IT HAS, for many years now, been a criticism, even a complaint,
about Rananim (and perhaps about the D.H.Lawence Society of
Australia itself) that it has been much too involved with
what is known in some circles as "The Darroch Thesis".
Yet, to the extent that Rananim (and Australian
interest in Lawrence generally) is concerned about what happened
when Lawrence came to Australia in 1922, and indeed what his
Australian novel Kangaroo is about, is the extent to which
such a focus and emphasis are both inevitable and proper.
That is not to say that rival or counter-interpretations
and criticism of the "Thesis" should be ignored.
Far from it. It is a major disappointment that such criticism
and counter-interpretations have not come forward, at least
until the recent CUP editions, and not for inclusion and balance
In particular, no one, not even the CUP editors,
have advanced any credible or substantive alternative argument
about how else a real secret army found its way into Kangaroo.
Yet the full case for the "Darroch Thesis"
has also not been put forward, until now (though "the
best argument" was advanced in Rananim 7-8/1, "Nothing
to Sniff At"- see elsewhere in this site). So there are
omissions on both sides.
It is an aim of this new section that it will
start, if not a debate, then at least establish a forum for
possible discussion on this important - indeed, vital - aspect
of Lawrence scholarship, both here and overseas. Comments
therefore are welcome, and a facility (click
will be provided in the hope that some discussion will indeed
be generated. On my part, I welcome any opportunity to react
However, rather than simply republish in this
section a representative selection of the articles and book-extracts
that have been written, for and against, the so-called "Darroch
Thesis", I have decided to do something rather different,
something that I think will add substantially to what is already
in the public arena.
From almost the beginning of the research into
this matter I have maintained a diary of the progress and
result of that research. This was begun following the experience
I had assisting my wife Sandra in her research into the life
of Lady Ottoline Morrell for her biography, Ottoline. I also
edited that work, and in doing so realised how useful it would
be to have a day-by-day diary of the research - in other words,
as well as the cards and notes generated, and the text written,
it would be of enormous help to have a complete record of
that research, both to augment and check the material unearthed,
and to demonstrate how it was done.
As it turned out (for what I discovered was
totally unanticipated) the diary, now in its 26th year, has
become the main repository and record of the results of that
research, and a document of interest (I believe) in itself.
In particular, it does one thing that should
be of interest to those who care about Lawrence, Australia
and Kangaroo. It shows how and where I - and others, for I
was by no means alone in this labour - came across the material
that goes to make up, and underpin, the "Darroch Thesis".
(The term "The Darroch Thesis" was
coined by my colleague Dr Andrew Moore in circumstances that
will become clearer as the diary unfolds.)
The diary was not begun immediately, and in
fact slowly emerged from a more general record of my day-to-day
activities, only assuming separate format some considerable
time into the project.
Needless to say, the entries herein have been
edited so as to eliminate some non-germane material and to
contract what could be conveyed more briefly. Included, in
the places indicated, are non-diary materials, such as extracts
from letters and published articles, and, in particular, additional
explanatory explanations and comments (in italics).
The diary takes several twist and turns, as
outlined in the entry dated 28/5/02. It is now going in a
direction - for it is ongoing - that strikes out into very
new territory. So new, in fact, that no name has yet been
invented for the concept, as far as I know.
What we had hitherto known as "a diary"
records what has happened in the past. It is history, entombed
and passive. What follows, after the entry of 29/5/02, is
still a record of what has transpired, but it is no longer
merely just the online reproduction of that past.
It is, after 29/5/02, something rather more
alive and active, even interactive.
In Kangaroo, Lawrence made use of the diary
technque to turn reality into "fiction", or at least
to explore the fiction-form which that "reality"
might be turned to. So it is perhaps appropriate, and it is
certainly an apt departure point, for this new digital format.
But, first, we should begin at the beginning,
in the era of old technology.
to access the diary, please be patient, it is a
very long diary covering 26 years!
to go to: Part 1, September 1972- March1990
to go to: Part 2,
1990 - May 2002
to go to: Part 3, May 2002 onward