The subject of this paper is the way language is perceived as a fundamental aspect of a foreign reality, and the way it is used in Lawrence’s work. Its function changes gradually from its use as part of the exotic landscape, part of the local character of the foreign environment to an interesting use of foreign words which become essentially functional to the rendering of the reality observed. This is noticeable in the different versions of the travel essays in Twilight in Italy, which unfold the gradual shaping of a particular tradition of travel writing; in Lawrence’s case this becomes more and more independent of the romantic tradition inherited, and moves towards a deep respect for everything foreign. There emerges what I consider to be one of Lawrence’s most important topics, often neglected by critics, which anticipates some ideas of contemporary criticism: the multiplicity of points of view, and the respect for “otherness” in the approach to what is foreign. This emerges for instance, while considering that certain words are so peculiar to one’s culture that the attempt to translate them into English not only creates a limitation to their meaning, but also a generalisation which is misleading and deforming.
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