Thursday 15 October: The Uses of Myth: ‘The Witch à la Mode’

The Myth Reading Group returns with a series of open sessions this term. In this opening session, Dr. Leon Burnett will introduce a discussion of the uses of myth in D. H. Lawrence’s short story, ‘The Witch à la Mode’.

In literature, myths have many uses. For example, a story might tell or retell a myth. In so doing, it may – and usually does – adapt the myth, accommodating it to its own period and political agenda. Sometimes, however, the myth does not seem central to the story. It plays a supporting role and the reason for its inclusion is not always evident. Such may be said of this week’s text, ‘The Witch à la Mode’ by D. H. Lawrence, written in 1911 (and revised in 1913), but first published posthumously in Lovat Dickson’s Magazine (2 June 1934) and subsequently included in The Mortal Coil and Other Stories (Penguin, 1971).

In ‘The Witch à la Mode’, the allusions to Greek mythology may initially appear adventitious, but they are integral to the unfolding of events, offering a subtle critique of suburban intimacy that is in many ways typical of the modernist movement more generally.

See our poster: P-The Witch à la Mode

Myth Reading Group

Thursday 15 October

12:00-1:30pm –Room 3.318


D.H.Lawrence’s ‘The Witch à la Mode’

Also available online:

Additional reading:

Alfred, Lord Tennyson’s ‘The Lady of Shalott’ (1842)

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