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

  1. #301
    Our wee Olympic swimmer Janine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by downing View Post
    Hi,Pensive and Janine!
    Sorry for missing a few days from here- I was engaged in some trips in the other county where I visited many places and had fun. Saw some great landscapes, too!
    I'll wait for Janine to go on with the story and I'll try my best while debating.
    I read with curiosity what you wrote above and I agree with you.
    As about the line , I think it refers to the mood in which Syson was when he came again to the place of his memories, but it could also refer to the fact that he had an ''uneasy'' marriage. Do you think he would have come back if he had been completely happy? No, I don't think so.
    Hi Downing, so glad you are back! Your mini-vacation sounds lovely. That is what summer months are for - going out and having fun, seeing new places and visiting the country and enjoying nature. Lawrence would approve whole-heartedly. He loved travel himself... and nature, of course, was top on his list. He walked great distances through the mountains. I read in his travel book about these natural excursions. Reminds me of what you have told me about outings to the mountains and caves, etc. Lovely! I am quite jealous of all that splendor you get to see.

    Yes, I agree with what you say, Syson must have been restless to get back and at least re-visit once the place of his youth and first love. I don't know if he realistically wanted to really return there permanently, I do doubt it but Lawrence longed at times for the past of his youth, having exiled himself from his country. I think Syson is somewhat like the main character in Thomas Hardy's "Return of the Native"; had you thought of that? But in his case, Syson has had a strong 'love' tie as well to this magical memorable place and also, he is married now, unlike Clym in ROTN. Interesting thought that both men long for world's they left behind and both have become 'gentlemen' in the world's they now come from. Both are unrealistic in their thinking, I believe.
    Getting back to the word "uneasy" - it most definitely can apply to a number of things and each person most likely will apply it personally as they see it. I think that Lawrence would want it this way - always a bit of a question in our minds or the 'back of our minds' as to what Syson's current situation is like. We are never given the information on this part of his existence - only that he has married. I think leaving solutions and elements up to the imagination of the reader is brilliant, don't you? Who wants a book or story that is totally spelled out for us? That would be dull.


    Quote by Grace
    Just wanted to let you all know I have started reading the story. The weekend got a little hectic with the pros and cons of life occurences, but so far I am enjoying the story.

    Janine you mentioned something in the WIL thread about how vibrantly Lawrence describes nature. Wow so far that is what I am continuing to notice.

    I could have sworn we heard of Willey Water in WIL though. I will finish tonight and add my comments later on.
    Hi Grace, great to see you here, also; this is marvelous - so many good discussers/debaters!
    Same with me - I got caught up with real life this weekend. I also needed a short break. I was all 'posted' out.

    Yes, aren't the woodland scenes beautifully depicted? Just like poetry! I love the decription of the plants and flowers - lovely - and the nests - wonderful. I want to type out a passage in Lawrence's first novel about finding a tiny bird's nest in a muddly field where I believe the tracker left an indentation and dried in the sun. It is so heartwarming and poignant. There are two passages actually that mention this nest of birds; first it is found with the tiny eggs and later he comes across it with eggs that have hatched into new life. It is great and my favorite parts in the entire book. I want to share that with all of you.


    Yes, you are very observant, too. This is a something I am quoting from one of my first posts back to Pensive in reference to 'Willey Water'.

    From studying WIL, I immediately noticed 'Willey Water - Farm' in the book. There is an interesting map in my WIL book with 'Willey Spring Wood', which sits directly by Haggs Farm. Haggs farm was home to Miriam/Jesse, as you know. I will try to scan this photo and post in the WIL, S&L thread; maybe here too. I had the same distinct feeling that Syson is somewhat a stand-in for Lawrence and his desire to revisit (if only in his mind) the places he frequented while growing up, especially his 'first love' - definitely reminescent of his writing style and descriptions in "Sons and Lovers".
    In WIL, in the very significant chapter "Water-Party" most of that chapter takes place on 'Willey Water' - a pond on the estate of Gerald's parent's. It is interesting how all this ties in together. It was all generated from Lawrence's own childhood and countryside. There are many correlations to "Sons and Lovers" and to Lawrence's life in this story, if you look carefully. I noticed that Hilda mentioned that she knew the birds names, but not the plants/flowres. Syson/Lawrence did indeed study botony and loved it, and knew all the names of plants. You can notice how exquisitely he describes them. As Downing describes it it is like a Monet watercolor. I think this but even more vivid than Monet. No wonder Lawrence was great friends with Georgia O'Keefe later in life. She painted those vivid colorful flower blossoms.

    Quote by Downing:
    I appreciated very much the author's spring depictions, reminding me of Monet's watercolours and the sensibility which relives throughout the short story.
    I'll wait till Monday, when the discussions start. I can hardly wait to participate in them and..I'll try my best!
    Grace, since then I did scan the map and I will try to post that in here. It is quite interesting to see the layout and what must have been in Lawrence's mind when writing this story and WIL. I believe 'Willey Water - Farm' also appears often in "Sons and Lovers" - am I correct on that fact, Pensive? Yes, Lawrence's stories and novels all seem to interrelate, don't they? Interesting fact.

    I will try to post next part of the story and that map tonight. For now real life is calling, but first I am overdue for two PM replies. One thing at a time. Be patient and I will return shortly.
    Last edited by Janine; 07-02-2007 at 03:46 PM.
    "It's so mysterious, the land of tears."

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

  2. #302
    Our wee Olympic swimmer Janine's Avatar
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    Hi Everyone, Please read my last post, too. In this one I am going to post the next part of the story text and I won't comment on them yet. I would rather one of you start the discussion. Just quote from my postings and begin. We can alternate who starts the discussion each time, if you want, how's that, fair enough? As my good friend, Downing calls me (joking of course) 'the Leader'. So I dreamed up this idea. ....just don't call me 'mom' or 'auntie....someone tried that on another thread ages ago; made me feel ancient... hahaha Here goes:

    Here goes: (one paragraph is from last postings)
    Syson turned, satisfied, to follow the path that sheered downhill into the wood. He was curiously elated, feeling himself back in an enduring vision. He started. A keeper was standing a few yards in front, barring the way.

    "Where might you be going this road, sir?" asked the man. The tone of his question had a challenging twang. Syson looked at the fellow with an impersonal, observant gaze. It was a young man of four or five and twenty, ruddy and well favoured. His dark blue eyes now stared aggressively at the intruder. His black moustache, very thick, was cropped short over a small, rather soft mouth. In every other respect the fellow was manly and good-looking. He stood just above middle height; the strong forward thrust of his chest, and the perfect ease of his erect, self-sufficient body, gave one the feeling that he was taut with animal life, like the thick jet of a fountain balanced in itself. He stood with the butt of his gun on the ground, looking uncertainly and questioningly at Syson. The dark, restless eyes of the trespasser, examining the man and penetrating into him without heeding his office, troubled the keeper and made him flush.

    "Where is Naylor? Have you got his job?" Syson asked.

    "You're not from the House, are you?" inquired the keeper. It could not be, since everyone was away.

    "No, I'm not from the House," the other replied. It seemed to amuse him.

    "Then might I ask where you were making for?" said the keeper, nettled.

    "Where I am making for?" Syson repeated. "I am going to Willey--Water Farm."

    "This isn't the road."

    "I think so. Down this path, past the well, and out by the white gate."

    "But that's not the public road."

    "I suppose not. I used to come so often, in Naylor's time, I had forgotten. Where is he, by the way?"

    "Crippled with rheumatism," the keeper answered reluctantly.

    "Is he?" Syson exclaimed in pain.

    "And who might you be?" asked the keeper, with a new intonation.

    "John Adderley Syson; I used to live in Cordy Lane."

    "Used to court Hilda Millership?"

    Syson's eyes opened with a pained smile. He nodded. There was an awkward silence.

    "And you--who are you?" asked Syson.

    "Arthur Pilbeam--Naylor's my uncle," said the other.

    "You live here in Nuttall?"

    "I'm lodgin' at my uncle's--at Naylor's."

    "I see!"

    "Did you say you was goin' down to Willey–Water?" asked the keeper.

    "Yes."

    There was a pause of some moments, before the keeper blurted: "I'm courtin' Hilda Millership."

    The young fellow looked at the intruder with a stubborn defiance, almost pathetic. Syson opened new eyes.

    "Are you?" he said, astonished. The keeper flushed dark.

    "She and me are keeping company," he said.

    "I didn't know!" said Syson. The other man waited uncomfortably.

    "What, is the thing settled?" asked the intruder.

    "How, settled?" retorted the other sulkily.

    "Are you going to get married soon, and all that?"

    The keeper stared in silence for some moments, impotent.

    "I suppose so," he said, full of resentment.

    "Ah!" Syson watched closely.

    "I'm married myself," he added, after a time.

    "You are?" said the other incredulously.

    Syson laughed in his brilliant, unhappy way.
    "This last fifteen months," he said.

    The keeper gazed at him with wide, wondering eyes, apparently thinking back, and trying to make things out.

    "Why, didn't you know?" asked Syson.

    "No, I didn't," said the other sulkily.

    There was silence for a moment.

    "Ah well!" said Syson, "I will go on. I suppose I may." The keeper stood in silent opposition. The two men hesitated in the open, grassy space, set around with small sheaves of sturdy bluebells; a little open platform on the brow of the hill.

    Syson took a few indecisive steps forward, then stopped.
    "I say, how beautiful!" he cried.

    He had come in full view of the downslope. The wide path ran from his feet like a river, and it was full of bluebells, save for a green winding thread down the centre, where the keeper walked. Like a stream the path opened into azure shallows at the levels, and there were pools of bluebells, with still the green thread winding through, like a thin current of ice-water through blue lakes. And from under the twig-purple of the bushes swam the shadowed blue, as if the flowers lay in flood water over the woodland.

    "Ah, isn't it lovely!" Syson exclaimed; this was his past, the country he had abandoned, and it hurt him to see it so beautiful. Wood pigeons cooed overhead, and the air was full of the brightness of birds singing.

    "If you're married, what do you keep writing to her for, and sending her poetry books and things?" asked the keeper.

    Syson stared at him, taken aback and humiliated. Then he began to smile.
    "Well," he said, "I did not know about you . . ."

    Again the keeper flushed darkly.
    "But if you are married--" he charged.

    "I am," answered the other cynically.
    Then, looking down the blue, beautiful path, Syson felt his own humiliation. "What right have I to hang on to her?" he thought, bitterly self-contemptuous.

    "She knows I'm married and all that," he said.

    "But you keep sending her books," challenged the keeper.

    Syson, silenced, looked at the other man quizzically, half pitying. Then he turned.
    "Good day," he said, and was gone. Now, everything irritated him: the two sallows, one all gold and perfume and murmur, one silver-green and bristly, reminded him, that here he had taught her about pollination. What a fool he was!

    What god-forsaken folly it all was!

    "Ah well," he said to himself; "the poor devil seems to have a grudge against me. I'll do my best for him." He grinned to himself, in a very bad temper.
    Ok, as you can see this is the conversation between the two men, the ex-lover and the lover of Hilda; also their introduction to each other. Someone pointed out that they liked this part of the story best. Was it you, Pensive?
    Last edited by Janine; 07-02-2007 at 09:23 PM.
    "It's so mysterious, the land of tears."

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

  3. #303
    Registered User quasimodo1's Avatar
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    It is a fine thing to establish one's own religion in one's heart, not to be dependent on tradition and second-hand ideals. Life will seem to you, later, not a lesser, but a greater thing.
    D. H. Lawrence

  4. #304
    Our wee Olympic swimmer Janine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by quasimodo1 View Post
    It is a fine thing to establish one's own religion in one's heart, not to be dependent on tradition and second-hand ideals. Life will seem to you, later, not a lesser, but a greater thing.
    D. H. Lawrence
    hi quasimodo, that is beautiful. I really like that quote. Can I use it for a signature quote? Why don't you join in with this short story discussion? You can find the story on this site under the main Lawrence page under one of the short story collects at the left, think the one 'The Prussian Officer and Other Stories'. We could use some men to balance things out. Virgil hopefully will join in, too.
    "It's so mysterious, the land of tears."

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

  5. #305
    Registered User quasimodo1's Avatar
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    Hey Janine, It's all yours, after all I didn't write it. Let me see if I can catch up with this. quasi

  6. #306
    Our wee Olympic swimmer Janine's Avatar
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    quasi, thanks! I have been trying to figure out for sometime how to change my signature picture, also. I tried everything, but somehow I am doing something wrong. Help! Does anyone know how to delete the old one?
    I have a painting by Georgia O'Keefe I wish to put into my signature. She painted if for L. The quote and a few other L quotes will do nicely.

    You can catch up easily with this story and this thread. The story is a particularly short one and takes no time to read. I read it a few times now. It is not nearly as difficult and involved at "The Prussian Officer" which also was quite a long story. Hope to see you in here soon.

    quasi, If you want a real laugh check out Quirk's posting, then mine and then Scher's in 'To the Lighthouse'.... referring to my bolding up people's names. I could not stop laughing!
    "It's so mysterious, the land of tears."

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

  7. #307
    Ars longa, vita brevis downing's Avatar
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    Hi Janine and quasimodo! I hope Pensive will stay among us during these disscusions. We'll wait for grace, too and we hope Virg will arrive soon! Quasimodo, join us! I agree with Janine, this is a short story, you can read it very fast! We'd love to have you among us throughout the discussion.
    OK, I think I will start. I could hardly wait for Janine(the leader ) to post the next part of the story. I am copying it again because it will be easier for me to comment it this way and I hope it will be for you too:




    Syson turned, satisfied, to follow the path that sheered downhill into the wood. He was curiously elated, feeling himself back in an enduring vision. He started. A keeper was standing a few yards in front, barring the way.

    "Where might you be going this road, sir?" asked the man. The tone of his question had a challenging twang. Syson looked at the fellow with an impersonal, observant gaze. It was a young man of four or five and twenty, ruddy and well favoured. His dark blue eyes now stared aggressively at the intruder. His black moustache, very thick, was cropped short over a small, rather soft mouth. In every other respect the fellow was manly and good-looking. He stood just above middle height; the strong forward thrust of his chest, and the perfect ease of his erect, self-sufficient body, gave one the feeling that he was taut with animal life, like the thick jet of a fountain balanced in itself. He stood with the butt of his gun on the ground, looking uncertainly and questioningly at Syson. The dark, restless eyes of the trespasser, examining the man and penetrating into him without heeding his office, troubled the keeper and made him flush.

    "Where is Naylor? Have you got his job?" Syson asked.

    "You're not from the House, are you?" inquired the keeper. It could not be, since everyone was away.

    "No, I'm not from the House," the other replied. It seemed to amuse him.

    "Then might I ask where you were making for?" said the keeper, nettled.

    "Where I am making for?" Syson repeated. "I am going to Willey--Water Farm."

    "This isn't the road."

    "I think so. Down this path, past the well, and out by the white gate."

    "But that's not the public road."

    "I suppose not. I used to come so often, in Naylor's time, I had forgotten. Where is he, by the way?"

    "Crippled with rheumatism," the keeper answered reluctantly.

    "Is he?" Syson exclaimed in pain.

    "And who might you be?" asked the keeper, with a new intonation.

    "John Adderley Syson; I used to live in Cordy Lane."

    "Used to court Hilda Millership?"

    Syson's eyes opened with a pained smile. He nodded. There was an awkward silence.

    "And you--who are you?" asked Syson.

    "Arthur Pilbeam--Naylor's my uncle," said the other.

    "You live here in Nuttall?"

    "I'm lodgin' at my uncle's--at Naylor's."

    "I see!"

    "Did you say you was goin' down to Willey–Water?" asked the keeper.

    "Yes."

    There was a pause of some moments, before the keeper blurted: "I'm courtin' Hilda Millership."

    The young fellow looked at the intruder with a stubborn defiance, almost pathetic. Syson opened new eyes.

    "Are you?" he said, astonished. The keeper flushed dark.

    "She and me are keeping company," he said.

    "I didn't know!" said Syson. The other man waited uncomfortably.

    "What, is the thing settled?" asked the intruder.

    "How, settled?" retorted the other sulkily.

    "Are you going to get married soon, and all that?"

    The keeper stared in silence for some moments, impotent.

    "I suppose so," he said, full of resentment.

    "Ah!" Syson watched closely.

    "I'm married myself," he added, after a time.

    "You are?" said the other incredulously.

    Syson laughed in his brilliant, unhappy way.
    "This last fifteen months," he said.

    The keeper gazed at him with wide, wondering eyes, apparently thinking back, and trying to make things out.

    "Why, didn't you know?" asked Syson.

    "No, I didn't," said the other sulkily.

    There was silence for a moment.

    "Ah well!" said Syson, "I will go on. I suppose I may." The keeper stood in silent opposition. The two men hesitated in the open, grassy space, set around with small sheaves of sturdy bluebells; a little open platform on the brow of the hill.

    Syson took a few indecisive steps forward, then stopped.
    "I say, how beautiful!" he cried.

    He had come in full view of the downslope. The wide path ran from his feet like a river, and it was full of bluebells, save for a green winding thread down the centre, where the keeper walked. Like a stream the path opened into azure shallows at the levels, and there were pools of bluebells, with still the green thread winding through, like a thin current of ice-water through blue lakes. And from under the twig-purple of the bushes swam the shadowed blue, as if the flowers lay in flood water over the woodland.

    "Ah, isn't it lovely!" Syson exclaimed; this was his past, the country he had abandoned, and it hurt him to see it so beautiful. Wood pigeons cooed overhead, and the air was full of the brightness of birds singing.

    "If you're married, what do you keep writing to her for, and sending her poetry books and things?" asked the keeper.

    Syson stared at him, taken aback and humiliated. Then he began to smile.
    "Well," he said, "I did not know about you . . ."

    Again the keeper flushed darkly.
    "But if you are married--" he charged.

    "I am," answered the other cynically.
    Then, looking down the blue, beautiful path, Syson felt his own humiliation. "What right have I to hang on to her?" he thought, bitterly self-contemptuous.

    "She knows I'm married and all that," he said.

    "But you keep sending her books," challenged the keeper.

    Syson, silenced, looked at the other man quizzically, half pitying. Then he turned.
    "Good day," he said, and was gone. Now, everything irritated him: the two sallows, one all gold and perfume and murmur, one silver-green and bristly, reminded him, that here he had taught her about pollination. What a fool he was!

    What god-forsaken folly it all was!

    "Ah well," he said to himself; "the poor devil seems to have a grudge against me. I'll do my best for him." He grinned to himself, in a very bad temper.

    Syson turned, satisfied, to follow the path that sheered downhill into the wood. He was curiously elated, feeling himself back in an enduring vision.
    I think this paraghraph shows that Syson had the same feeling that nothing had changed. Could we change for a better understanding the statement ''curiously elated'' with the statement ''strangely glad'' or isn't this the idea? Help me understand this statement: I think that it refers to the narrator's oppinion concerning Syson's behaviour: may the narrator think that he was behaving in a strange manner by being so happy when revisiting the place of his youth because he was married and he hadn't this right? Please tell me how do you perceive this idea.
    I would insist on the keeper's portrait. For me, the keeper is the character who represents reality. I actually thought that we could group these three important characters in two categories: the dreamers and those who represent reality. I think Syson and Hilda are dreamers because they don't seem to understand that they've got another statute now: Hilda is the keeper's girlfrend and Syson is married to another woman.
    The keeper is the one who thinks logically:

    If you're married, what do you keep writing to her for, and sending her poetry books and things?
    and he also reffers to this fact at the end of the story:
    But if he's married, an' quite willing to drop it off, what has ter against it?
    The keeper was
    a young man of four or five and twenty
    whereas Syson was 29:
    She(Hilda) was twenty-nine, as he was
    .

    Because the keeper represents reality, I suppose that when Syson meets Arthur-the keeper- he actually faces reality. He finds out that Hilda and Arthur ''are keeping company'', so Hilda appears altered to Syson. We can notice this meeting's impact has on Syson in the following parts of the dialogue:

    The young fellow looked at the intruder with a stubborn defiance, almost pathetic. Syson opened new eyes."Are you?" he said, astonished. The keeper flushed dark.

    "She and me are keeping company," he said.

    "I didn't know!" said Syson.

    "If you're married, what do you keep writing to her for, and sending her poetry books and things?" asked the keeper.

    Syson stared at him, taken aback and humiliated. Then he began to smile.
    "Well," he said, "I did not know about you . . ."

    Again the keeper flushed darkly.
    "But if you are married--" he charged.

    "I am," answered the other cynically.
    After the dialogue we find Syson totally changed, the news irritated him and took away all his enthusiasm. He realised that he is not anymore in the ''eternal'', but in the reality which he has to face:

    "Good day," he said, and was gone. Now, everything irritated him: the two sallows, one all gold and perfume and murmur, one silver-green and bristly, reminded him, that here he had taught her about pollination. What a fool he was!

    What god-forsaken folly it all was!
    I am wondering why doe Syson continue his way: he found out that the keeper is courting Hilda so which is the aim of his trip from now on? I'd say that he wants to be sure of Hilda's feelings for him. Is she really changed? he could have thought...
    Last edited by downing; 07-03-2007 at 07:10 AM.
    Dream as though you'll live forever, live as though you'll die today (James Dean)

  8. #308
    If grace is an ocean... grace86's Avatar
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    I finished the story the other night. Sorry I didn't manage to get in here earlier.

    I like what you are thinking downing but I don't necessarily think that Hilda is in the dreamer category. I think she is realistic.

    She was thinking to herself in the story something along the lines of, "now he will see the real me." Syson realized that he had fallen in love with someone different by the end of the story right?

    I will comment more later, I just wanted to make my presence known.
    "So heaven meets earth like a sloppy wet kiss, and my heart turns violently inside of my chest, I don't have time to maintain these regrets, when I think about, the way....He loves us..."


    http://youtube.com/watch?v=5xXowT4eJjY

  9. #309
    Our wee Olympic swimmer Janine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by downing View Post
    I could hardly wait for Janine(the leader ) to post the next part of the story.
    Downing, and don't you forget that either!
    Anyway I give you a for your great long post. You are really thinking now. I am proud of you! You bring out a lot of good points here.


    I think this paraghraph shows that Syson had the same feeling that nothing had changed. Could we change for a better understanding the statement ''curiously elated'' with the statement ''strangely glad'' or isn't this the idea? Help me understand this statement: I think that it refers to the narrator's oppinion concerning Syson's behaviour: may the narrator think that he was behaving in a strange manner by being so happy when revisiting the place of his youth because he was married and he hadn't this right? Please tell me how do you perceive this idea.
    I would insist on the keeper's portrait. For me, the keeper is the character who represents reality. I actually thought that we could group these three important characters in two categories: the dreamers and those who represent reality. I think Syson and Hilda are dreamers because they don't seem to understand that they've got another statute now: Hilda is the keeper's girlfrend and Syson is married to another woman.
    The keeper is the one who thinks logically:
    Definitely out of all three the keeper is the one thinking most logically at this time.
    Is ''curiously elated'' same as words ''strangely glad''? not sure they are quite the same. 'strange' can mean really 'odd' or even 'foreign' to the person, whereas 'curious' can mean a number of things, such as in these usages "the cat is 'curious" or "it is a 'curious' situation". I suppose basically, you could call it similar, but not the same. They are both sort of contradictive of the word they are describing; one does not think of being 'curious' when 'elated', but more so one hardly thinks of being 'strangely glad'. Also, 'elated' to me is a little more euphoric than 'glad'. Not sure I am making any sense at all. Geez, all this and I am not sure myself! I am not a English teacher, just the leader. But just a note: Lawrence often combined words this way use of opposites or duality.

    The keeper was whereas Syson was 29:
    The keeper was "a young man of four or five and twenty" ,
    whereas Syson was 29; "She(Hilda) was twenty-nine, as he was"
    Thanks for pointing out the ages - that is interesting. Must be significant since Lawrence/the narrator has mentioned them.


    Because the keeper represents reality, I suppose that when Syson meets Arthur-the keeper- he actually faces reality. He finds out that Hilda and Arthur ''are keeping company'', so Hilda appears altered to Syson. We can notice this meeting's impact has on Syson in the following parts of the dialogue:
    I did not requote the text here so please refer back to Downing's entry. This is good Downing; I would agree about the 'reality' aspect setting in, when he meets the keeper. As early as that last closing line, in the first paragraph, I find the evidence of a change in this line:

    "He started. A keeper was standing a few yards in front, barring the way."

    The way the preceeding statement is curiously elated and suddenly turns this way is alarming at once to the reader; it tips one off that indeed, the scene that Syson is perceiving might not be one of 'reality'. In this single line 'reality' begins to creep back into Syson's existence; there are several key words; first "he 'started".....almost suggestive of Syson being startled, don't you think? second "barring the way" seems significant to me. The keeper is temporarily, obstructing his path back to his past. Interesting, because as we go along, this is significant and perhaps symbolic of the fact that indeed, the keeper's presense will prevent his return to his past for any permanent length of time.

    After the dialogue we find Syson totally changed, the news irritated him and took away all his enthusiasm. He realised that he is not anymore in the ''eternal'', but in the reality which he has to face::
    This I fully agree with. Whether he fully realizes it at this point, I am in doubt, but he is certainly beginning in a 'subconscious' way to feel his world of eternal bliss and illusion, is being underminded and invaded. His pursuit, I am sure, is not without all hope, but he is mentally tharted in that pursuit by this encounter with the keeper and the announcement that he is indeed taking his place in her affections and is now her lover. Most certainly, male ego also would be playing a role in how Syson must feel during this meeting, and his disturbed moments afterwards when reality is sinking in deeper to his pyche.

    I am wondering why doe Syson continue his way: he found out that the keeper is courting Hilda so which is the aim of his trip from now on? I'd say that he wants to be sure of Hilda's feelings for him. Is she really changed? he could have thought...
    I don't think he has yet given up hope and I think primarily he came to see her and he did not have definite plans beyond that. Lawrence believed in the subconscious causing man to act in certain ways. I would say that Syson is acting on pure instinct in coming back and much of his traveling back into his lost world of the past is almost subconscious. Since it was born from fantasy and the desire to go back which proves to be illusion for him I feel he does not have a clearcut plan beyond going to see Hilda. I don't think he knows what he truly desires of her at this point. Also curiousity could be spurring him on. As you said, Downing, he wants to be sure of Hilda's feelings for him; I add to that maybe he wants now to be sure that Hilda loves the keeper. Also, I think he would be interested in seeing if she indeed would have changed, as you have questioned.

    I like your bolding up of the words to show the "reality", "dream" aspect of the story and the characters you feel represent which. I would basically agree although as Grace points out Hilda cannot be called a complete dreamer. I would have to say she represents both to some degree since the story ends with her own uncertainty about marrying the keeper. She seems to be one of Lawrence's dualities I spoke of earlier. I think that Syson also while within this realm of his past in unrealistic about it but when he returns to his current world he may very well revert back to a state or greater reality. But then the question arises as to what is true "reality" - reality can mean different things to different people. I hope all this makes sense. I think basically Syson is being unrealistic if he thinks that he can pick up where he left off with Hilda. I don't really see him doing so but probably some part of his mind entertains the thought.

    Hi Grace, Glad to see you back and joining in. I am glad you were able to sqeeze in the short story between all your current reading. It is a good story, isn't it and a little easier after studying WIL.
    Last edited by Janine; 07-04-2007 at 04:50 PM.
    "It's so mysterious, the land of tears."

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

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    If grace is an ocean... grace86's Avatar
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    Back again with further nonsense!

    Now that you mention it Janine I do see that Syson isn't completely realistic either. But I do like your ideas downing, they are interesting to keep in mind.

    I was thinking about the title of the story: "The Shades of Spring." I am trying to figure out the symbolism of the title. The title seems to convey something incomplete. Okay my brain is farting again Janine but I am going to try this anyway.

    When I think of spring and people-I usually think of young love. I think it fits here. Shades...hmm makes me think that there are more than one shade of spring/love and maybe they are not complete or whole.

    Shades also make me think of shadows, which makes me think of the past...which is what we are seeing her with Hilda and Syson...a shadow of a love that was in the past, or a shadow of love, which could mean it was never real. Hilda mentioned this, that he never saw her for who she was...meaning he was in love with a different Hilda...a shade?

    Sorry if that makes absolutely no sense, the brain needs an antacid.

    Will come by later to see if I've totally butchered this idea.
    "So heaven meets earth like a sloppy wet kiss, and my heart turns violently inside of my chest, I don't have time to maintain these regrets, when I think about, the way....He loves us..."


    http://youtube.com/watch?v=5xXowT4eJjY

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    Our wee Olympic swimmer Janine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by grace86 View Post
    Back again with further nonsense!

    Now that you mention it Janine I do see that Syson isn't completely realistic either. But I do like your ideas downing, they are interesting to keep in mind.

    I was thinking about the title of the story: "The Shades of Spring." I am trying to figure out the symbolism of the title. The title seems to convey something incomplete. Okay my brain is farting again Janine but I am going to try this anyway.

    When I think of spring and people-I usually think of young love. I think it fits here. Shades...hmm makes me think that there are more than one shade of spring/love and maybe they are not complete or whole.

    Shades also make me think of shadows, which makes me think of the past...which is what we are seeing her with Hilda and Syson...a shadow of a love that was in the past, or a shadow of love, which could mean it was never real. Hilda mentioned this, that he never saw her for who she was...meaning he was in love with a different Hilda...a shade?

    Sorry if that makes absolutely no sense, the brain needs an antacid.

    Will come by later to see if I've totally butchered this idea.
    Grace, I think the significance of the title is excellent to think about. Yes, all the connotations you have come up with concerning the idea of shade(s) is marvelous. You are not being at all deficient in your brain, Grace. I did think the title a curious one, but did not realise it had such symbolism. That is quite interesting.

    Now all of you are thinking. This is great! This is the way to learn and enrich what we have read in our understanding, as we look at each segment of the story and analysis it in pieces in order to comprehend the story and it's themes as a whole; also to discover it's deeper hidden meanings.

    Grace,As you well know by now, by participation in WIL thread, Lawrence's writing is multilayered. Already Downing, Pensive and you, Grace, have uncovered some very valuable layers in the "shades" of spring. How true that the word 'shades' can take on so many definitions and be applied to various aspects of this story. 'Shades' also could be the layering of the story and it's meanings. For instance I am thinking of the deeper meaning of the 'layering' of the mixed feelings Syson and Hilda have for each other. We can discuss that much more extensively, when we further delve into the story and encounter their verbal contact which will reveal their past history and this aspect of layering more clearly to us.
    "It's so mysterious, the land of tears."

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

  12. #312
    Ars longa, vita brevis downing's Avatar
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    Grace,I think this is a great idea! I thought about the same symbolism of the ''shades of spring'' and I am referring to the second way of perceiving the title:
    Shades also make me think of shadows, which makes me think of the past...which is what we are seeing her with Hilda and Syson...a shadow of a love that was in the past, or a shadow of love, which could mean it was never real. Hilda mentioned this, that he never saw her for who she was...meaning he was in love with a different Hilda...a shade?
    But the first idea
    When I think of spring and people-I usually think of young love. I think it fits here. Shades...hmm makes me think that there are more than one shade of spring/love and maybe they are not complete or whole.
    also seems interesting and worth taking into consideration. But what do you refer to when you say that there are ''more than one love''? Do you mean Syson's love for Hilda and probably for his wife? I am confused here.
    Definitely out of all three the keeper is the one thinking most logically at this time.


    Janine said:
    Is ''curiously elated'' same as words ''strangely glad''? not sure they are quite the same. 'strange' can mean really 'odd' or even 'foreign' to the person, whereas 'curious' can mean a number of things, such as in these usages "the cat is 'curious" or "it is a 'curious' situation". I suppose basically, you could call it similar, but not the same. They are both sort of contradictive of the word they are describing; one does not think of being 'curious' when 'elated', but more so one hardly thinks of being 'strangely glad'. Also, 'elated' to me is a little more euphoric than 'glad'. Not sure I am making any sense at all. Geez, all this and I am not sure myself! I am not a English teacher, just the leader. But just a note: Lawrence often combined words this way use of opposites or duality.
    Your response enlightened me, Janine! Especially the final note about Lawrence using opposites helped. I understand now the meaning

    The way the preceeding statement is curiously elated and suddenly turns this way is alarming at once to the reader; it tips one off that indeed, the scene that Syson is perceiving might not be one of 'reality'. In this single line 'reality' begins to creep back into Syson's existence; there are several key words; first "he 'started".....almost suggestive of Syson being startled, don't you think? second "barring the way" seems significant to me. The keeper is temporarily, obstructing his path back to his past. Interesting, because as we go along, this is significant and perhaps symbolic of the fact that indeed, the keeper's presense will prevent his return to his past for any permanent length of time.
    I fully agree with you in this case. I also believe that the keeper's position, blocking Syson's way is a symbol. You pointed that out wonderful!

    Janine, what do you think? Shall we go on,posting the next part of the story? I leave this to you, because you're the leader!
    Last edited by downing; 07-04-2007 at 04:59 PM.
    Dream as though you'll live forever, live as though you'll die today (James Dean)

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    Vincit Qui Se Vincit Virgil's Avatar
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    OK, I'm back. I'm not sure I can read through all the previous posts. I hope I'm not repeating. Let me know if I am.

    I think the main themes of the story are right up front in the openning paragraphs:
    It was a mile nearer through the wood. Mechanically, Syson turned up by the forge and lifted the field-gate. The blacksmith and his mate stood still, watching the trespasser. But Syson looked too much a gentleman to be accosted.
    "Trespasser" is what Syson is, both literally on the grounds and figuratively in his trying to maintain a relationship with Hilda after they are both married.
    And
    Syson was extraordinarily glad. Like an uneasy spirit he had returned to the country of his past, and he found it waiting for him, unaltered. The hazel still spread glad little hands downwards, the bluebells here were still wan and few, among the lush grass and in shade of the bushes.
    "Unaltered" is a key word through the story. Yes, the woods and nature remains unaltered, but everything is altered in the human world. We get a series of things altered: Syson is married, Hilda is engaged, and even more importantly, Syson is a different person, not the country, earthy person of the past, but a sophisticated, traveled person.

    Another theme I see is that Syson's character reveals itself as childish. To think that he could carry this relationship in holding onto whatever magic was involved is naive, and that is made clear and is the epiphany he has in the story. The narrative movement of the story is this understanding that Syson has. In fact it seems to happen in progressing intensity in each of the three sections of the story. In part I:
    Then, looking down the blue, beautiful path, Syson felt his own humiliation. "What right have I to hang on to her?" he thought, bitterly self-contemptuous.

    "She knows I'm married and all that," he said.

    "But you keep sending her books," challenged the keeper.

    Syson, silenced, looked at the other man quizzically, half pitying. Then he turned.
    In part II
    Hilda was very womanly. In her presence he felt constrained. She was twenty-nine, as he was, but she seemed to him much older. He felt foolish, almost unreal, beside her.
    and
    "You are quite splendid here," he said, and their eyes met.

    "Do you like it?" she asked. It was the old, low, husky tone of intimacy. He felt a quick change beginning in his blood. It was the old, delicious sublimation, the thinning, almost the vaporizing of himself, as if his spirit were to be liberated.

    "Aye," he nodded, smiling at her like a boy again. She bowed her head.
    And in part III
    "I distinguished myself to satisfy you," he replied.

    "Ah!" she cried, "you always wanted change, change, like a child."

    "Very well! And I am a success, and I know it, and I do some good work. But--I thought you were different. What right have you to a man?"

    "What do you want?" she said, looking at him with wide, fearful eyes.
    and
    "What do you mean?" she said. "Besides, we can't walk in our wild oats--we never sowed any."

    Syson looked at her. He was startled to see his young love, his nun, his Botticelli angel, so revealed. It was he who had been the fool. He and she were more separate than any two strangers could be. She only wanted to keep up a correspondence with him--and he, of course, wanted it kept up, so that he could write to her, like Dante to some Beatrice who had never existed save in the man's own brain.
    I hope I haven't repeated anyone's ideas. I think that is the story in a nutshell. There is more of Lawrence's philosophy throughout. I can get to that later.
    LET THERE BE LIGHT

    Books are embalmed minds.

    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
    OK, I'm back. I'm not sure I can read through all the previous posts. I hope I'm not repeating. Let me know if I am.

    I think the main themes of the story are right up front in the openning paragraphs:

    "Trespasser" is what Syson is, both literally on the grounds and figuratively in his trying to maintain a relationship with Hilda after they are both married.
    And

    "Unaltered" is a key word through the story. Yes, the woods and nature remains unaltered, but everything is altered in the human world. We get a series of things altered: Syson is married, Hilda is engaged, and even more importantly, Syson is a different person, not the country, earthy person of the past, but a sophisticated, traveled person.

    Another theme I see is that Syson's character reveals itself as childish. To think that he could carry this relationship in holding onto whatever magic was involved is naive, and that is made clear and is the epiphany he has in the story. The narrative movement of the story is this understanding that Syson has. In fact it seems to happen in progressing intensity in each of the three sections of the story.

    I hope I haven't repeated anyone's ideas. I think that is the story in a nutshell. There is more of Lawrence's philosophy throughout. I can get to that later.

    Hi Virgil,
    good to see you back! We missed you. Thanks for posting something. I know you have been busy. OK, you jumped way ahead in the story, but you bring up some very good points. I intended to post more of the text tonight and will shortly so that we can progress up to this point of their actual meeting, and then the scene in the hut. I like the things you said, and agree. I can see so many keywords here to tip one off to how very 'unrealistic' Syson is in his thinking and perception, and basically we have all been talking about that feeling we have towards him that he is living in his own 'idealised' world whereas Hilda represents more solidly 'reality'; also that the keeper represents the world of reality.

    Key words I notice right away in the passages you posted:

    trespasser You already mentioned that one. We talked about it before as well. I think it is the first clue and really embodies the theme, as you say.

    unaltered I think we talked about his word, but it is definitely one of the key words as well and an illusion for Syson. Also, it sets up the opposite -that the woodlands seem unaltered, but the people are not. Good contrast.

    unreal "He felt foolish, almost unreal, beside her." In this phrase the word referring directly to Syson, himself.

    different "I thought you were different". Syson's observance of Hilda indicating he thought she would remain as he thought he knew her to be.

    This whole passage has many more keywords and clues.

    Quote:

    "What do you mean?' she said. 'Besides, we can't walk in our wild oats--we never sowed any.'

    Syson looked at her. He was startled to see his young love, his nun, his Botticelli angel, so revealed. It was he who had been the fool. He and she were more separate than any two strangers could be. She only wanted to keep up a correspondence with him--and he, of course, wanted it kept up, so that he could write to her, like Dante to some Beatrice who had never existed save in the man's own brain."

    This last part really shows just how unrealistic Syson has been, maintaining his own image of Hilda - that of his 'young love, his nun, his Botticelli angel'....and....'Dante to some Beatrice'.
    Very significant line - 'more separate than any two strangers could be' - now that is quite revealing.

    Virgil, you did repeat some of the things we have been discussing, but that's ok. Your own take on them is always a little different and enlightening. Besides we like having you back; again you have been missed!
    Last edited by Janine; 07-05-2007 at 01:40 AM.
    "It's so mysterious, the land of tears."

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

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    Our wee Olympic swimmer Janine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by downing View Post
    Grace,I think this is a great idea!
    I also agreed with that idea. Good post, Grace!

    But the first idea also seems interesting and worth taking into consideration. But what do you refer to when you say that there are ''more than one love''? Do you mean Syson's love for Hilda and probably for his wife? I am confused here.
    Definitely out of all three the keeper is the one thinking most logically at this time.
    Downing, Well, now I am not sure what you are referring to. Was that directly in the text or Grace's idea of more than one love? Either way I think that Syson could love two people differently at the same time. Most definitely his love for Hilda would be a young innocent type of love and perhaps his wife is a realistic type love. We keep assuming Syson is coming from an unhappy marriage. Where is that coming from? Nothing I can see in the text gives us that information at all.

    Your response enlightened me, Janine! Especially the final note about Lawrence using opposites helped. I understand now the meaning
    Glad you understand. Of course, it all is just opinion and my own perception of the two words together.

    I fully agree with you in this case. I also believe that the keeper's position, blocking Syson's way is a symbol. You pointed that out wonderful!
    Thanks! Just the first clue of his being shut out of the life, he is coming to see; that world of his 'past' is being barred from him, in the final reality. He might feel he has 'assess' now, but later we will see he truly is 'intruding' and is a 'trespasser' as was stated from the beginning. Virgil brings this up in his post.
    Janine, what do you think? Shall we go on,posting the next part of the story? I leave this to you, because you're the leader!
    Downing, Yes, I still want to do so; this way all of you can see just how the story develops and takes form. Lawrence's short stories have a very definite 'form' from what I have read in my research/commentary. I found this passage in a book in my library and copied it. Here are some quotes from the page:

    Although Lawrence is usually first thought of as a novelist, I think the best introduction to him is through his short stories......

    he wrote more than half a hundred short pieces of fiction. They prove him to be one of the very great masters of the short story form, sharing with Chekhov a genius for using the briefer medium not merely anecdotally, as in the contemporary manner, or for a swift glimpse into one aspect of character, but for a complete statement of dramatic human conflict......

    From the point of view both of situation and emotional attitude, the short fiction is more conventional than the long and more easily received by the naturalistic-minded modern reader. It is also quicker and wittier, and the personality of its author is more consistently attractive.
    Now this is just a reviewers ideas, but I basically agree. Often the short stories have not been given their due importance since the novels overshadowed them.
    So, I think by posting you can see just how well Lawrence crafted the story and it builts to the conclusion.

    Next part of story:

    II
    The farm was less than a hundred yards from the wood's edge. The wall of trees formed the fourth side to the open quadrangle. The house faced the wood. With tangled emotions, Syson noted the plum blossom falling on the profuse, coloured primroses, which he himself had brought here and set. How they had increased! There were thick tufts of scarlet, and pink, and pale purple primroses under the plum trees. He saw somebody glance at him through the kitchen window, heard men's voices.

    The door opened suddenly: very womanly she had grown! He felt himself going pale.

    "You?--Addy!" she exclaimed, and stood motionless.

    "Who?" called the farmer's voice. Men's low voices answered. Those low voices, curious and almost jeering, roused the tormented spirit in the visitor. Smiling brilliantly at her, he waited.

    "Myself--why not?" he said.

    The flush burned very deep on her cheek and throat.
    "We are just finishing dinner," she said.

    "Then I will stay outside." He made a motion to show that he would sit on the red earthenware pipkin that stood near the door among the daffodils, and contained the drinking water.

    "Oh no, come in," she said hurriedly. He followed her. In the doorway, he glanced swiftly over the family, and bowed.
    Everyone was confused. The farmer, his wife, and the four sons sat at the coarsely laid dinner-table, the men with arms bare to the elbows.

    "I am sorry I come at lunch-time," said Syson.

    "Hello, Addy!" said the farmer, assuming the old form of address, but his tone cold. "How are you?"

    And he shook hands.

    "Shall you have a bit?" he invited the young visitor, but taking for granted the offer would be refused. He assumed that Syson was become too refined to eat so roughly. The young man winced at the imputation.

    "Have you had any dinner?" asked the daughter.

    "No," replied Syson. "It is too early. I shall be back at half-past one."

    "You call it lunch, don't you?" asked the eldest son, almost ironical. He had once been an intimate friend of this young man.

    "We'll give Addy something when we've finished," said the mother, an invalid, deprecating.

    "No--don't trouble. I don't want to give you any trouble," said Syson.

    "You could allus live on fresh air an' scenery," laughed the youngest son, a lad of nineteen.

    Syson went round the buildings, and into the orchard at the back of the house, where daffodils all along the hedgerow swung like yellow, ruffled birds on their perches. He loved the place extraordinarily, the hills ranging round, with bear-skin woods covering their giant shoulders, and small red farms like brooches clasping their garments; the blue streak of water in the valley, the bareness of the home pasture, the sound of myriad-threaded bird-singing, which went mostly unheard. To his last day, he would dream of this place, when he felt the sun on his face, or saw the small handfuls of snow between the winter twigs, or smelt the coming of spring.

    Hilda was very womanly. In her presence he felt constrained. She was twenty-nine, as he was, but she seemed to him much older. He felt foolish, almost unreal, beside her. She was so static. As he was fingering some shed plum blossom on a low bough, she came to the back door to shake the table-cloth. Fowls raced from the stackyard, birds rustled from the trees. Her dark hair was gathered up in a coil like a crown on her head. She was very straight, distant in her bearing.
    As she folded the cloth, she looked away over the hills.

    Presently Syson returned indoors. She had prepared eggs and curd cheese, stewed gooseberries and cream.

    "Since you will dine to-night," she said, "I have only given you a light lunch."

    "It is awfully nice," he said. "You keep a real idyllic atmosphere--your belt of straw and ivy buds."

    Still they hurt each other.

    He was uneasy before her. Her brief, sure speech, her distant bearing, were unfamiliar to him. He admired again her grey-black eyebrows, and her lashes. Their eyes met. He saw, in the beautiful grey and black of her glance, tears and a strange light, and at the back of all, calm acceptance of herself, and triumph over him.

    He felt himself shrinking. With an effort he kept up the ironic manner.
    She sent him into the parlour while she washed the dishes. The long low room was refurnished from the Abbey sale, with chairs upholstered in claret-coloured rep, many years old, and an oval table of polished walnut, and another piano, handsome, though still antique. In spite of the strangeness, he was pleased. Opening a high cupboard let into the thickness of the wall, he found it full of his books, his old lesson-books, and volumes of verse he had sent her, English and German. The daffodils in the white window-bottoms shone across the room, he could almost feel their rays. The old glamour caught him again. His youthful water-colours on the wall no longer made him grin; he remembered how fervently he had tried to paint for her, twelve years before.

    She entered, wiping a dish, and he saw again the bright, kernel-white beauty of her arms.

    "You are quite splendid here," he said, and their eyes met.

    "Do you like it?" she asked. It was the old, low, husky tone of intimacy. He felt a quick change beginning in his blood. It was the old, delicious sublimation, the thinning, almost the vaporizing of himself, as if his spirit were to be liberated.

    "Aye," he nodded, smiling at her like a boy again. She bowed her head.
    I separated each speaker and the paragraphs to make it easier to read and observe just what is going on. Basically this is the first meeting of Hilda and Syson again and Hilda's family is present, at least part of the time. It is an interesting first meeting I think, and there are many clues as to further our idea of Syson living in his fantasy world of the past.
    Last edited by Janine; 07-05-2007 at 01:45 AM.
    "It's so mysterious, the land of tears."

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

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