Studies in Classic American Literature (1923) is D. H. Lawrence's most significant entry into the American literary imagination. What is clear from the critical response to Lawrence's Studies is that the most thoughtful and perceptive critics of our literature have seen the book as representing the deepest penetration ever made into our classic literature. Hillis Miller is of course right to see Lawrence's desire for male autonomy as an essential self-preserving desire, but in the American way he radicalizes the struggle between male and female. One fable at the heart of American fiction is the male fear of and flight from woman. The significance of Lawrence's puritanism cannot be overestimated in trying to understand what he has bequeathed to American literature and in particular to the American novel. The sexual imagination of American fiction is polymorphously perverse, pleasure- and pain-oriented, fetishistic, experimental, business-like, obscene, hilarious—in the spirit of Miller and rather than of Lawrence.