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Thread: D.H. Lawrence's Short Stories Thread

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    Vincit Qui Se Vincit Virgil's Avatar
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    D.H. Lawrence's Short Stories Thread

    I know D.H. lawrence is known for his novels and poetry and travel writing. But he was also one of the finest English short story writers ever. The very best of his stories rank with the very best ever. I am starting this thread to discuss his stories. His stories are usually more accessible than his novels and more concentrated. One can really enjoy his writing and complete it in an hour or so.

    There is an online essay of someone who falls in love with lawrence's short stories. Alexandra Leggat writes in "My love affair with DH Lawrence":

    Throughout my life I have sought solace in books and on many levels the great authors have never let me down. Once home I headed straight to our trusty book collection, all spines faced out but it was D.H. Lawrence’s, England, My England that leapt out at me. I bought this collection of Lawrence’s short stories about ten years ago from a small book store in Falkirk, Scotland, on one of many pilgrimages to my homeland in search of restitution. I’d always loved Lawrence and read the book on the train from Glasgow to Norwich. I was young, had other things on my mind, unlike the continual lingering effects of Son’s and Lovers and Women in Love, it didn’t leave a huge impression at that time. Read me now it begged from the shelf, read me now and I’ll rejuvenate your weary soul. So I grabbed it and retreated to my bed to begin my convalescence.

    He was working from the small common, beyond the small brook that ran in the dip at the bottom of the garden, carrying the garden path in continuation from the plank bridge on to the common. He had cut the rough turf and bracken, leaving the grey, dryish soil bare. But he was worried because he could not get the path straight, there was a pleat between his brows. He had set up his sticks, and taken the sights between the big pine trees, but for some reason everything seemed wrong.
    For the first time in seven days everything seemed right, that strength and perfection in Lawrence’s prose, the precision. I read on, the pages swelling like a river with that voice. The tale comes to life and brings with it the English country side, the struggle of a family man facing his last days of peace before war and I’m lost in the depth of the countryman’s struggle, of the country’s struggle, of a human’s continuous struggle. I’m transported from my sick bed along side Egbert on the edge of the common, hypnotized by the title story England, My England and for the next twelve hours we did not leave each other’s side D.H. Lawrence and me.

    My husband comes into the bedroom to check on me and I confess that I’m falling in love with D.H. Lawrence, his stories, his voice, the detail, the imagery. "You have to read this, honey," I say. He looks at me funny, checks my pulse, my temperature and leaves. Perhaps it was my raw state of mind, my hungry psyche that latched onto to and fell in love with the truth in Lawrence’s work, the sensory perception, the authority of the characters or the complete paradox of what one might expect from the man that wrote the controversial Lady Chatterley’s Lover, had most of his work banned and art work confiscated. I knew he was honest but I didn’t realize how uncanny he was in pointing out the foibles and wickedness of human nature. Which he observes with the precision of a raptor scoping from the treetops. This is where his brilliance lies.
    http://www.danforthreview.com/featur...dhlawrence.htm

    If anyone would like to enjoy Lawrence's brilliant English prose, exceptional story telling ability, and profound insight into humanity, join us here as you see fit. I recommend you get The Collected Short Stories of D.H. Lawrence, usually sold in three volumes.

    Every couple of months, a leisurely pace so we can still participate in the book forum and Shakespeare discussion group, I would like to read a Lawrence short story and discuss it here. Janine, another admirer of Lawrence's writing, has picked a story titled, "Things," as a starting story. It is relatively simple and no more than ten pages.
    LET THERE BE LIGHT

    "Love follows knowledge." – St. Catherine of Siena

    My literature blog: http://ashesfromburntroses.blogspot.com/

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    Our wee Olympic swimmer Janine's Avatar
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    Virgil,
    This is excellent! Thank you for taking so much time to start this off; it is so well done and thorough. This should spark some interest in L, or at least I hope for it. I love the writing you quoted and feel exactly like this person re-reading Lawrence stories, which I read (most of) a long time ago. I never seem to tire of L, and I, too, fall in love with Lawrence over and over again through his writing. The short stories are true gems.

    I have read "Things" several times now - in the past and now again - just once - but plan on another reading while we discuss it on this thread.

    "Things" is filled with irony, don't you think? Strange I should be drawn to this story in particular, since I am a great collector of things, and I often feel rather guilty about that fact. At the same time I am divided inside myself, knowing how little importance should be placed on physical things, yet liking them and cherishing them. I can relate to the woman character with her cherished exotic drapperies.
    I think the idea of "freedom" is an interesting one here, as well and needs discussion. In this the story addresses one of the "struggles" of human beings, as was indicated in your quotation.

    "England, My England" is a wonderful story and encompasses some elements from L's adolescents. Perhaps consider it for the next one to discuss after "Things".
    So let us begin the discussion....
    "It's so mysterious, the land of tears."

    Chapter 7, The Little Prince ~ Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

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    Vincit Qui Se Vincit Virgil's Avatar
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    Let me first summarize the story. It tells about a New England couple who go Europe to live free, and over a decade or so (twelve years exactly) collect things, beautiful things, art, furniture. At that point they find Europe unsatisfying, so there return to America. After unable to settle in various places in America, finding it disappointing and incapable of living without working any longer, they drop off their child with a grandparent and return to Europe. But Europe now completely "irritated" and the couple returns to the US where instead of living freely now Erasmus must teach in Cleveland.

    Yes, Janine, the story centers on the irony that as the couple start out for freedom and beauty, must settle for grimey Cleveland with a working class job. The movement of the story goes from idealism to disappointment to dissatisfaction to acceptance. Although the Melvilles reject materialism, the beautiful things, the beautiful life, is another form of materialism.

    Here's a question, is Lawrence saying that all life, American, European, cannot be satisfying in the idealistic sense?
    LET THERE BE LIGHT

    "Love follows knowledge." – St. Catherine of Siena

    My literature blog: http://ashesfromburntroses.blogspot.com/

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    Our wee Olympic swimmer Janine's Avatar
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    Ok, I just read your post, but now I am too tired out tonight to answer that question sufficiently. I will try to write some feeble thoughts now but I may be off the track some.

    This story has always sort of stumped me, and yet I like it emensely. Your synopsis is good and pretty much accurate. Thanks for taking the time to write all that down.
    I wonder now, after reading about Lawrence's life, and his own habits of moving about continually, never feeling satisfied as to where he lived, and also his adversion to keeping or owning things, is well reflected in this story. He was a very restless person himself and on the move often looking for the ideal place to settle, but he really never found it. He was so opposed to owning anything himself, his ranch in Texas was put under Frieda's name. He refused to be on the deed. She owned anything they had, for that matter. As you know L was idealistic in his thinking, but not always realistic.

    Here's a question, is Lawrence saying that all life, American, European, cannot be satisfying in the idealistic sense?
    I don't know if he is saying that about all life and idealism. I don't even think he has ever come to any kind of conclusion on the matter within himself. I think he recognises the struggle to live a life of freedom and grace, as opposed to settling into the mainstream of life and being possessed by society, and in a sense being trapped by convention.
    One part of the story that I always question is - how are people to be free if no one works? The ideal seems to be not to have to have to work or hold a job, or so it is with this couple. In Lawrence's own life he worked vigorously on his profession -writing, thus earning his way in life. He was always writing and publishing or trying to be published, so he was no slacker. In some ways I thought the story reflected his own struggles against society, but it may be he is forming the story from a real example of a couple he knew who actually thought like this and collected things that ended up in storage - thus the irony of the story. As you know, also from reading about L, he grasped every real opportunity of his observations to write down and shape a story - of course, to shape it into his own ideals or theories. I think the story shows the non-importance of the objects the people have collected over time. The mere fact that they ended up costing them money to store was poignant to me. How true this seems in today's society. Many people pay huge amounts of money to keep storage units, and for what? To cling to the tangables was part of the irony. Also, they thought or pictured themselves one way, but actually they may have been inclined to be the opposite - what do you think on that idea?
    Last edited by Janine; 03-05-2007 at 12:57 AM.
    "It's so mysterious, the land of tears."

    Chapter 7, The Little Prince ~ Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

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    Vincit Qui Se Vincit Virgil's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Janine View Post
    I wonder now, after reading about Lawrence's life, and his own habits of moving about continually, never feeling satisfied as to where he lived, and also his adversion to keeping or owning things, is well reflected in this story. He was a very restless person himself and on the move often looking for the ideal place to settle, but he really never found it. He was so opposed to owning anything himself, his ranch in Texas was put under Frieda's name. He refused to be on the deed. She owned anything they had, for that matter. As you know L was idealistic in his thinking, but not always realistic.
    Yes, the same thought struck me too, how the story reflects Lawrence's own restlessness and traveling. This story was written in 1927, which was the culmination of about a decade (from the World War) of attempts to settle in various places of the world. Actually he had found satisfaction in his New Mexico ranch (you say Texas, but I thought it was Taos, New Mexico) but that is a stark contrast to either the European and American worlds he portrays in the story. Actually his return to Europe in 1927 was a sort of retreat, like the Melvilles' retreat to America in the story. Only for Lawrence it was not for financial reasons like the Melvilles but for health reasons. His tuberculosis broke out in Mexico while writing The Plumed Serpent and it nealy killed him. It would ultimately kill him less than three years later.

    I don't know if he is saying that about all life and idealism. I don't even think he has ever come to any kind of conclusion on the matter within himself. I think he recognises the struggle to live a life of freedom and grace, as opposed to settling into the mainstream of life and being possessed by society, and in a sense being trapped by convention.
    We could make too much from just a ten page story. Idealism however is a theme in the story. I don't have the book in front of me, but there is even that section where the Melvilles are infatuated with Buddaism, ironically because it is not materialistic. Another theme is the materialism of the modern world, American and European, and how the Melvilles are "nailed" to their things. "Nailed" is the word Lawrence uses, and it caught my eye. Wonderful word, perfect word, suggesting bondage to it and recalling the crucifiction. The story is too short to see if the loss of idealism is comprehensive, but if you contrast this story with some of his American Indian stories of Mexico and New Mexico, I think his idealism in the primitive world still holds.

    One part of the story that I always question is - how are people to be free if no one works? The ideal seems to be not to have to have to work or hold a job, or so it is with this couple. In Lawrence's own life he worked vigorously on his profession -writing, thus earning his way in life. He was always writing and publishing or trying to be published, so he was no slacker.
    The Melvilles seemed like a typical couple from a Henry James story, that have means to live independently of work, at least at the beginning before their money ran out. No Lawrece was no slacker, hardly. But the writing life does offer a sense of freedom where one doesn't have to be tied to a particular job. Perhaps Lawrence felt he was "nailed" to his writing.

    In some ways I thought the story reflected his own struggles against society, but it may be he is forming the story from a real example of a couple he knew who actually thought like this and collected things that ended up in storage - thus the irony of the story. As you know, also from reading about L, he grasped every real opportunity of his observations to write down and shape a story - of course, to shape it into his own ideals or theories. I think the story shows the non-importance of the objects the people have collected over time.
    There are parallels with his life, as in all his work. But there are differences too, as you pointed out. Lawrence was not into material things.

    Also, they thought or pictured themselves one way, but actually they may have been inclined to be the opposite - what do you think on that idea?
    Yes, that is the story's irony.
    LET THERE BE LIGHT

    "Love follows knowledge." – St. Catherine of Siena

    My literature blog: http://ashesfromburntroses.blogspot.com/

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    Our wee Olympic swimmer Janine's Avatar
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    Virgil, Oh good I was not too far off the mark last night. I was tired and a little strapped for time, knowing it was late, but I did want to respond. Thanks for addressing each portion of what I had written.

    I am glad I know the year this story was written. I would like to have a time-table so see when each thing Lawrence wrote took place in his life. That does help one's understanding greatly. I still think I read somewhere this story was shaped after some friends of his. I will try to locate it in one of my recent biographies. I don't mark pages and I should. I was trying to locate two occurances in White Peacock and it took me forever. I need to note these things when I am reading but am lazy and don't usually. You are correct - as I said I was tired last night, had temporary brain shutdown - he lived in Taos, NM. I knew that well, don't know why I said Texas. Even while in Europe he dreamed of going back there to the ranch. But even though he was somewhat settled and happy there, I don't think he ever was satisfied being settled down. He always had the uncontrolable urge to move on and try someplace new. I personally think much of it came from his disease - even though diagnosed in Mexico, he long was suspected of having TB, and no doubt he did. He complained about the tightness in his chest and he felt like he has to get out of where he was to find better air and not to suffocate. His TB made him restless so that part of it was actually physically oriented, I believe. In Europe, even though finding a sort of haven in Italy, he was not satisfied there either. I just finished reading "Sea and Sardinia" and you could feel this to be true.

    Unfortunately one big chunk of my reading that is lacking is his writings when in Mexico. I need to read those books eventually and fill in the blanks.

    True we could make too much of a 10 page short story, but it seems to me whatever Lawrence wrote was quite complex. When the Melvilles are infatuated with Buddaism, I felt it was one more thing they were grasping at or trying to call their form of freedom. Perhaps everything but the "things" they collected reflected this ideal of freedom in their minds. Then when they acquired the "things" and became attached to them it was the beginning of being "nailed" to society and it's conventions. I too, noticed that the word "nailed" took a prominent part in the story and held much symbolism. One of his old friends in England -Hopkins - referred to his life choice with Frieda as a certain kindo of sure "crucifixion". He said freedom of the spirit was a crucifixion. I do not know the exact quote, but will review it, and post when I do. L was asking advice about eloping with Freida from Hopkins and his wife - they told him they could lend him support, but they could not make the choice for him; had he ask his demons what to do. Interesting to note that Hopkins told him he preached freedom of the spirit, but that it was not the easy road take by far - no one was there to tell you what to do, no church, government, etc. Ultimately, L answered "Crucifixion". The theme recurs throughout his writing, which you are well aware of. Most definitely L was crucified by his public at times and mostly, and unfortunately in his lifetime. I don't know if L felt "nailed to his work", but as a young school teacher he once said "I love teaching, I just hate schools." He probably loved writing but hated the business part of it which proved to be necessary.
    He actually made quite a bit of money in his life - contrary to what most people think. He was able to travel and pay his way without problems. He was frugel but he did like to be on the go and spend some money for niceties in life occasionally. That became evident to me in reading "Sea and Sardinia". In one place they had to stay in a dump and he was really in poor humor and later they found a spacious clean place and he very much liked it and enjoyed it while they were there. He did not seem that sparing in paying for nice accomodations but he did poke a bit of fun at Frieda wanting some things tourists would be drawn to. Some things he also admired for their artist merit. Often L contradicts himself in certain ways. Perhaps there are some condradictions, as well, in this one 10 page short story.

    I always think of how L's writing did free him in the sense of convention. Of course when it came to publishing his work he had to be conventional. If one does not have a particular talent or ability how can one be free of conventional life or work? Same would apply to if one does not have an income independent of working. These would be my questions in regard to his idealistic ideas. It has always seemed an irony to me in L's life, since he did work hard and he did struggle to have his work published. He even kept house himself and was quite industrious. It seems almost to me that the Melvilles were slackers or lazed about soaking up culture, or trying to. I don't think that was the Lawrence way of living. On the ranch he even cut down trees and did much physical labor....even baked bread and was always scrubbing a floor. He was quite an interesting man and husband.

    I agree that the couple in the book are reminiscent of a Henry James couple. I have only read some of the short stories of James and seen several film adaptations such as "The Golden Bowl" and "Wings of the Dove". I love the plots of James and the characters. I had not thought of the similarity of the two authors, but there are some.

    Well, this is all I can write for now. Hope it gives you some ideas to expound on.

    Janine
    Last edited by Janine; 03-05-2007 at 06:01 PM.
    "It's so mysterious, the land of tears."

    Chapter 7, The Little Prince ~ Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

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    Vincit Qui Se Vincit Virgil's Avatar
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    That was a magnificent post, Janine. I agree with everything you said. Crucifixion is a recurrent theme for two reasons I think: one is the obvious religious motif, and lawrence is quite a religious writer (just not conventionally religious) and two because he felt persecuted throughout his life. He was somewhat persecuted for being a conscientious objector during the war (today one is persecuted for supporting a war ) and had a right to feel some persecution, especially for the banning of several of his works. But I always felt he had some sort of persecution complex. Would you agree with that or is it just my impression?

    As to the New Mexico works, Mornings In Mexico is the comparable equivilant to Sea and Sardinia, so you might want to read that. Here: http://www.amazon.com/Mornings-Mexic.../dp/087905123X. The novels of that period are St. Mawr, which is a short novel and mostly set in England with the movement to the Southwest, and The Plumed Serpent, which is a dark novel that I'm mixed about. Of course he's got some fine short stories, and we could do one next if you feel we're done with "Things."
    LET THERE BE LIGHT

    "Love follows knowledge." – St. Catherine of Siena

    My literature blog: http://ashesfromburntroses.blogspot.com/

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    Our wee Olympic swimmer Janine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Virgil View Post
    That was a magnificent post, Janine. I agree with everything you said. Crucifixion is a recurrent theme for two reasons I think: one is the obvious religious motif, and lawrence is quite a religious writer (just not conventionally religious) and two because he felt persecuted throughout his life. He was somewhat persecuted for being a conscientious objector during the war (today one is persecuted for supporting a war ) and had a right to feel some persecution, especially for the banning of several of his works. But I always felt he had some sort of persecution complex. Would you agree with that or is it just my impression?
    Virgil,
    Gee, do you really mean that - "magnificent post"? I feel truly flattered. Maybe I should seek a Masters in Lawrence
    Yes, true all that you said about him feeling percecuted. He felt it from the moment he married Freida, I think. He was shunned because she was German and they were at one pivatal moment suspected of being spies. Her cousin was the well known and heroic German boomer pilot, The Red Baron", so you can imagine why the English got that idea in their heads. Remember the war was soon to begin when he meet Freida and at one point he and Freida were even interegated in their home; shortly after that incident L decided to leave England altogether. The deep rejection he felt was the percecution and bitterness he reflected on and wrote about. He felt persecuted when his publishers rejected him or critised him. Same with critics. The man felt persecuted by everyone! There is probably a 100 reasons he would feel this way. He built up such anger internally. They claim he would at times take it out on Freida. With anger and resentment like that it had to surface eventually; it did domestically and in his novels. I do somewhat agree with you to some degree in the thought that he probably had some sort of persecution complex. He may have magnified the rejection he was getting and therefore played up the persecution. I suppose we are not in the same shoes and really cannot know what the man suffered. Remember that he suffered his entire life with bad health as well, so I tend to be more sympathetic towards him as a human being.

    I don't always think Lawrence was clear on what he wanted to say. I think this was another part of the struggle within himself. I think often Lawrence contradicted himself. What thought do you have on this?
    Also, I do not think he ever clearly resolved his own religious questions. He was grasping at the thought of eternity in his last days. I think some of his late poems reflect this. He wanted badly to not give up and die even to his last breath, and thought he could, he had beat death so many times before. I always felt throughout his works there was a feeling of struggle and confusion underlying all, and issues that really were not quite resolved. I think this confusion could have developed in the beginning with family circumstances and his mother and her overbearing ways. Also from L being oversensitive in his natural makeup. He definitely was a genius and with that comes a price. Perhaps feeling this keen sensitivity and trying to live within the norm could create a sort of lifelong "complex", definitely a comflict. They said that after his first serious illness when he was quite young, his sensitivity to life seemed greatly enhanced. He saw colors that the normal person could not perceive. I think this keen sensitivity is evident in all of his novels and stories and is what attracts me to his writing. I also feel the pain too. The pain, of course, always progresses in his writings to a transformation. Now we are getting into the the territory of your thesis on Tranfiguration.

    As to the New Mexico works, Mornings In Mexico is the comparable equivilant to Sea and Sardinia, so you might want to read that. Here: http://www.amazon.com/Mornings-Mexic.../dp/087905123X. The novels of that period are St. Mawr, which is a short novel and mostly set in England with the movement to the Southwest, and The Plumed Serpent, which is a dark novel that I'm mixed about. Of course he's got some fine short stories, and we could do one next if you feel we're done with "Things."
    I did read "The Plumed Serpent", or at least I believe I did. I recall reading "St. Mawr" but a re-reading is definitely on my list to be realised soon, since I read something interesting about it in one of the biographies. This knowledge will definitely throw new light on the story. I don't think, when I did read it a number of years back, I fully understood it, but now I would see it in a much different light. That possibly applies to all the books I have read of L's, except "Sons and Lovers" since I read that a year ago. I believe I have a book with both the New Mexico stories. As you said they are not too long, so I might pick one up tonight. Thanks for the link to "Mornings in Mexico". I have read excerpts and think it is a fine work, so I must send for that book. I still have one more book of the three Italy books to complete - "Etruscan Places". I have only read the first few pages so far, but it is interesting.

    Virgil,
    Sure, we can go onto another story if you feel we have exhausted this one. Glad you liked the story. Since I picked this one, you pick the next. Let me know and then give me a few days to read it. I have to catch up in the poetry thread, as well.

    Janine
    "It's so mysterious, the land of tears."

    Chapter 7, The Little Prince ~ Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

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    Vincit Qui Se Vincit Virgil's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Janine View Post
    Virgil,
    Gee, do you really mean that - "magnificent post"? I feel truly flattered. Maybe I should seek a Masters in Lawrence
    Of course I mean it, and you know more than enough to do a Masters for sure.

    Yes, true all that you said about him feeling percecuted. He felt it from the moment he married Freida, I think. He was shunned because she was German and they were at one pivatal moment suspected of being spies. ... I suppose we are not in the same shoes and really cannot know what the man suffered. Remember that he suffered his entire life with bad health as well, so I tend to be more sympathetic towards him as a human being.
    You know, I think I remember reading somewhere that his illness causes one to feel that way. I don't know how credible that is. Also his illness supposedly causes impotence, and all the psychobabble critics had a field day with that. I think I remember coming across an article on the relationship of Lawrence's health to his writing. Undoubtedly such essays devolve into psychobabble.

    I don't always think Lawrence was clear on what he wanted to say. I think this was another part of the struggle within himself. I think often Lawrence contradicted himself. What thought do you have on this?
    One way to divide types of writers is those that are classicist in their impulses and those that are Romanticist in their impulses. Classicist writers are clear in their themes, say like James Joyce. Their difficulty is in not understanding the allusions or context, but once you get that, they are clear in thier communication. Romanticists strive to capture something that many times is unexpressible; they are reaching for the soul rather than the body. Lawrence is a Romanticist. That doesn't mean his thoughts don't hold together. I find that L is pretty much philosophically consistent. But he builds on his philosophy, so that he is not repeating himself. Perhaps you're expecting him to say the same thing. Plus, L loved Walt Whitman (his poetic patriarch), and Whitman says: "Do I contradict myself? Very well, then I contradict myself, I am large, I contain multitudes." Lawrence would suscribe to that.

    Also, I do not think he ever clearly resolved his own religious questions. He was grasping at the thought of eternity in his last days. I think some of his late poems reflect this.
    Does anyone completely resolve their religious questions? Seems natural.

    Sure, we can go onto another story if you feel we have exhausted this one. Glad you liked the story. Since I picked this one, you pick the next. Let me know and then give me a few days to read it. I have to catch up in the poetry thread, as well.
    OK, let me think about it and pick one this time.
    LET THERE BE LIGHT

    "Love follows knowledge." – St. Catherine of Siena

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    Our wee Olympic swimmer Janine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Virgil View Post
    Of course I mean it, and you know more than enough to do a Masters for sure.
    Probably could, but don't have the energy to write all those papers and take tests. Besides most of my thoughts are rattling around in my head and jumbled by now - 3 biographers definitely contradict each other. I would rather study independently, then form my own ideas of L. It is just a love of learning, and understanding L better.

    You know, I think I remember reading somewhere that his illness causes one to feel that way. I don't know how credible that is. Also his illness supposedly causes impotence, and all the psychobabble critics had a field day with that. I think I remember coming across an article on the relationship of Lawrence's health to his writing. Undoubtedly such essays devolve into psychobabble.
    This is most definitely true. What you wrote here is really good. The physical condition had to have intense affects on his mood and his mind and impact his whole existence. People were not told these things; science was not so advanced back then. It is true that TB finally causes impotence. In the last biography it said just what you said and that the public had a field day with that knowlege. The public pretty much blew everything up to a greater proportion about L, anything they could make sorid or negative...sold more papers, I suppose. He was a celebrity of his time and so he was put through the ringer with publicity. The critics made something out of any little incident. That is partly what makes research difficult now - what to believe and what not to believe. I genuinely feel badly for the man having to go through all that psychobabble. Who would not lose it and feel crazy at times? The mere fact that he produced so much work and of great quality stuns me and makes me respect him even more, especially his "against all odds" story, with the disease he was carrying around in his weakened body all those years.

    One way to divide types of writers is those that are classicist in their impulses and those that are Romanticist in their impulses. Classicist writers are clear in their themes, say like James Joyce. Their difficulty is in not understanding the allusions or context, but once you get that, they are clear in thier communication. Romanticists strive to capture something that many times is unexpressible; they are reaching for the soul rather than the body. Lawrence is a Romanticist. That doesn't mean his thoughts don't hold together. I find that L is pretty much philosophically consistent. But he builds on his philosophy, so that he is not repeating himself. Perhaps you're expecting him to say the same thing. Plus, L loved Walt Whitman (his poetic patriarch), and Whitman says: "Do I contradict myself? Very well, then I contradict myself, I am large, I contain multitudes." Lawrence would suscribe to that.
    This is so helpful and you explained it so well to me. Thanks. No wonder I like L more than J. I am very much into the "Romanticists" way of writing. This, no doubt, is what draws me to Lawrence's work, also his life story. There is a romance to that, too. I adore that quote by Whitman - I know it well. It fits L completely. I had not thought in terms of L for that quote. L has so many layers in his work and is full of "multitudes"...wonderful word!

    Does anyone completely resolve their religious questions? Seems natural.
    All too true. Absoulutely natural. Wasn't L trying always to achieve the natural way of things? I like the way he describes death in "Etruscan Places" - a natural passing over into death...I will look for the exact passage...very beautifully written and I think the closest he came to a definitive idea of death and the continuence of life.

    OK, let me think about it and pick one this time.
    Take your time. Will be interested to see what you pick out. There are so many good ones and some I have not read yet, no doubt. I am always fascinated with his stories.
    Last edited by Janine; 03-06-2007 at 03:48 PM.
    "It's so mysterious, the land of tears."

    Chapter 7, The Little Prince ~ Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

  11. #11
    Vincit Qui Se Vincit Virgil's Avatar
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    Hi Janine. After thinking about it and flipping through L's Collected stories, I've decided on "The Horse Dealer's Daughter." Ever read it? It's one of my favorites and truely a fine short story.
    LET THERE BE LIGHT

    "Love follows knowledge." – St. Catherine of Siena

    My literature blog: http://ashesfromburntroses.blogspot.com/

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    Vincit Qui Se Vincit Virgil's Avatar
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    Hey, the text of "The Horse Dealer's Daughter" is here on lit net. Anyone wishing to participate and not having the text available can read it here: http://www.online-literature.com/dh_...-my-england/9/

    It's a great little read.
    LET THERE BE LIGHT

    "Love follows knowledge." – St. Catherine of Siena

    My literature blog: http://ashesfromburntroses.blogspot.com/

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    Our wee Olympic swimmer Janine's Avatar
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    Hi Virgil, Good choice. Yes, I have read it years ago, and infact, I was hoping you would pick this particular story. I have been wanting to read it again. I have a new perspective on the story after reading the biogrpahies. I know who he fashioned the story after, but we will talk about that after we read the text. It is not too many pages long, so I will read it tonight - comes at a good time. I am only reading "Etruscan Places" and you can read that randomly.
    When I went to my library yesterday I picked up one of the biographies I had read and found a small part on L's friends, the Brewsters; I believe (if I recall this correctly) that I read specifically that these were the friends he fashioned the story "Things" after.

    I was thinking it was the Brewsters, but I will research further to see if I can find that exact passage. So far I have only found this passage in "The Phoenix and the Flame: D.H.Lawrence" (biography), begining paragraph of chapter 10 titled:

    "The World is Round":

    "Why Ceylon? There too Lawrence had American friends offering him hospitality. Mr. and Mrs. Earl Brewster were a well-to-do couple, interested in painting and Buddhism. Lawrence had no sympathy with the "inaction and meditation" involved in that religion, but in his disgust with western civilization he declared that Buddhistic peace was "the point to start from, not our strident fretting and squabbling."

    Can't wait to start "The Horse Dealer's Daughter". Glad the full text is on this site, then hopefully some others will see it and enter into the discussion.

    Oh... I like that new picture in your signature. Is the Phoenix and the flame? Where did you find it? Very fitting it is!
    Last edited by Janine; 03-07-2007 at 04:33 PM.
    "It's so mysterious, the land of tears."

    Chapter 7, The Little Prince ~ Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

  14. #14
    Vincit Qui Se Vincit Virgil's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Janine View Post
    "Why Ceylon? There too Lawrence had American friends offering him hospitality. Mr. and Mrs. Earl Brewster were a well-to-do couple, interested in painting and Buddhism. Lawrence had no sympathy with the "inaction and meditation" involved in that religion, but in his disgust with western civilization he declared that Buddhistic peace was "the point to start from, not our strident fretting and squabbling."
    Sounds like the Melvilles from "Things."

    Can't wait to start "The Horse Dealer's Daughter". Glad the full text is on this site, then hopefully some others will see it and enter into the discussion.
    Me too. I'll probably read it over the weekend. I'm glad you're familiar with it.

    Oh... I like that new picture in your signature. Is the Phoenix and the flame? Where did you find it? Very fitting it is!
    Yes inspired from this D.H. Lawrence conversation. Found it by googling "DH Lawrence phoenix." I don't know if he painted it or not, but it was associated with him. I still kept the "Mad, bad, and dangerous to know."
    Last edited by Virgil; 03-07-2007 at 05:15 PM.
    LET THERE BE LIGHT

    "Love follows knowledge." – St. Catherine of Siena

    My literature blog: http://ashesfromburntroses.blogspot.com/

  15. #15
    Our wee Olympic swimmer Janine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Virgil View Post
    Sounds like the Melvilles from "Things."
    Yes, exactly. Also they traveled around a lot. They had a good amount of money and could do so. They were American and of course the Budda thing. They fit the profile. I have been looking through the two recent biographies and it is driving me nuts not finding the statement. Why don't I mark these things when I find them originally in the book in light pencil? Would save a lot of trouble later on. I remember reacting with a "ah, that is where he got the idea"; for my own satisfaction I want to find the exact passage.


    Me too. I'll probably read it over the weekend. I'm glad you're familiar with it.
    Great!

    Yes inspired from this D.H. Lawrence conversation. Found it by googling "DH Lawrence phoenix." I don't know if he painted it or not, but it was associated with him. I still kept the "Mad, bad, and dangerous to know."
    Wow, I am going to look it up - see if I can find out if he painted it. Doubtful though, but would be interesting if he did.
    Yes, I noticed - well, "Mad, bad, and dangerous" fits Lawrence too, at least in some of his bad humor episodes.
    Last edited by Janine; 03-07-2007 at 07:17 PM.
    "It's so mysterious, the land of tears."

    Chapter 7, The Little Prince ~ Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

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