By N. Reeve

ISBN-10: 0230599885

ISBN-13: 9780230599888

ISBN-10: 1349512583

ISBN-13: 9781349512584

Studying overdue Lawrence is a examine of many of the ignored fictional works of D. H. Lawrence's final interval: those contain blissful Ghosts , solar, the beautiful girl, The Blue Moccasins , and the 1st revisions of woman Chatterley's Lover . the actual concentration is upon Lawrence's revisions, and the insights they give into the complexity of his writing techniques and the intensity of his dedication to renewal and re-imagining. The examine attracts broadly upon the manuscript and version fabric lately made on hand within the new scholarly variations of Lawrence's paintings.

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Her poor woman’s body, were you ever good to that? . That’s why she haunts you. You despised and disliked her body, and she was only a living ghost. Now she wails in the afterworld, like a still-wincing nerve. . Why don’t you, even now, love her a little, with your real heart? Poor disembodied thing! Why don’t you take her to your warm heart, even now, and comfort her inside there . . ’ (202–4) Hale seems to take these proposals literally. ‘Then, deliberately, but not lifting his head, he pulled open his dressing gown at the breast, unbuttoned the top of his pyjama jacket, and sat perfectly still, his breast showing white and very pure’ (204–5) – looking almost as much as if he were about to suckle a baby as to allow a spirit access to his heart, as if one way for men to recover their lost pre-eminence were to incorporate female capacities into themselves, and effect a fantastic inversion of the mother–child relationship which had dominated them.

I’d run to the nethermost ends of Hades! Lord! ’ (185–6) Previously the conversation has been as bland as the food, but Morier is stung by Lady Lathkill’s remarks into an extraordinary little imaginative eruption: an intense power-fantasy of being hunted without ever being caught, a fantasy which could incorporate an erotic game, with soft and spiky weapons teasing the skin, the tantalising repeated mouthful of the flowers’ names, salacious relish curling around the words ‘how I’d run from them’; relish as well in a sudden uprising from distant childhood, the sensation of running, as fast as one can, with an expanse of free space ahead, the pure joy of escape, agility, fleetness of foot.

The story seems to circle around the question of the obligations one owes to the dead, and how one might best meet them or free oneself from them; the narrator sets out to put others to rights while still apparently trailing much unfinished emotional business of his own (his name itself sounds rather like ‘remember the dead’), and his narrative as a result sometimes appears only half-conscious of the forces at work in it, or the odd directions in which they might lead. It is just this occludedness that I find most stimulating, this registration by the writing of the trouble its author seems to have had with it.

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Reading Late Lawrence by N. Reeve


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