Follow Harriet on Twitter
New Poems from Marcel Proust, D. H. Lawrence & F. Scott Fitzgerald
Lots of new poetry arrivals from old prose hats today: Jacket Copy notes that a lot of handwritten poems by F. Scott Fitzgerald are to be auctioned, including one for actress Helen Hayes’s daughter, Mary McArthur (“— Put her in pigtails and give her to me”); and The Daily Beast gives us Proust’s first poem, “Pederasty,” written at age 17 and part of the new Collected Poems of Marcel Proust (wow). We’re also keen on this one, at The New York Times’s Arts Beat blog: D.H. Lawrence’s dirty war poems are to be published!, as we mentioned here, but there’s more on that:
Various unprintable words kept the unexpurgated “Lady Chatterley’s Lover,” D.H. Lawrence’s classic 1928 novel of sexual congress across class lines, off bookshelves for more than three decades. But who knew that words like “Salonika” and “Mesopotamia” would keep some of Lawrence’s poetry out of print until 2013?
The offending words occur in “All of Us,” a sequence of 31 World War I poems that appear in their entirety for the first time in a new two-volume critical edition of Lawrence’s verse, to be published in the United States on April 30. The set — the capstone of Cambridge University Press’s gargantuan 40-volume edition of Lawrence’s works and letters — includes some 860 poems, including many that have previously been available only in censored versions.
Virtually all of Lawrence’s books of poetry had suffered some kind of censorship, often compounded by sloppy editing, Christopher Pollnitz, the volume’s editor, said in a statement. In the case of “All of Us,” written in 1916, some parts of the cycle were printed a few years later, but only after publishers wary of associating themselves with Lawrence’s fierce critiques of British imperialism had removed various place names and other features.
Publishers, Mr. Pollnitz told the Observer, were also spooked by the 1915 obscenity trial in Britain over Lawrence’s novel “The Rainbow,” all copies of which were subsequently seized and destroyed.