If you only read one book on attempting to write a biography of D.H. Lawrence this year, make it this one! I found myself reading bits of it aloud to Mr. Bookdwarf. Dyer’s play with language and genre subvert the standard literary criticism tomes. How he even got this book in print is beyond me. The phrase “herding cats” comes to mind when I think about Dyer’s writing process.
But it’s so much fun to read! In this wonderful book, I discovered some of my favorite sentences: “To be interested in something is to be involved in what is essentially a stressful relationship with that thing, to suffer anxiety on its behalf.” Mind you, he’s talking about not being interested in theater. If you’re interested in literature — that is, feel anxiety about its health, its trends, its quality — then Dyer’s work should reassure you that it’s alive and well.