Lady Chatterley’s Lover: D.H. Lawrence

Penguin is really working hard to separate me from my dollars lately. First, those delightful mini-books, and now gorgeous fabric-covered hardbacks of assorted classics. I stood my ground when I encountered the lovely black-and-white The Picture of Dorian Gray, I reluctantly walked away from the annotated Great Expectations, but when I saw the fiery orange and red of Lady Chatterley’s Lover, I knew they had me. Especially when I flipped through and realized it was the third version of the novel (the version originally published, and the last to feel the might of Lawrence’s pen), fully annotated, with appendices discussing the geography and the dialect, an introductory essay by Doris Lessing, and Lawrence’s own essay on the work “A Propos of ‘Lady Chatterley’s Lover’”. How could I resist? I am only human after all.

I have read all three versions (yes, I really was not kidding all the times I have crushed out on Lawrence in these pages), but I only own a copy of the second version, John Thomas and Lady Jane, so I could just barely justify buying this new edition, despite having read the book and having a shelf crammed full to overflowing of books to be read. And my brain is patting itself on the back now for that clever rationalization because this edition is so worth reading.  Continue reading

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Odour of Chrysanthemums: D.H. Lawrence

Is a mini-book still a book? Because Penguin put out this line of “modern classic” mini-books, and they are making me swoon. (I can’t find the mini-books on their site though, and if I didn’t have two of them on hand, I would wonder if it had all been a dream.) All uniformly sleek and silver, they are a little bite of a book for that modern urbanite on the go. (Is that sentence the result of too many advert soundbites getting into my poor brain?) And even though my floor is threatening to buckle under the stack of books waiting to challenge my brain, I could not resist the temptation of a bite-sized bit of D.H. Lawrence.

Oh David! His words resonate with me like I am his harp. I can’t explain it. Ever since I read Women In Love, he owned me. I’ve read and re-read his work to the point where pages fall out, but it never fails to stir something in me. I can’t quite understand this since he writes about so many things so far from my own experience, and often quite irritating to me. Like his compulsive and florid descriptions of the English countryside, the mining towns. I have rolled my eyes at these more than once; I can understand the Lawrence haters. But then you get lines like “‘There are odd moments when I hate you starrily’” and all is forgiven.  Continue reading