Monday, August 23, 2010

Lady Chatterley’s Lover wrap-up

The Penguin Twentieth Century Classis edition of Lady Chatterley’s Lover is 302 pages long and I threw in the towel after 213 pages. I had heard enough of Lady Chatterley’s self centered complaining about her marriage. She admits that she no longer loves her husband Clifford. He was paralyzed during World War I and is confined to a wheelchair. His is a situation of potential misery but he makes the best of it and is truly happy with his intellectual pursuits. Connie Chatterley, on the other hand, is self serving and obsessed with fulfilling her sexual desires. After 213 pages I had read enough of Lawrence’s social theories and complaining about the plight of the labor classes. At that point in the book Connie had planned to take a holiday with her sister, I was tired of waiting for this trip while reading about Lady C’s dalliances with the groundskeeper.

I’m sure this was one of the first English novels concerning the topic of modern sexuality and it was certainly one of the first, on this topic, to become accepted as literature. Lawrence has also written Study of Thomas Hardy (1936) and I would like to offer that Lady Chatterley… is a reworking of Jude the Obscure with the addition of sex scenes. It’s the Twenty-first Century now and I don’t need D. H. Lawrence to explain human sexuality to me. If Philip Roth has learned anything from Lawrence it is to keep his stories short and to the point. If Lionel Fanthrope has learned anything from Lawrence it is to ramble on like an Irishman on holiday.

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