Hamlet as an essentially amateur identification with the character and thereby defined him as a dilettante. Dilettantism, the mistaking of artistic sensitivity and talent for achievement, is the secret danger that Goethe sees lurking in the ambition of all-round Bildung. The man who seeks all round ability may be master of nothing and the pursuit of it provides a recipe for superficiality.

7Accordingly, Wilhelm, very early in the second novel, meets Jarno once again, but now called Montan, in the mountains studying rocks. He has become a scientific specialist and makes a case for the importance of specialism as the mode of educational formation suitable for the modern world. Specialism is widely acknowledged as the ambivalent heart of modernity, the basis of both its collective productivity, as in Adam Smith, and of its personal alienation, as in Schiller and Marx, but for Montan its positive value is unambiguously clear even in the sphere of personal development.

[…] the present is the time for specialization; happy is he who understands this […].The best thing is to limit oneself to one craft. For the most limited person it will always remain a craft, for someone better it will be an art, and when the best man does the one thing, he does everything, or, to be less paradoxical, in the one thing he does expertly he sees the symbol of everything that is done expertly. (WMYT, iv, 38-9)

8The book goes on to endorse Jarno’s view at both a thematic and a formal level: Wilhelm pursues specialist study to become a surgeon and, most importantly, the development of his own personality ceases to provide the narrative shaping of the novel as each of the characters contributes diverse experiences to the collective archive from which the book is notionally constructed. It is worth noting, too, that Montan’s argument accommodates a range of abilities. The value of specialism, like that of all-round Bildung, depends on the quality of the personality involved whether talentless, talented or genius, but whereas specialism is good for all of these, that is not so in the case of Bildung, as Nietzsche especially was to emphasise.

  • 7 Untimely Meditations, trans. R. J. Hollingdale (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1997), 149.

9Nietzsche took up the critique of Bildung from his earliest essays. Where Matthew Arnold lamented the lack or failure of high culture, or what he called the philistinism, of Victorian England, Nietzsche, like F. R. Leavis a generation later, rather saw the danger in its apparent success. It was the self-consciously cultured class that they both excoriated, and for whom Nietzsche coined the term Bildungsphilister, or culture philistine.7

10Likewise, in his early essay on Schopenhauer as Educator, Nietzsche endorses a version of Montan’s argument for specialism by reflecting on the case of Benvenuto Cellini who resisted the music lessons imposed by his father in order to devote himself wholly to sculpture. The father’s ambition for an all-round cultural formation was unsuitable for his son’s genius and the case leads Nietzsche to surmise:

…could it perhaps be that that maxim advocating an harmonious development should be applied only to more mediocre natures in which, though there may reside a congeries of needs and inclinations, none of them amounts to very much taken individually? (UT 131)

11And he then goes on effectively to dissolve the whole opposition with a stronger version of Montan’s claim that expertise in one sphere teaches the nature of expertise in all spheres.

[…]where do we discover a harmonious whole at all, a simultaneous sounding of many voices in one nature, if not in such men as Cellini. Men in whom everything, knowledge, desire, love, hate, strives towards a central point, a root force, and where a harmonious system is constructed through the compelling domination of this living centre? And so perhaps these two maxims are not opposites at all? Perhaps the one simply says that man should have a centre and the other that he should also have a periphery? That educating philosopher of whom I dreamed would, I came to think, not only discover the central force, he would also know how to prevent its acting destructively on the other forces: his educational task would, it seemed to me, to be to mould a whole man into a living solar and planetary system and to understand its higher laws of motion.

12Anyone who follows political arguments about education will note the melancholy and enduring truth of Nietzsche’s observation here. Contrary conceptions, when conceived as universal nostrums, are usually false oppositions. In the reality of the class-room, education, even when consciously conducted according to some stated principle, usually requires, and quietly enacts, its opposed truth. Good teaching dissolves the supposed oppositions of educational theorists, just as bad teaching embodies them. Nonetheless, while collapsing the opposition between Bildung and specialism, Nietzsche’s planetary image shifts the locus of significance. He emphasises the living centre by which other elements, such as knowledge or skills, are held together and from which they take their meaning. It is an image of complex wholeness. The image, moreover, would apply to Goethe himself if not always to his heroes of Bildung. It would seem that as the inherent problems of Bildung became more evident so the mystery of the personal centre on which it depends, but which was taken for granted, and therefore still partly obscured, in Goethe’s narrative of Bildung, comes to be the primary focus as the theme passes through Nietzsche and Lawrence in their respective phases of modernity.

13Meanwhile, alongside the line of transformation between Goethe and Lawrence, there runs an opposed tradition. The two most famous of Goethe’s novelistic heroes, Werther and Wilhelm Meister, help to mark two distinct developments of the Bildung theme the first of which stems from Werther.

14Werther, the young hero of sensibility, represents the anti-rationalist wing of Enlightenment which Goethe felt the need to overcome in himself. Werther is the classic dilettante who cannot truly learn from experience although the fact that so many contemporary readers responded by identifying with Werther rather than seeing him as a warning case study reflects a measure of ambivalence within Goethe himself. He had to overcome his own Wertherian tendencies and, not surprisingly, his next novel, Wilhelm Meister’s Apprenticeship, discarded the first-person narrative of sensibility to adopt the mode of Henry Fielding’s Tom Jones: a broad ranging social comedy under the constant control of an overt authorial irony. As in Tom Jones, the novel conveys a weight of experience and judgement way beyond that displayed by the hero which is why it gives many readers the impression of a simply positive outcome with regard to the Bildung process. We imbibe this impression not really from Wilhelm himself, however, but from the providential optimism of the Goethean narrative.

  • 8 Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, The Sorrows of Young Werther and Selected Writings, trans. Catherine Hu (...)

15Yet although Werther was rejected by Goethe, he was to have a powerful progeny in European fiction among whom we might ultimately include Rupert Birkin. Werther, as the man of feeling, is contrasted with his friend Albert, the man of social reason. Werther’s commitment to individual feeling brings him into bitter arguments with Albert and on one occasion also with a magistrate, one who represents social reason in its institutionally generalised form. Werther believes that the intensities of individual feeling, such as the state of mind of a suicide, cannot be truly judged by moral generalities. He is therefore infuriated to be met with well-meaning platitudes often couched in aphoristic form.8 The argument between Gerald and Birkin on spontaneity is an avatar of Werther’s:

  • 9 Women in Love, ed. David Farmer, Lindeth Vasey and John Worthen (Cambridge: Cambridge University Pr (...)

[…]“If you’re doing a thing, do it properly, and if you’re not going to do it properly, leave it alone.”
“Very nice aphorism,” said Birkin.
“Don’t you agree?” asked Gerald.
“Quite,” said Birkin. “Only it bores me rather when you become aphoristic.”
“Damn you, Rupert, you want all the aphorisms your own way,” said Gerald.
“No, I want them out of the way, and you’re always shoving them in it.”
Gerald smiled grimly at this humorism. Then he made a little gesture of dismissal, with his eyebrows.
“You don’t believe in any standard of behaviour at all, do you?” he challenged Birkin, censoriously.
“Standard―no. I hate standards. But they are necessary for the common ruck.―Anyone who is anything can just be himself and do as he likes.”
But what do you mean by being himself?” said Gerald. “Is that an aphorism or a cliché?”
“I mean just doing what you want to do. I think it was perfectly good form in Laura to bolt from Lupton to the church door. It was almost a masterpiece in good form. It’s the hardest thing in the world to act spontaneously on one’s impulses―and it’s the only really gentlemanly thing to do―provided you’re fit to do it.”
“You don’t expect me to take you seriously, do you?” asked Gerald.9

  • 10 "Against the slanderers of nature," Friedrich Nietzche, The Gay Science, trans. Walter Kaufmann, (N (...)

16Birkin objects to Gerald’s aphoristic expression as much as to his espousal of social reason. The narrative evaluation, however, is now reversed from the Werther episodes: it is Birkin who is felt to have right on his side, and this depends on other differences including most especially the quality of the personalities involved. Birkin acknowledges that "acting spontaneously on one’s instincts" is a rare ability and the "only gentlemanly thing to do." He even invokes the language of high culture in calling it a masterpiece. Whether by innate quality or by social and aesthetic culture, such behaviour is that of the supremely social figure rather than the outsider. Nietzsche similarly affirms, in The Gay Science, that such trust in one’s own instincts requires, or is the sign of, nobility.10 Yet the dependence on the rare special case puts Birkin’s claim outside of general social reason and makes it impossible to affirm authoritatively. Throughout the book, Birkin’s very articulacy only serves to highlight his intellectual isolation.

17The other key difference from Werther is that Werther accepts the contemporary eighteenth-century dualism in opposing feeling to general social principle whereas Birkin’s spontaneity comes from a personality in which thought, feeling and action are as one. The dualism is dissolved which is why it is such a rare achievement. The generations of European culture between Werther and Birkin, including most notably what we loosely call romanticism, have transformed the naivety of the man of feeling while keeping faith with his underlying impulse and ambition, or what we might call the eighteenth century’s affective turn.

  • 11 "German Books," Introductions and Reviews, ed. N. H. Reeve and John Worthen, (Cambridge: Cambridge (...)

18But in the move from Werther to Wilhelm Meister Goethe adopted, and partly inaugurated, a different tradition. He did not, of course, abandon feeling but allowed it only with a controlling and protective admixture of irony. Romantic irony was one way in which the eighteenth-century traditions of sensibility and anti-sensibility were jointly passed into modernity. Stendhal and Flaubert are among the masters of this internal irony by which romantic feeling can be expressed and celebrated in full recognition of its illusory and anti-social nature. However subtly, this tradition embodies a distrustful control of feeling and it is what arouses Lawrence’s objection when reviewing Thomas Mann, the modern German author who most self-consciously emulated the mature Goethean spirit as irony.11

19Whereas romantic irony is most typically concerned with the inhabiting of feeling, as it passes to later phases of modernity the spirit of internal irony tends to encompass the relation to philosophical truths and moral values. It becomes a way of living with uncertainty after what Nietzsche called the death of God in which God represents not just a personalised deity but a whole infrastructure of values and beliefs. We have to live as if the grand moral narratives were true and we may do so more effectively if they are no longer held as a matter of faith but as conscious hypotheses. Thomas Mann provides the most programmatic literary articulation of this ironic mode. But if irony is the dominant mode of this tradition, I suggest that in the counter tradition of Nietzsche and Lawrence the representative rhetorical form is hyperbole.

  • 12 The Rainbow, ed. Mark Kinkead-Weekes, (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1987), 144.

20Irony is a mode of control, and it includes the reader in a way that is intrinsically flattering. It implies a sophisticated double perception, and a moral vantage-point, that the reader can share, or is assumed to share, with the work of discrimination embodied in the text. And there is danger too for the writer of a self-flattering posture of being au-dessus de la mêlée. Such all encompassing internal irony may allow the author to handle themes which are a matter of passionate conviction to others while leaving them relatively weightless. For some readers Thomas Mann is open to such a charge and it is perhaps this, rather than the ironic mode in itself, which aroused Lawrence’s dislike of godlikeness. Nietzsche, by contrast, is ironic through and through but with powerful conviction and passionate engagement such that irony does not seem the major category through which to understand him. To combine ironic elusiveness with passionately engaged conviction is a rare ability which finds its appropriate form in hyperbole. There is a measure of hyperbole running elusively throughout Lawrence’s fiction, as is hinted at by Ursula Brangwen’s affection for it:"It pleased her to know, that in the east one must use hyperbole, or else remain unheard, because the Eastern man must see a thing swelling to fill all heaven, or dwindled to a mere nothing, before he is suitably impressed."12

21But Lawrence’s hyperbole is most evident in his discursive and polemical prose for, like Nietzsche, he uses not just hyperbolic expression, but hyperbolic argument.

22At the end of the Great War, for example, contemporaneously with working on Women in Love and preceding the psychoanalysis essays, Lawrence reflected on the acquisition of culture in his essay entitled "Education of the People" which, perhaps significantly, was not published in his lifetime. The Fisher Education Act, a major reform of the British school system, was going through Parliament around this time and the earnestness of Lawrence’s engagement with this public theme is evident. Yet the genre or purpose of the essay is ambiguous insofar as, like Plato’s Republic, Rousseau’s Emile and Goethe’s Pedagogical Province in the second Wilhelm Meister novel, it is most essentially a philosophical thesis expressing a view of human nature for which the educational programme may be read partly as an allegorical or utopian expression rather than as a set of literal propositions. And since Lawrence’s treatise runs so directly against the grain of the contemporary culture, any gap between these two possibilities will be correspondingly wide and the ambiguity more fraught.

23His dominant theme is the evil of excessively aroused, idealistic self-consciousness and, clearly moved by his own experience of idealistic mothering, he declares at one point:

  • 13 Reflections on the Death of a Porcupine and Other Essays, ed. Michael Herbert (Cambridge: Cambridge (...)

[…] babies should invariably be taken away from their modern mothers and given, not to yearning and maternal old maids, but to rather stupid fat women who can’t be bothered with them. There should be a league for the prevention of maternal love, as there is for the prevention of cruelty to animals.13

24What precisely are we to make of this? Reading it now in an age of political correctness, we may marvel at the amount of incorrectness he crams into such a short passage including the gratuitous grace note of "fat." For some readers this may simply exemplify both the dogmatic absurdity of his thought and the naïve intemperance of his expression. And it might be hard, on purely internal rhetorical evidence, to dissuade such readers of this judgement. Yet it seems to me that this is a hyperbolic expression of an important recognition whose precise quality Lawrence could not have expressed in a moderate form. An immoderate, reactive intensity is of the essence. Moreover, he is seeking to challenge the radical assumptions of the national educational system and he cannot do this by tinkering with its internal workings. When one is radically at odds with conventional wisdom there is always the danger that what one says will be translated back into its familiar terms. The essay, therefore, challenges conventionally educated culture by its manner as much as its content as Lawrence resorts to the comic and unsettling exaggeration of a self-exploding aphorism: one at which we are unlikely to murmur "how true."

  • 14 He returns to the point through a mythic reference to the "she-wol" that suckled Romulus and Remus (...)

25The extremity of expression affirms the radical nature of his challenge to current values while at the same time the reader’s sense that it may be, must surely be, hyperbolic creates a shimmer of uncertainty with respect to its own implicit norm. Something is said but, just as importantly, something is not quite said. This dual effect catches something crucial and characteristic at the heart of Lawrence’s genius more generally. What he is properly valued for is the sanity and proportion in his understanding of human beings yet he is notorious for his wild tirades. We may think of these moments as simply letting off steam but maybe there is a more organic connection between these two aspects. Lawrence’s tirades are not just an uncontrolled discharge of affect, such as anger, but a way of preparing for the emotional and evaluative focus which is to follow. In the present case, it is indicative that over the course of the essay Lawrence returns twice more the same general thought but in progressively more moderate formulations as if the first impact was a strategic necessity.14 Lawrence’s sanity is often so telling because of the way it is typically felt as freshly achieved, or achieved against the odds. As Birkin’s case makes clear, the desired norm cannot be directly expressed: or if it is so, it becomes merely banal. Lawrence’s hyperbole dislodges the norm and draws the reader into a dynamic process of seeking a different one which is not, or cannot be, positively stated.

  • 15 "The Second Coming," W. B. Yeats, The Poems, ed. Richard J. Finneran, (London: Macmillan, 1983), 18 (...)
  • 16 Doubling the Point: Essays and Interviews, ed. David Attwell (Cambridge, MASS: Harvard University P (...)

26Ultimately, of course, hyperbole is itself a subset of irony but one that removes the evident markers and can pass for its opposite, what Yeats deprecated as "passionate intensity."15 J. M. Coetzee has remarked that: "When a real passion of feeling is let loose in discursive prose, you feel that you are reading the utterances of a madman[….].The novel, on the other hand, allows the writer to stage his passion […]."16

27If Birkin is Lawrence’s more obvious way of staging his passion in a novel, the hyperbole of his discursive prose allows him to encompass directly, indeed. to highlight and affirm, the passionate intensity which is essential to the thought. No doubt, it also has the psychological value for the writer of allowing the underlying passion to be expressed and discharged. But it is nonetheless an essentially dramatic modality which, like all forms of irony, depends on the reader picking it up, on being responsive to the tone. Readers have got used to seeing the narrative voice of the novels, and then of the poems, as dramatically controlled but not yet perhaps that of of the essays. It is worth remembering his skill as a dramatist, and the testimony of friends concerning his talents as a mimic.

28Overtly ironic writers like Jane Austen are often misread in detail, her art after all is to seduce the reader into accepting her characters’ views of themselves. Nonetheless, most readers recognise that her mode is ironic. By comparison, it is notorious that Lawrence’s humorous tone is frequently missed altogether. Maybe this is because humour typically depends on a more direct emotional commonality rather than the fellowship of intellectual supremacy in irony. Elsewhere in the Education essay, he remarks: " Any ideal, once it is really established, becomes ridiculous, so ridiculous that we begin to feel a certain mistrust of mankind’s collective sense of humour" (RDP, 117).

29Here Lawrence notes the transience of conventionally accepted ideals and that what most effectively dislodges them is ridicule. Typically, however, even as he uses the pronoun of commonality, the "we," he states his mistrust of mankind’s collective ability to see the ridicule. Who then are the "we" here? As so often, he formally adopts a representative posture while acknowledging his own de facto status as outsider or exception. His humour invokes commonality as a challenge rather than an assumption.

30Lawrence’s style here is a style of thought, and an exemplary exercising of living wholeness against the cultural grain. It is passionate but it rides the passion rather than being ridden by it. His essays are not records of thought, so much as dramatic demonstrations of thinking. To be sure, as with Nietzsche, we know better at such moments what he is against than what in sober practice he is for since, at the heart of his thinking, is the avoidance of culture in its aspects as possession, as ready-made, or as dead weight. In this way, he shows why discussing the value of high culture in the abstract is so often pointless. Culture is not a substantive entity which can be accorded a usefully generalisable value or function. It will always depend on the nature of the personality concerned not to mention the paradox, if it is one, exemplified by all three of these authors: that any significant critique of culture can only come from a highly cultured individual. Lawrence’s passionate thinking is an active avoidance of the dangers increasingly detected by his forebears, Goethe and Nietzsche, in normative ideals of culture.

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1 Open Secrets: Literature, Education and Authority from J-J Rousseau to J. M. Coetzee (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007), 165-192.

2 Mr Noon, ed. Lindeth Vasey (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1984), 184.

3 "Thought," The Complete Poems of D. H. Lawrence, ed. Vivian de Sola Pinto and Warren Roberts, (New York: Viking, 1964), vol. ii, 673.

4 (London: Faber, 1948), 48.

5 Wilhelm Meister’s Years of Travel, trans. H. M. Waidson (London: Calder, 1982), vol vi, 132.

6 Twilight of the Idols, trans. R. J. Hollingdale (London: Penguin,1990), 114.

7 Untimely Meditations, trans. R. J. Hollingdale (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1997), 149.

8 Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, The Sorrows of Young Werther and Selected Writings, trans. Catherine Hutter (New York,: Signet, 1962), 59.

9 Women in Love, ed. David Farmer, Lindeth Vasey and John Worthen (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1987), 32

10 "Against the slanderers of nature," Friedrich Nietzche, The Gay Science, trans. Walter Kaufmann, (New York: Random House, 1974), 236.

11 "German Books," Introductions and Reviews, ed. N. H. Reeve and John Worthen, (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2005), 205-212.

12 The Rainbow, ed. Mark Kinkead-Weekes, (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1987), 144.

13 Reflections on the Death of a Porcupine and Other Essays, ed. Michael Herbert (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1988), 121.

14 He returns to the point through a mythic reference to the "she-wol" that suckled Romulus and Remus (RDP, 133) and to the "uneducated peasant nurse" (RDP, 144).

15 "The Second Coming," W. B. Yeats, The Poems, ed. Richard J. Finneran, (London: Macmillan, 1983), 187.

16 Doubling the Point: Essays and Interviews, ed. David Attwell (Cambridge, MASS: Harvard University Press, 1992), 60-1.

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Michael Bell, « Goethe and Lawrence: Bildung and Wholeness. », Études Lawrenciennes [En ligne], 47 | 2016, mis en ligne le 06 décembre 2016, consulté le 28 avril 2017. URL : ; DOI : 10.4000/lawrence.268

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Michael Bell

University of Warwick,UK

Michael Bell is Professor Emeritus at the University of Warwick and Associate Fellow of the Centre for Research in Philosophy and Literature. His principal publication on Lawrence is D. H. Lawrence: Language and Being (CUP, 1992). He has published much else on Lawrence including a chapter in his  book Open Secrets;Literature, Education and Authority from J-J Rousseau to J. M. Coetzee (OUP, 2007)

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