2007 Volume 2007 Issue 17 Pages 3-15
The novelist John Fowles (1926-2005) was greatly influenced by the work of D. H. Lawrence. In this article, I will focus on the references and allusions to Lawrence in Daniel Martin, a typically Lawrencian novel of Fowles's oeuvre, and attempt to shed new light on Lawrence's writing as well as that of Fowles. In Daniel Martin, the references to Lawrence are related to the problem of representation and historicity, which is a key subject of this novel. In my opinion, Fowles greatly appreciates Lawrence's critical insight into representation and therefore refers or alludes to him in the important scenes of Daniel Martin.
Lawrence examines not only the linguistic aspect but also the political aspect of representation. Since the linguistic or semiotic aspect is concerned with the problem of arbitral connection between a signifier and its referent, the context of the connection- historicity- comes to the fore as a crucial part of representation. Further, Lawrence critically regards the representation which is unaware of its arbitrariness and its context as “democratic.” This discernment underpins his criticism of the times when predicaments of “democracy” led to various political issues. The insight into representation shared with Fowles leads both writers to express what constitutes the context of their writing but is difficult to be described per se-we can regard it as an equivalent of “feeling, ” to use one of the key concepts of Raymond Williams, who thinks highly of Lawrence in terms of the concept. It is no mere coincidence that we can identify “feeling” as one of the most significant themes of Daniel Martin.