Constructing Male Narrative Personae in British Travel Books, from the Beginnings to the Second World War
Chapter Four The Narrative Personae of D.H. Lawrence’s Travel Books Literary Paths to Twilight in Italy Twilight in Italy was D.H. Lawrence’s first travel book. He wrote, or rather, to use his own expression, “prepared” it, in 1915 and it was published in 1916.1 The book consists of ten essays, or sketches. The setting is on Lake Garda in the seven essays in the main and middle part entitled “On the Lago di Garda.” The remaining three essays are set on the persona’s walking routes to Italy: in the opening essay, “The Crucifix Across the Mountains,” from Bavaria through the Brenner Pass to Lake Garda, while in the two final essays (“Italians in Exile” and “The Return Journey”) on the route from Switzerland through the Godhard Pass back to Italy. The essays are the reflections and results of D.H. Lawrence’s first two extended sojourns in Italy; the first one started with Lawrence’s walking across the Alps from Bavaria with Frieda in August 1912 and continued with their stay in Gargnano and San Gaudienzio on Lake Garda until May in 1913. The second lasted from September in 1913 until June in 1914 when they stayed mostly near La Spezia in the Liguria region. D.H. Lawrence’s choice of the verb “to prepare” to refer to what he was doing in 1915 with his travel sketches reflects the complex nature of the whole project, for Lawrence used the earlier versions of his essays and re-wrote them, thoroughly editing many fragments and adding whole...
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