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[THIS KINDLE BOOK QUALITY IS GUARANTEED: It has been carefully edited with a fully interactive content.] Women in Love is a novel by British author D. H. Lawrence, published in 1920. It is a sequel to his earlier novel The Rainbow (1915), and follows the continuing loves and lives of the Brangwen sisters, Gudrun and Ursula. Gudrun Brangwen, an artist, pursues a destructive [THIS KINDLE BOOK QUALITY IS GUARANTEED: It has been carefully edited with a fully interactive content.] Women in Love is a novel by British author D. H. Lawrence, published in 1920. It is a sequel to his earlier novel The Rainbow (1915), and follows the continuing loves and lives of the Brangwen sisters, Gudrun and Ursula. Gudrun Brangwen, an artist, pursues a destructive relationship with Gerald Crich, an industrialist. Lawrence contrasts this pair with the love that develops between Ursula Brangwen and Rupert Birkin, an alienated intellectual who articulates many opinions associated with the author. The emotional relationships thus established are given further depth and tension by an intense psychological and physical attraction between Gerald and Rupert. The novel ranges over the whole of British society before the time of the First World War and eventually concludes in the snows of the Tyrolean Alps. Ursula's character draws on Lawrence's wife Frieda and Gudrun's on Katherine Mansfield, while Rupert Birkin's has elements of Lawrence and Gerald Crich's of Mansfield's husband, John Middleton Murry. BONUS : • Women in Love Audiobook. • Biography of D. H. Lawrence. ABOUT THE PUBLISHER: Rutilus classics publishes great works of literature at an affordable price. Our books have been carefully edited with a fully interactive content.


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[THIS KINDLE BOOK QUALITY IS GUARANTEED: It has been carefully edited with a fully interactive content.] Women in Love is a novel by British author D. H. Lawrence, published in 1920. It is a sequel to his earlier novel The Rainbow (1915), and follows the continuing loves and lives of the Brangwen sisters, Gudrun and Ursula. Gudrun Brangwen, an artist, pursues a destructive [THIS KINDLE BOOK QUALITY IS GUARANTEED: It has been carefully edited with a fully interactive content.] Women in Love is a novel by British author D. H. Lawrence, published in 1920. It is a sequel to his earlier novel The Rainbow (1915), and follows the continuing loves and lives of the Brangwen sisters, Gudrun and Ursula. Gudrun Brangwen, an artist, pursues a destructive relationship with Gerald Crich, an industrialist. Lawrence contrasts this pair with the love that develops between Ursula Brangwen and Rupert Birkin, an alienated intellectual who articulates many opinions associated with the author. The emotional relationships thus established are given further depth and tension by an intense psychological and physical attraction between Gerald and Rupert. The novel ranges over the whole of British society before the time of the First World War and eventually concludes in the snows of the Tyrolean Alps. Ursula's character draws on Lawrence's wife Frieda and Gudrun's on Katherine Mansfield, while Rupert Birkin's has elements of Lawrence and Gerald Crich's of Mansfield's husband, John Middleton Murry. BONUS : • Women in Love Audiobook. • Biography of D. H. Lawrence. ABOUT THE PUBLISHER: Rutilus classics publishes great works of literature at an affordable price. Our books have been carefully edited with a fully interactive content.

30 review for Women in Love (Illustrated) + Free AudioBook

  1. 5 out of 5

    Paul Bryant

    Username : PBRYANT999 Password : Flibbertygibbet ENTER Welcome to the GOODREADS AUTOREVIEW PROGRAM ™. Thank you for participating in this preliminary trial. Please enter the title of the book you wish to review WOMEN IN LOVE Please enter the author name D. H. LAWRENCE Select type of work from the drop down menu NOVEL Select century this NOVEL was written in 20TH Have you personally read any works by this author previously? YES How much enjoyment did you derive from these works – please choose from drop down Username : PBRYANT999 Password : Flibbertygibbet ENTER Welcome to the GOODREADS AUTOREVIEW PROGRAM ™. Thank you for participating in this preliminary trial. Please enter the title of the book you wish to review WOMEN IN LOVE Please enter the author name D. H. LAWRENCE Select type of work from the drop down menu NOVEL Select century this NOVEL was written in 20TH Have you personally read any works by this author previously? YES How much enjoyment did you derive from these works – please choose from drop down menu MODERATE Is this NOVEL one of the 1000 BOOKS YOU MUST READ BEFORE YOU DIE ? YES Did you read this NOVEL out of a sense of having to? YES How many of your Goodreads Friends ™ have read this NOVEL? 71 What is the average star rating they have given this NOVEL? 3.2 Is there a film version of this NOVEL? YES Did you see this film? YES How did you rate this film on a scale of 1 to 10 with 1 = poor and 10 = excellent? 3.4 How would you rate the quality of your sleep in the preceding three days film on a scale of 1 to 10 with 1 = poor and 10 = excellent? 3.4 Do you wish to proceed with the GOODREADS AUTOREVIEW™ ? YES Please indicate how long the AUTOREVIEW should be in word count. 138 Processing...one moment please. Please review the following autogenerated review of WOMEN IN LOVE. When reviewed please click either SUBMIT or REWRITE TEXT FOLLOWS Possibly it’s not so surprising when a more-than-slightly fanatical working-class autodidact rewrites the Old Testament in order to put back all the sex that the original author left out. That it then astonishes, infuriates, bores and nauseates in jarring alternating spasms is completely expected. That Ken Russell made a movie of it was likewise predictable; but that his movie was a model of good taste was a great disappointment – come on, Ken, where were the tits and bums and the giant plastic phalluses and the naked nuns? DH Lawrence was a unique novelist. If he’d never existed we really wouldn’t have had to invent him. I’m thinking that now he’s subsided entirely into Eng Lit courses where he lurks like a half submerged lamprey, luring the innocent with his new-aginess and biting their soft parts with his fascism. SUBMIT

  2. 4 out of 5

    Cecily

    * I can review this only in relation to its precursor, The Rainbow (review here). My Journey I went straight from the flames of floral, rural passion in The Rainbow, to this often brittle discussion of the abstract, set in a more mechanical age, where animals - metaphorical and literal - are key, and death’s shadow hovers hungrily. It's beautiful, entrancing, but also opaque and frustrating. I travelled with Ursula from her teenage years in the balmy countryside, where people act on their desires, * I can review this only in relation to its precursor, The Rainbow (review here). My Journey I went straight from the flames of floral, rural passion in The Rainbow, to this often brittle discussion of the abstract, set in a more mechanical age, where animals - metaphorical and literal - are key, and death’s shadow hovers hungrily. It's beautiful, entrancing, but also opaque and frustrating. I travelled with Ursula from her teenage years in the balmy countryside, where people act on their desires, to her earnest twenties: first in a grimy northern mining town, then in the frigid, glistening ice of the Tyrollean Alps. It’s not such a linear narrative as The Rainbow; more a series of episodes (chapter lengths vary hugely - between 3 and 50 pages). It seems to ask: • Must the rainbow hues leach out of life (Gudrun’s ever-colourful stocking notwithstanding)? • Must passion end in death (not necessarily the little one)? This is a novel of ideas, but I often felt unequal to them. There was so much to wrestle with, I was stripped bare by the dizzying mix of themes, language, passions, lives - and deaths. I had to submit to the experience, though in a rather different way to The Rainbow. My status on finishing was a single word, “Eviscerated”. Ruminating further, a conversation towards the end is pertinent. One character tells their partner “It’s over”, and the reply is “But it isn’t finished… There must be finality”. In writing this, I think I have found finality. (I will return to Lawrence, though!) Lawrence wrote this after Wilde, during a war (WW1), and before Waugh. It has the self-consciously clever dialogue of the first and last, in the context of warring relationships: all conflicted between love and hate, artifice and instinct, life and death - murderous desire, even. The intellectual sparring matches have a theatrical quality, as if the protagonists are speaking for posterity. Then the audience departs, the mask falls, and naturalistic passion, action and imagery blossoms, such as the blissful release for Birkin, rolling naked in the primroses. “He wanted to touch them all… to saturate himself with the touch of them all… It was such a fine, cool, subtle touch all over him, he seemed to saturate himself with their contact.” The rarer physical assaults (lapis, wrestling, and in the snow) have greater visceral power as a result. It seems to say that whatever persona we try to present, however much we try to assert our will (a recurring theme), we’re all animals underneath. Animals What a carnal carnival of animals this is. People are likened to, amongst other things: smiling wolf, hermit crab, pouncing hound, octopus, restless bird, “slithering sea-lion”, “funeral bird, feeding on the miseries of the people”, small cat, dog, cockerel, bird of paradise, rabbit, wild animal, shrew, stallion, “hopping flea”, fish, weasel, voice like a gull, water-spiders, horses, python, “eyes as keen as a hawk”, water-rat, “elegant beetle”, seal, “eyes blazed like a tiger’s”, bat, amphibious beast, eagle, “humble maggot”, wearing “startling colours, like a macaw”, eels, various insects, and “strange moths”! Gudrun’s art typically features animals and birds, her friendship with Loerke is kindled by a picture of his statue of a naked girl on a horse, and there are actual animals at key points in the story: • Ursula and Gudrun watch Gerald violently beat his horse to submission, when it is terrified by a train. • Gudrun confronts an alarming herd of cattle, but finds inner strength (and euythmics). • A chapter is devoted to Birkin’s cat - given to him by Hermione, and still part of the power she wields over him. • Another chapter is about a vicious pet rabbit (called Bismarck) that draws blood from Gerald and Gudrun. Plot There are four main characters: Ursula Brangwen and her sister Gudrun, only a year younger. They are very close, but it’s also fiery relationship. Both teach at the grammar school: Ursula as a general teacher and Gudrun just art (she is really a sculptor, has travelled abroad, and lived in Bohemian London). They become involved with Rupert Birkin, a school inspector, and Gerald Crich, eldest son of a wealthy colliery owner. Birkin and Gerald have a deep and conflicted relationship with each other. Women in Love - or Men in Love? The Crich family is large, the mother mentally unstable, and the father physically declining. We know nothing of Birkin’s family. The four go to Innsbruck, where Loerke, a German artist, is added to the increasingly toxic mix of relationships. Ursula and Gudrun are fiercely independent women, in thought and deed, including their relationships. They are not afraid of what other people think. The problem is that that often can’t decide what they think and so cannot decide what they should do and not do: “His licentiousness was repulsively attractive” and “she was far, far from being at ease with him”. And yet… The men’s attitudes to women are not as positive or equal. At times, they’re exploitative, at other times, women are considered second best, albeit decorative and convenient. Towards the end, I feared Lawrence was going to quash all that and have them either settle for conventionality, or suffer for not doing so... Recurring Themes Is it better to look at things as a whole, or take them to pieces? “I really don’t want to be forced into all this criticism and analysis of life. I really do want to see things in their entirety, with their beauty left in them.” In this review, I've opted for the former. It is set in age of change: mechanisation, social mobility, equality, and philanthropy. To the father, “in Christ, he was one with his workmen”, but to his son, they “were his instruments” and “What mattered was the great social productive machine.” Primarily though, this is about relationships: The types of love, relationships, and marriage considered and entered into is very broad-minded for the time, such as “a mutual union in separateness”. It also explores how/if sex and friendship relate. “She had had lovers, she had known passion. But this was neither love nor passion. It was the daughters of men coming back to the sons of God, the strange inhuman sons of God.” Homosexuality, bisexuality, and non-monogamous relationships suffuse the story. It’s not just the famous naked wrestling: is far less ambiguous than I expected. “I believe in the additional perfect relationship between a man and a man.” Later, "You are enough for me, as far as a woman is concerned. You are all women to me. But I wanted a man friend, as eternal as you and I are eternal... to make it complete, really happy, I wanted eternal union with a man too: another kind of love." Conflict and duality are present in all the main relationships (love, hate, and whose will will triumph), violence and coercion too. “Always it was this eternal see-saw, one destroyed that the other might exist, one ratified because the other was nulled.” Ultimately, “One of them must triumph over the other”. There is no escape, “It was a fight to the death between them - or to new life: though in what the conflict lay, no one could say” and "She felt an approaching release, a new fountain of life rising up in her... Yet underneath was death itself." Quotes • “A strange enmity… very near to love.” • “I hate subtleties. I always think they are a sign of weakness.” • “The lake lay all grey and visionary, stretching into the moist, translucent vista of trees and meadow.” • “It was rather delicious to feel her drawing his self-revelation from him… And her dark eyes seemed to be looking through into his naked organism… She wanted the secret of him, the experience of his male being.” • “She seemed to become soft, subtly to infuse herself into his bones, as if she were passing into him in a black, electric flow. Her being suffused into his veins like a magnetic darkness.” • “They always kept a gap, a distance between them, they wanted always to be free of each other. Yet there was a curious heart-straining towards each other.” • “She seemed to grip the hours by the throat, to force her life from them.” • “It was a sunny, soft morning in early summer, when life ran in the world subtly like a reminiscence.” • “The heavy gold glamour of approaching sunset lay over all the colliery district, and the ugliness overlaid with beauty was like a narcotic to the senses… over all the amorphous squalor a kind of magic was cast.” • “The broad dialect was curiously caressing to the blood… In their voices she could hear the voluptuous resonance of darkness, the strong, dangerous underworld, mindless, inhuman. They sounded also like strange machines heavily oiled.” • “Why should you always be doing?” Often, I wanted the characters to do more doing (and less talking). • “He saw her face strangely enkindled, as if suffused from within by a powerful sweet fire. His soul was arrested in wonder. She was enkindled in her own living fire. Arrested in wonder and in pure, perfect attraction, he moved towards her.” • “On the water, lanterns were coming alight, faint ghosts of warm flame floating in the pallor of the first twilight. The earth was spread with darkness, like lacquer, overhead was a pale sky, all primrose, and the lake was pale as milk in one part. Away at the landing stage, tiniest points of coloured rays were stringing themselves in the dusk... All round, shadow was gathering from the trees.” • Pain “gradually absorbed hi life. Gradually it drew away all his potentiality, it bled him into the dark, it weaned him of life.” • “The men were satisfied to belong to the great and wonderful machine, even whilst it destroyed them...Their hearts died within them, but their souls were satisfied.” • “I want you to drop your assertive will… I want you to trust yourself so implicitly, that you can let yourself go.” • “He kissed her softly… like dew falling.” • “Her father was not a coherent human being, he was a roomful of old echoes.” • Wrestling, “They became accustomed to each other, to each other's rhythm, they got a kind of mutual physical understanding...as if they would break into a oneness… working into a tighter closer oneness of struggle, with a strange, octopus-like knotting and flashing of limbs in the subdued light of the room… the strange sound of flesh escaping under flesh. Often, in the white interlaced knot of violent living being that swayed silently, there was no head to be seen, only the swift, tight limbs, the solid white backs, the physical junction of two bodies clinched into oneness… The earth seemed to tilt and sway, and a complete darkness was coming over his mind. He did not know what happened.” • “The talk went on like a rattle of small artillery... the continual splatter of verbal jest, designed to give a tone of flippancy to a stream of conversation that was all critical and general, a canal of conversation rather than a stream. The attitude was mental and very wearying.” • H's face: “There was something of the stupidity and the unenlightened self-esteem of a horse in it.” • “Her pity for him was as cold as stone, its deepest motive was hate of him, and fear of his power over her, which she must always counterfoil.” • “She was like a flower just opened in the rain, the heart of the blossom just newly visible, seeming to emit a warmth of retained sunshine.” • “And now, behold, from the smitten rock of the man's body, from the strange marvellous flanks and thighs, deeper, further in mystery than the phallic source, came the floods of ineffable darkness and ineffable riches.” • “She had her desire of him, she touched, she received the maximum of unspeakable communication in touch, dark, subtle, positively silent, a magnificent gift and give again, a perfect acceptance and yielding, a mystery... the immemorial magnificence of mystic, palpable, real otherness.” • “He seemed to be gathering her into himself, her warmth, her softness, her adorable weight, drinking in the suffusion of her physical being, avidly. He lifted her, and seemed to pour her into himself, like wine into a cup… So she relaxed, and seemed to melt, to flow into him, as if she were some infinitely warm and precious suffusion filling into his veins, like an intoxicant. • “She reached up, like Eve reaching to the apples on the tree of knowledge… touching his face with her infinitely delicate, encroaching wondering fingers… Her soul thrilled with complete knowledge. This was the glistening, forbidden apple, this face of a man.” • “To know him, to gather him in by touch... She wanted to touch him and touch him and touch him.” • “It was a rather stiff, sad meeting, more like a verification of separateness than a reunion.” • “There they sat down, folded together, folded round with the same rug, creeping in nearer and ever nearer to one another, till it seemed they had crept right into each other, and become one substance.” • “His heart went up like a flame of ice.” • They “found themselves in a vague, unsubstantial outdoors of dim snow and ghosts of an upper-world, that made strange shadows before the stars... It seemed conscious, malevolent, purposive in its intense murderous coldness.” • “The first days passed in an ecstasy of physical motion, sleighing, skiing, skating, moving in an intensity of speed and white light that surpassed life itself, and carried the souls of the human beings beyond into an inhuman abstraction of velocity and weight and eternal, frozen snow.” • “It was a fight to the death, she knew it now.” • “Either the heart would break, or cease to care.” Moony One of my favourite passages, from the chapter titled "Moony": Throwing stones at the moon’s reflection: “Darts of bright light shot asunder, darkness swept over the centre. There was no moon, only a battlefield of broken lights and shadows, running close together. Shadows, dark and heavy, struck again and again across the place where the heart of the moon had been, obliterating it altogether. The white fragments pulsed up and down, and could not find where to go, apart and brilliant on the water like the petals of a rose that a wind has blown far and wide… He saw the moon regathering itself insidiously, saw the heart of the rose intertwining vigorously and blindly, calling back the scattered fragments, winning home the fragments, in a pulse and in effort of return.” Throw another stone: “Flakes of light appeared here and there, glittering tormented among the shadows, far off, in strange places; among the dripping shadow of the willow on the island.” Amusing Bafflement • Chapter VI has three references to “inchoate eyes”, whatever that means. • “He rocked on the water perfectly, like the rocking of phosphorescence.” Yes, he’s in a boat, but even so… • “Her soul was destroyed with the exquisite shock of his invisible fluid lightning… Ah much, much, many days harvesting for her large, yet perfectly subtle and intelligent hands upon the field of his living, radio-active body.” Ugh - or LOL? *Picture sources Carpet of primroses: https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/... Brinsley colliery: http://www.healeyhero.co.uk/rescue/ea... Alpine peak: http://il1.picdn.net/shutterstock/vid...

  3. 4 out of 5

    Violet wells

    Probably it’s always going to be a mistake to reread a book you loved in your youth. I haven’t read Lawrence for a long time. I believed I had his triumphs and failures pretty clear in my mind. Sons and Lovers, the early stories, The Rainbow and Women in Love all masterpieces; everything that followed going from bad to worse. So it was a shock to discover that Women in Love probably belongs in the latter category. There are, of course, flashes of his unique genius but they are few and far betwee Probably it’s always going to be a mistake to reread a book you loved in your youth. I haven’t read Lawrence for a long time. I believed I had his triumphs and failures pretty clear in my mind. Sons and Lovers, the early stories, The Rainbow and Women in Love all masterpieces; everything that followed going from bad to worse. So it was a shock to discover that Women in Love probably belongs in the latter category. There are, of course, flashes of his unique genius but they are few and far between. As is frequently the case in his later novels Lawrence is here on his soapbox, sermonising and ranting. His fabulous electric insights into the beauty of the natural world are virtually absent. There’s something of the angry teenager in Lawrence – he’s always on some protest march and his target is always the established order. The four central characters in WIL, with the exception perhaps of Ursula, come across as outgrown children with relentlessly outsized emotions. Every moment is a dark night of the soul or an epiphany. They simply do not do ordinary emotion. He also has the teenage urgency to exalt his own love over everyone else’s, as if what he knows as love is mysteriously denied to all us mere mortals. “How can I say “I love you” when I have ceased to be: we are both caught up and transcended into a new oneness where everything is silent, because there is nothing to answer, all is perfect and at one.” We don’t though feel this at all. They are just empty words. This is a problem in this novel – the characters do not effectively dramatise Lawrence’s lofty ideas. The novel is all caught up in the subjectivity of its author. Lawrence’s mouthpiece in this novel is Birkin. In every novel he wrote he had to have a mouthpiece and usually this is the character you most feel like slapping in the face. On the positive side Lawrence can be brilliant at understanding women. Forget the overblown kitsch of the wrestling scene the best moment in this novel is when Ursula gives vent to her rage at Birkin. It’s a brilliant depiction of primeval female fury directed at the cajoling bullying instinct of the male. I noticed Lawrence has a habit of placing opposition in his character’s feelings. This kind of thing - She was happy and yet she was resentful. He was curious and yet he was bored. They were resigned and yet they were hopeful. He does this all the time. I suppose it does have a place as this novel is about will – the wrestling of one will against another, whether it’s an individual or society as a whole. Lawrence is trying to forge a new concept of will. Ultimately the eternal snow-capped mountains will impede this dawning of a new day in human volition. One of the reasons I loved this novel in my youth was that I idolised Katherine Mansfield and Lawrence uses her for the character of Gudrun and her husband John Middleton Murray for Gerald. “Lawrence met Katherine Mansfield and John Middleton Murry when they wrote to him in 1913 to ask for a story to publish in Rhythm - the magazine they edited together in London. When the Lawrences came to England the two couples met and established an immediate rapport. Katherine and John were witnesses at their marriage and Frieda gave Katherine her old wedding ring, which Katherine wore for the rest of her life. Katherine and Frieda never became real friends - Katherine’s affinity was always with Lawrence. There was tension in the relationship because Lawrence was deeply attracted to John, wanting to establish a ‘blood brother bond’ with him. John was also attracted to Frieda, with whom he had an affair after Katherine died. The two couples lived close to each other, first in Berkshire in 1914 and then in Zennor Cornwall in 1915. There were innumerable quarrels and the friendship was broken off several times. Lawrence once wrote to Katherine - a fellow consumptive; ‘You are a loathsome reptile stewing in your consumption. I hope you will die.’ Katherine understood Lawrence and even forgave him, writing in her Journal that ‘Lawrence and I are unthinkably alike.” So, Women in Love: heavy on verbiage, rubbled with repetitive pseudo philosophy, burdened with three of most unlikeable characters you’re likely to meet in a novel all year and yet here and there dazzlingly brilliant as Lawrence was when he stepped down from his tiresome soapbox.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Edward Waverley

    Ever noticed how many people hate DH Lawrence? Often for opposite reasons by the way--there are those who condemn his misognyny, while others allege him to be too doting of the fair sex. Which is it? Sometimes he's damned for being too obscene, but elsewhere dismissed as overly fussy about flowers and horses. He even gets clubbed for creating self-absorbed characters, just after someone has taken a swipe at him for promoting a harmful ideal of sacrificial love. All of these folks can agree that Ever noticed how many people hate DH Lawrence? Often for opposite reasons by the way--there are those who condemn his misognyny, while others allege him to be too doting of the fair sex. Which is it? Sometimes he's damned for being too obscene, but elsewhere dismissed as overly fussy about flowers and horses. He even gets clubbed for creating self-absorbed characters, just after someone has taken a swipe at him for promoting a harmful ideal of sacrificial love. All of these folks can agree that they strongly dislike to read Lawrence's books, but from hearing them converse, one might almost conclude that the entire group can hardly be discussing the works of a single author. The variety of accusations are impossible to reconcile. I think it is just this pattern of polarized criticism of his work that ought to point us to the obvious power Lawrence held as a novelist. If a single man can provoke simultaneous accusations of depicting egotists and martyrs, obscenity and prudery, sexism against women and reverence for women, then obviously he is hitting his mark in there somewhere as an artist. Lawrence's critics might not all reach the same specific conclusions about the dreck they've just endured, but they are united in judging him a failure. Now there are plenty of worthy theorists whose tidy explanation of these contradictory responses among Lawrence's critics is that they are not, in fact, contradictory. On the contrary, these psychologists argue that such disparate elements in Lawrence's writing are unassailable proof, not of the man's status as a literary genius, but of his latent homosexuality. My two objections are strenuous, but almost too obvious to mention. First, the fact that Lawrence wrote a lot about women, love, the self, and sex proves nothing whatsoever about his being gay. It only proves that he was a human, and that his particular strategy for facing his complexity as a human was to write books about it. I happen to think it a great approach, and I find the results to be outstanding and insightful. So I'm happy he turned his feelings and thoughts into novels. Others however will stick to the view that he would have been better off at a gay bar. The second problem with this dismissive response to Lawrence is that it doesn't answer the original question: how is it that Lawrence's critics say such opposite things when they complain about him, and so vociferously? To call him gay will never do, because simply to accuse a writer of being gay does nothing to explain how he can bring about this sharp contrast in opinions. I think the truth is that Lawrence is guilty of all of the seemingly dichotomous charges being laid at his feet. But what has caused such alarm in others is a cause of tremendous joy in me. If you couldn't already tell, I'm a Lawrence fan. I love his books, and especially this one. ( Sons and Lovers is also brilliant.) It is full of beautifully made scenes in which you can actually feel the orchestrated and opposing emotions and thoughts of two different characters at the same time. Often these are scenes of disagreement, between lovers, between sisters, and between best friends. As I read, I was pulling for everyone because everyone is sympathetic. Lawrence's descriptions of nature are often so powerful because of the barely restrained beauty of his objects, and because just as you are beginning to enjoy the ride, violence spills onto the scene and you are swept onto the next chapter. The scene where Gerald is trying to impress his girlfriend by riding his horse up to the edge of the train track as the engine flies past is a perfect demonstration of this ability Lawrence posesses. The best part of this book is at the end when Gerald dies in the Alps while trying to understand life, and then the final mysterious dialogue between the remaining lovers, Rupert Birkin and Ursula Brangwen. Read the book.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Cheryl

    I want to find you, where you don’t know your own existence, the you that your common self denies utterly. But I don’t want your good looks, and I don’t want your womanly feelings, and I don’t want your thoughts nor opinions nor your ideas—they are all bagatellas to me. If you’ve already experienced gag reflex, then you know what to partly expect from this book. Yet to say this was all this book was about, would mean I did not take the time to read all of it. After having had friendly debates I want to find you, where you don’t know your own existence, the you that your common self denies utterly. But I don’t want your good looks, and I don’t want your womanly feelings, and I don’t want your thoughts nor opinions nor your ideas—they are all bagatellas to me. If you’ve already experienced gag reflex, then you know what to partly expect from this book. Yet to say this was all this book was about, would mean I did not take the time to read all of it. After having had friendly debates about men, women, and the ways in which they love, you will appreciate dialogue that toys with the questions: Who is the wife? Who, the mistress? And what of the playboy? Publish this book today and it will center on the complexities of dating. This is considered “the most important work by the most important twentieth-century English novelist” most likely because of the way Lawrence tends to write about desire and passion. He does this perfectly in Sons and Lovers and he takes it to an even more disconcerting level in this novel. Perhaps what he does most beautifully is stick with themes and setting; choosing instead to define his characters by the way they live and think. Pierce through into an inner thought, travel through some idea, and this is how you get to sense each character. “You’ve got to lapse out before you can know what sensual reality is, lapse into unknowingness, and give up your volition.” Find love in the form that works for you, is the message from Women in Love. It is a debate about the different forms of love and the choices each one has to choose his or her own kind of love: married love or partnership, passionate love or spiritual love. The story focuses on feminist sisters, Gudrun and Ursula, and their significant others, Gerald and Birkin. Gudrun and Ursula are teachers who stand apart in society because of their ideals, even by the way they dress and interact with others (yes, a good shade of pink or yellow—or jeans in the midst of suits—always symbolizes the middle finger in the air). Is one woman “born a mistress?” Is the other settling for marriage or choosing love? To think, this was first published in a 1916 male repressive society, and yet these are female characters making such radical lifestyle choices, like Gudrun leaving home to live in London as a single artist. Every December, Lawrence and I have our yearly encounter. In 2013 it was with Sons and Lovers. Last month, Women in Love. Though I saw him strike some universal themes with this work, I preferred the characters and story of Sons and Lovers, especially at those moments when the prose here deviated to this sort of madness: …his body stretching and surging like the marsh-fire, stretching towards her, his hand coming straight forward like a stem. Her voluptuous, acute apprehension of him made the blood faint in her veins, her mind went dim and unconscious. And he rocked on the water perfectly, like the rocking of phosphorescence. Seriously, why did that last sentence even take place? In her literary critique of this book, Virginia Woolf wrote, “…one feels that not a single word has been chosen for its beauty, or its effect upon the architect of the sentence.” Oddly, this is why I love D.H. Lawrence’s unpredictable prose and weird word repetition (it rubs off, I've been repeating sangfroid for days now).

  6. 4 out of 5

    Dolors

    The best book I probably will ever read. I think I fell in love with Lawrence and his ideas. Am I sick?

  7. 5 out of 5

    Greg

    This is another old review, written for another website back in 2003, my memory of this book is shoddy at best. I believe D. H. Lawrence, despite writing constantly about men and women in a risqué manner for his time, is gay. Why do I say this? Because of the three Lawrence novels I've read to date in only one does he even get close to writing an authentic relationship between a man and a woman. It's not in the two novels I would expect though. In Lady Chatterly's Lover and in Women in Love Lawre This is another old review, written for another website back in 2003, my memory of this book is shoddy at best. I believe D. H. Lawrence, despite writing constantly about men and women in a risqué manner for his time, is gay. Why do I say this? Because of the three Lawrence novels I've read to date in only one does he even get close to writing an authentic relationship between a man and a woman. It's not in the two novels I would expect though. In Lady Chatterly's Lover and in Women in Love Lawrence writes about women as if they are an alien species that he has heard about but never seen. In each book during the sensual scenes (because honestly there is no real sex in Lawrence's books and I'm really at a loss why everything he wrote was deemed pornographic, even for the tighter laced post-Victorian era he wrote in) between a man and a woman I really expected him in earnest to write that women have teeth down there. You know in their loin regions. Oh, and before I start the review proper the one novel that he seems to write women well is in The Rainbow, the first novel in the Trilogy that follows with Women in Love and ends with Aaron's Rod. But, as one last pre-review aside, The Rainbow could have just been called Jude the Obscure - Part 2 since it read exactly like a Thomas Hardy novel. So, anyway Women in Love is by some strange group of polltakers considered the most widely read English novel of the 20th Century (2011 addition: I have no idea where I came across this fact). I doubt this, and if I'm wrong then people really need to get out and read more of the 20th Century Classics. The story involves two sisters (the women who will fall in love), and two men (the recipients of this affection). Ursula and Gudrun Brangwen, the daughters of the protagonist of The Rainbow, begin the novel by having a discussion about marriage. Ursula, the eldest daughter, is a schoolmistress (a teacher). Her sister, Gudrun, has just begun teaching also after a time away from their provincial hometown life. Gudrun was an artist of some merit that fluctuates throughout the novel to fit the scenes, but by an average account she made a modest success during her time in London. Why she returned to the backwoods home she grew up in is never quite explained, but she is back home, and that is enough for the novel. The two sisters begin the novel by talking about marriage. Ursula for some unknown reason doesn't think she needs to get married, and this shocks her bohemian sister who for some reason can't understand why her sister would go against social customs. This scene is stupid in light of the novel taken as a whole. Both women throughout the novel change their opinion on this question with gusto. The reader after awhile has to wonder if Lawrence just happened to put words into the character's mouths to play devils advocate, or if he is trying to say something like women have a flippant nature. Besides very radical shifts in opinion the women are given very little description besides the color of clothes Gudrun is wears and that each are quite beautiful. What do they look like exactly? Well Lawrence is a bit vague on that. I never could quite get a mental image of either of them. Only one woman in the whole book is ever described in detail and she's a boyish built shorthaired baby-talking lispy nymph, who warrants pages of description but who is pretty much unnecessary for the plot. The women really aren't important to the novel though, even though they are in the title. The real characters are the two men, Birkin and Gerald. Birkin, a self-portrait of Lawrence, is a local teacher also. Sometimes he's a preacher though; I couldn't tell which he really was. Once he was even something like the principal of the school. Oh but who cares for consistency, especially since he never seems to go to work or have any material responsibilities. The details aren't important anyway, but I'll get to that in a bit. Birkin is basically an opinionated bore, dressed in a Heathcliff-esque (Wuthering Heights reference, not the lazy cat) brooding manner who spouts off his quasi-naturalism to anyone happening to cross his path. Birkin's angry all the time, quite violent in speech and sickly. He is never painted in a good light and doesn't represent a very good model for Lawrence's personal philosophy (if this is what he is trying to achieve with the character). Ursula falls in love with this pig headed fool. Gudrun falls in love with the other man, Gerald. Gerald's from a rich family that owns all of the coal mines in the surrounding area. He's quite good looking in a Germanic / Nordic way, and is the most richly described character in the book. He's just about as flippant as the women are though (as fitting the bottom to Birkin's top). He likes being a captain of industry. He hates being a captain of industry. He is having the time of his life with his adventurous lifestyle. Everything bores him to tears. He's a spineless worm around Gudrun. He's a domineering patriarch towards Gudrun. Why does he change? Sometimes we are given hints, sometimes the changes come after talking to Birkin, but most of the time they just seem to change in order to have something else for Birkin to expound about. One other thing about Gerald, Birkin loves him quite passionately and believes that a pure love between two men is stronger than any love a man and a woman can share. So, what is the novel about? Basically these four people squabbling over each other and having a lot of fights based on 'strongly' held ideals. Not much happens in the novel. Events take place in the background, but the plot is never driven. There are not enough characters to create any intrigue over the romantic outcome, and the characters all seem to fall right in line with their respective partners too easily. Of course they fight, but every time one of them really gets angry the other one always seems to come crawling back in beaten submission to the gloriousness of the other. This is played out in just about every possible permutation (with the exception of Gudrun who only fluctuates between icy bitch and vaguely interested in Gerald (but she is a woman in love don't forget)). The novel breaks down to being about the ideas that Birkin holds and to a lesser extent the ideas of the other characters. None of the other three hold ideas drastically different from Birkin's though; they just aren't quite as passionate about them and that works as a set up for Birkin's angry assaults. So what are the basic ideas? I'll explain them this way first. If you've ever read Ayn Rand's Fountainhead or Atlas Shrugged take away the plot, keep the characters and everything about them, then remove the strong capitalist overtones but keep the strong individualism, bull headedness, and the way the strong characters dominant and lay themselves prostrate to each other and you've got the general idea of this novel. Or better yet read anything by Neitzsche and take away all the bookishness of his philological learning and just keep the random attacks on everything in modern society and you've got a pretty fair picture of Birkin. And Birkin is the novel. If those descriptions don't help basically Birkin believes that everything in modern society is diluted, horrible, weak and wrong. Everything good about the world has been bastardized into a pale spectre of it's true self, and life is basically lived inauthentically by just about everyone. Only a few people are aware enough to realize this, and for those few living just a few pure moments is more valuable then living a lifetime like the masses do. Maybe if I hadn't read many other books that deal with this same idea I would find the ideas in this novel novel, but honestly nothing said was very interesting to me. I'd heard it all before, and read it in either more eloquent manners or with plots that sustained my interest beyond the constant preaching. When modern society isn't being critiqued to death various forms of love are being argued. These arguments could all have been taken straight out of Plato's Symposium with Birkin as the wise but assholeish Socrates at the helm. On the topic of love, there are only two scenes where passion takes any kind of substantial form. The first is between the two men when they decide to wrestle each other. During this scene their 'oneness' gets penetrated by the other, and Birkin is surprised when Gerald rises up in a welcoming motion over powers and tops him. The only other scene is between Ursula and Birkin. This scene deals mostly with the mightiness of Birkin's loins, and the realization that not all truth of the world springs from the phallic center of man but deeper mystery's lie in the whole body of a man (man meaning man, not a pre PC word for people). Both scenes are quite homoerotic and added to my feeling that Lawrence only included the women to the novel as a social convention. The real love story is between the two men. The ideal a woman can fill in Lawrence's world is as an attractive beard that will act as a shield between the sensitive man and a harsh world. I did like the book though, all criticism aside. I think that Lawrence is a very talented writer and worth being read. Even though the content of the book did little for me his writing style was wonderful and his description of place is amazing. I'd highly recommend The Rainbow to people interested in trying out Lawrence though. Actually I would recommend reading Thomas Hardy to anyone interested in the topics of pastoral English life during the late 19th and early 20th centuries and it's interplay between tradition and modernity as it relates to individual versus society. This novel, while considered a classic, I think boils down more to being an angry book by a man angry about the treatment his earlier books had received. It was difficult not perceiving this book as a five hundred-page rant by Lawrence. This wasn't much of a consumer review, but basically I'd say if you are interested in reading the canon of 20th century English novels then you should check this out. If you are looking for a nice easy read I'd avoid this one and settle for something more interesting from the same time period. Who would I recommend? Well Thomas Hardy as I said, or Anton Chekov. I'm sure there are many other wonderful late 19th century writers who tackle Lawrence's terrain in a more enjoyable manner. I just realized that I'm only recommending 19th century authors in lieu of this 20th century writer. Maybe Lawrence would have been a better fit to the previous century. As a last stalwart against the High Modernist tradition emerging in the early 20th century he comes across as a bitter and reactionary opponent to the coming times, but his anger makes most of his arguments seem half-baked and impotent.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Perry

    No Pot O' Gold Past the End of The Rainbow This was a letdown from The Rainbow (1915), which stirred and sizzled, was better written and seemed more momentous. In it, Ursula Brangwen came of age and defied the conventions of the unsophisticated environs in which she was raised, so she could selfishly search for satisfaction of the senses in a university town. With Women in Love (1921), D.H. Lawrence continues his look at marriage and the relationships between men and women. Ursula is now a teacher No Pot O' Gold Past the End of The Rainbow This was a letdown from The Rainbow (1915), which stirred and sizzled, was better written and seemed more momentous. In it, Ursula Brangwen came of age and defied the conventions of the unsophisticated environs in which she was raised, so she could selfishly search for satisfaction of the senses in a university town. With Women in Love (1921), D.H. Lawrence continues his look at marriage and the relationships between men and women. Ursula is now a teacher who has a relationship with Rupert Birkin as coequals--modeled on Lawrence and his wife--who work to resolve their disputes and aspire to understand and honor each other's uniqueness. On the other hand, her younger sister Gudrun Brangwen--a young teen at The Rainbow's end--now a sculptor, embarks upon and survives a fateful relationship with the indifferent industrialist Gerald Crich, an affair damned to failure by the uncompromising constitutions of each. To be sure, Lawrence has something instructive to say about love and marriage, how it requires work, respect and compromise. Unfortunately, this did not work for me. It was too dry and perhaps a bit didactic. By comparison, I admired and enjoyed both Sons and Lovers and The Rainbow. Two out of three ain't bad.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Nikoleta

    Ο D. H Lawrens εναντιώνετε σε όλα τα κοινωνικά στερεότυπα που τον πνίγουν… Στην φωνή του ήρωα του Μπίρκιν, ένιωθα ότι άκουγα τον ίδιο τον συγγραφέα, καθόλη την διάρκεια της ανάγνωσης. Θα μου πείτε βέβαια οτι οι μύχιες σκέψεις ενός ήρωα, είτε ακόμη και του ίδιου του αφηγητή, πρέπει να παραμένουν στο ίδιο το μυθιστόρημα και να μην θεωρούμε λαθεμένα ότι είναι οι ίδιες οι σκέψεις του δημιουργού, οτιδήποτε άλλο πέρα από αυτό, είναι παιδιάστικο. Όμως εάν διαβάσετε τις Ερωτευμένες γυναίκες θα καταλάβετ Ο D. H Lawrens εναντιώνετε σε όλα τα κοινωνικά στερεότυπα που τον πνίγουν… Στην φωνή του ήρωα του Μπίρκιν, ένιωθα ότι άκουγα τον ίδιο τον συγγραφέα, καθόλη την διάρκεια της ανάγνωσης. Θα μου πείτε βέβαια οτι οι μύχιες σκέψεις ενός ήρωα, είτε ακόμη και του ίδιου του αφηγητή, πρέπει να παραμένουν στο ίδιο το μυθιστόρημα και να μην θεωρούμε λαθεμένα ότι είναι οι ίδιες οι σκέψεις του δημιουργού, οτιδήποτε άλλο πέρα από αυτό, είναι παιδιάστικο. Όμως εάν διαβάσετε τις Ερωτευμένες γυναίκες θα καταλάβετε. Όλοι οι ήρωες υποφέρουν από την ίδια ασθένεια, την ανθρώπινη κοινωνία. Τους έχει αλυσοδέσει. Δεν μπορούν να εκφραστούν, δεν μπορούν να ερωτευτούν, δεν μπορούν να ξεφύγουν. Ο Lawrens πολύ πριν την σεξουαλική επανάσταση, επαναστάτησε για χάρη της. Όχι όμως για την πράξη καθεαυτή, αλλά για κάτι πιο βαθύ. Μας θυμίζει ότι δεν υπάρχει παρθενικός έρωτας. Όταν είσαι ερωτευμένος ποθείς. Θες να φιλήσεις, θες να αγγίξεις και να ενωθείς. Πως γίνεται αυτό να είναι βρώμικο; Πως γίνεται το ίδιο το κορμί σου, που είναι κομμάτι δικό σου, να είναι βλάσφημο; Μου άρεσε αρκετά, το διάβασα όμως σαν μέρος του ίδιου του συγγραφέα του. Ως μικρή έρευνα για αυτόν τον ιδιαίτερο άνθρωπο. Ενέταξα το έργο στην εποχή του και στην προσωπική ιστορία του δημιουργού του και είπα μου αρέσει. Αν τον διάβαζα χωρίς να γνωρίζω τίποτα απολύτως, απλά και μόνο για διασκέδαση, θα μου άρεσε; Χμ… ίσως όχι και τόσο. Δεν έχω καταλήξει ακόμα, διότι αντικειμενικά το Ερωτευμένες Γυναίκες μου χάρισαν πολλά, ειδικά τροφή για σκέψη. «Αν υπάρχει, πράγματι, κάτι ανυπόφορο, αυτό είναι ο εξευτελισμός, η εκπόρνευση των μυστηρίων που ζούνε μέσα μας (…) Από τον Πρόλογο του D. H Lawrens, Ερωτευμένες Γυναίκες, μετ. Γιάννης Λάμψας, Εξάντας, 1980.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Carolyn F.

    This is not just because the narrator talks too fast and is really hard to understand, it's also because I'm just too old for this book. In my idealistic youth I would have found the ramblings of these people inspiring but now I'm bored. They go on and on about how the world is awful and I just had enough and can't finish it.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Liza

    It is seemingly impossible to summarize a book such as Women in Love. The book innocuously begins with sisters Gudrun and Ursula Brangwen discussing marriage. Gudrun is an artist and Ursula is a school teacher, and their middle-class status is key in their ostracism from the high-society to which their lovers Geraldthe industrialistand Rupertthe disillusioned intellectual. Although these relationships would seem to be key, the complex relationship between Rupertmodeled after author D.H. Lawrence It is seemingly impossible to summarize a book such as Women in Love. The book innocuously begins with sisters Gudrun and Ursula Brangwen discussing marriage. Gudrun is an artist and Ursula is a school teacher, and their middle-class status is key in their ostracism from the high-society to which their lovers Gerald—the industrialist—and Rupert—the disillusioned intellectual. Although these relationships would seem to be key, the complex relationship between Rupert—modeled after author D.H. Lawrence—and Gerald is really the crux of the novel. Further summarization seems impossible, because this novel seems to be not so much a novel, but rather a vehicle for Lawrence to espouse his philosophies through the character of Birkin. Birkin rants and raves about everything from the nature of love and marriage to the overly structured education system, the cruelty of labor (Lawrence's father was a coal miner) and the structure of the English empire. Although there are many remarkable scenes of dialogue, these are interrupted by philosophical musings, and the two strands do not blend together well. Reading this book is arduous, and it is a novel that operates on so many different levels that it would be best discussed rather than read solitarily. Readers may be shocked by the overwhelming misogyny and Eurocentrism of much of the novel—aspects that do not translate time. Lawrence explores sexuality in a way that is often disparaging to women while equating men with Adonis. A provocative novel, that I love/hate, this read will make you want to know more about Lawrence (which may be key to understanding his motivations) and hopefully read some of his other work.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Joudy

    "We are now in a period of crisis. Every man who is acutely alive is acutely wrestling with his own soul" Lawrence's belief was that the essence of art is, after all,its ability to convey the emotions of one man to his fellows- a form of sympathy , a form of religious experience. "-Why is it art? -It conveys a complete truth, it contains the whole truth of that state, whatever you feel about it -But you can't call it high art! -High! There are centuries and hundreds of centuries of development in a "We are now in a period of crisis. Every man who is acutely alive is acutely wrestling with his own soul" Lawrence's belief was that the essence of art is, after all,its ability to convey the emotions of one man to his fellows- a form of sympathy , a form of religious experience. "-Why is it art? -It conveys a complete truth, it contains the whole truth of that state, whatever you feel about it -But you can't call it high art! -High! There are centuries and hundreds of centuries of development in a straight line, behind that carving; it's an awful pitch of culture, of a definite sort. -What culture? -Pure culture in sensation , culture in the physical consciousness, really ultimate physical consciousness, mindless, sensual. It's so sensual s to be final, supreme." Is it a great book? Does it have any relation to anything outside the work of art? Is there any connection between the work of art and everyday world? And every time you think you've got an answer, every time you think a character is fully justified, you get a different point of view, a point of view that keeps the debate open, that ensures that when the reader finishes a text, he is left with things to debate, things to discuss, questions that are left open, a hunger to go back and read it again and see it from a different perspective. It's a daunting task , particularly for readers who are approaching the dialogue for the first time, I didn't find it to be very engaging,what is important to me is to give me something to cling on to, to recognize and engage with, so I can associate with their fears, aspirations and their dilemmas ,but the reader should tolerate the dialogue long enough to grasp the underlying themes of the work. Whether Lawrence manages to incur our animosity or admiration is irrelevant as the goal may simply have been to engage us at all,it is not to say that it can not be appreciated for what it attempts to accomplish. his brilliance is to inject personality , questions of morality, excitement and the range of other human emotions, it reflects his lifelong preoccupation with the effect of conflict on human society, what makes this book interesting is that Lawrence comes at it from a rather unusual perspective, part of his genus is his ability to wholly enter his characters, to make them believable to us, male or female. It opens with Ursula embroidering and Gudrun drawing as they sit altogether in the window-bay of their father's house, Gudrun asked Ursula if she wanted to get married "Let a man walk alone on the face of the earth, and he feels himself like a loose speck blown at random. Let him have a woman to whom he belongs , and he will feel as though he had a wall to back up against even though the woman be mentally a fool! " Ursula and Gudrun Brangwen are sisters, Ursula twenty-six and Gudrun twenty-five, they both had the remote, virgin look of modern girls . Gudrun was amazingly beautiful, her look of confidence and diffidence contrasted with Ursula's sensitive expectancy. Ursula's spirit was active , her life like a shoot that is growing steadily, Gudrun was the more beautiful and attractive, Ursula was more physical, more womanly. The sisters were from Beldover , a world so utterly different from London and the south, a world of underworld men who spent most of their time in the darkness, a world so ugly and uncreated, and yet surcharged with the same potent atmosphere of intense, dark callousness. "The world of art is only, the truth about the real world, that's all."

  13. 5 out of 5

    Maureen

    This book is like an Expressionist painting: you look at it once, and return and see something different. The writing is lush, and almost poetic at times. Lawrence uses the idea of the two sisters, Gudrun and Ursula, as his canvas to explore ideas about men and women, marriage and fidelity, and whatever else runs through his mind and on to the page. In this high-speed, instant world, we are losing the art of leisurely contemplation. D.H. Lawrence needs to be taken up, and put down, and taken up This book is like an Expressionist painting: you look at it once, and return and see something different. The writing is lush, and almost poetic at times. Lawrence uses the idea of the two sisters, Gudrun and Ursula, as his canvas to explore ideas about men and women, marriage and fidelity, and whatever else runs through his mind and on to the page. In this high-speed, instant world, we are losing the art of leisurely contemplation. D.H. Lawrence needs to be taken up, and put down, and taken up again. Forget about the criticisms of misogyny/adoration of women, eroticism/not erotic enough, too frou-frou /too manly. Just let the language wash over you and enjoy the experience.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Gloria

    Ugh - this book was no fun for me. There were some lovely moments and prose that I copied into my quote journal, and that's about all that kept me going. The introduction advised that "one should not begin one's study of Lawrence with Women in Love", and man, I guess that's right. I really can't stand purposefully obscure language, or a supposedly realist novel that's full of dialogue and emotional reactions that make no sense and bear no resemblance to how people actually talk or think. Maybe I Ugh - this book was no fun for me. There were some lovely moments and prose that I copied into my quote journal, and that's about all that kept me going. The introduction advised that "one should not begin one's study of Lawrence with Women in Love", and man, I guess that's right. I really can't stand purposefully obscure language, or a supposedly realist novel that's full of dialogue and emotional reactions that make no sense and bear no resemblance to how people actually talk or think. Maybe I'm just not literary enough for this, but I'm retreating into some easier stuff for a while.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Bruce

    Superb! D.H. Lawrence at his best. Each character is utterly individual and nuanced but cannot stand alone, being fully realized only in relationship and response to each other. Having read the work one sees these people around one every day, and of course one also sees aspects of oneself in each of them as well. A terrific novel!

  16. 5 out of 5

    Liz

    I'm sorry, I just don't 'get' DH Lawrence. I think he is the most over-rated novelist I've ever read. And I have tried. I'm sure he broke the boundaries of what was permitted to be discussed in the novel BUT, besides the chapter involving the boating trip and resulting accident, nothing impressed me or remains with me from the book other than intense irritation with all of the characters. The women are unrealistic and the men, arrogant and dull. I wanted to slap the lot of them and tell them to I'm sorry, I just don't 'get' DH Lawrence. I think he is the most over-rated novelist I've ever read. And I have tried. I'm sure he broke the boundaries of what was permitted to be discussed in the novel BUT, besides the chapter involving the boating trip and resulting accident, nothing impressed me or remains with me from the book other than intense irritation with all of the characters. The women are unrealistic and the men, arrogant and dull. I wanted to slap the lot of them and tell them to get a life. It is so self-indulgent and self-important. If I'd been given this at school, I'd have been put off the 'classics' for life! What a waste of paper and time

  17. 4 out of 5

    Elena

    If there is anything like a truth to sexual relations, I'd say that Lawrence's account here comes pretty close to capturing at least one fold of the central knot of it. He weaves his narrative around four centers of consciousness, two male, and two female, in an effort to capture the essential meaning of their relations to themselves, to one another, and to the nothingness from which their consciousness springs, from moment to moment. He movingly captures the shimmering movement of their conscio If there is anything like a truth to sexual relations, I'd say that Lawrence's account here comes pretty close to capturing at least one fold of the central knot of it. He weaves his narrative around four centers of consciousness, two male, and two female, in an effort to capture the essential meaning of their relations to themselves, to one another, and to the nothingness from which their consciousness springs, from moment to moment. He movingly captures the shimmering movement of their consciousnesses over the fathomless darkness of mere being. The thread of narrative follows them as they dissolve into liminal, pre-reflective, pre-personal levels of purely immersive sense experience. We see them there scattered beyond all conceptual bounds, in a quivering, unreal because too real world of pure senseless, impersonal image. We see them before the question of meaning even has any meaning. And from there the narrative follows them also as they gather themselves back up out of the experienced flux, propping themselves up with their relationship to one another, and with their own bubble of meanings. Following the death of his father, Gerard finds himself to be hollowed out, and describes himself as a shimmering bubble of consciousness enveloping a dark core of nothingness. The brush with death only reveals the permanent, overlooked truth: that this is indeed, what a personality is, a shimmering bubble around a void. To escape from the knowledge of absolute negation that death brings, each wagers on love. The dynamic of the characters' lives thus modulates itself between the two poles of death and love, between the two absolutes of negation and ecstasy. It is worth reading this if only to witness this seemingly magical oscillation it sustains between the two extremities of our being: from the lucid world of waking consciousness, in which we have our definite contours and stance in things, pragmatic fixity, to the underworld at which we feel ourselves to be, ultimately, strangers to ourselves. Faceless. Shapeless. Unknown. Unfathomably other to ourselves. It is there that Lawrence's story asks us we must meet, if we are to really say we love each other. It is there that we must forge our relations with one another, ourselves, and the world. "There is," he said, in a voice of pure abstraction, "a final me which is stark and impersonal and beyond responsibility. So there is a final you. And it is there I would want to meet you-not in the emotional loving plane-but there beyond, where there is no speech and no terms of agreement. There we are two stark, unknown beings, two utterly strange creatures, I would want to approach you, and you me." This encounter with nothingness is not, I think, the essence of truth for him as it was for later existentialist writers. It seems to be rather springboard for a more genuine creation. The encounter with nothingness is the seed of everything, of a genuine creation, relation, and truth. This is because it is the true impersonal seed of the personality, and thus, of our world. I should say that the frothy steaminess of the language was, at times, alienating for me. Perhaps it is a matter of incompatible sensibilities here; I tend to prefer works that lavish the most impressionistically detailed descriptions on the marginal incidents of life, while sketching the climactic, consummatory moments from a respectful remove, with the infinite suggestivity that can be effected only by the sidelong glance cast by sparse simplicity of description. Melodrama such as Lawrence oftentimes indulges in at key moments of dialogue obscures for me the meaning he so desperately wishes to convey by those very passages. Hyperbole ironically diminishes and distorts truth. Simone de Beauvoir, in "The Second Sex," criticized Lawrence's boastful claims of this work, his claim, namely, that he was finally showing an authentic portrait of "woman becoming individual." However, what Lawrence attempts to show here is that we have been mistaken about our true relations because we have been mistaken about ourselves. Through Ursula and Birkin's relationship, he shows that "woman becoming individual" makes possible the emergence of the true relationship between man and woman; it reveals the true contours of their essential otherness to each other. De Beauvoir condemns Lawrence of distorting his portrait of his characters - both male and female - by projecting his foregone essentialist conclusions into it. But it is unfair to criticize an author for being true to the very essence of his vision. Ursula and Birkin are not just isolated, autonomous individuals for him, but centers of force in the larger creative process of the world. They are thus defined not just in themselves, but also in terms of their irreducible otherness to each other, an otherness which is at times a source of deep attraction, at others, of irreconcilable opposition. They are irreducibly individual, just as they are participants in archetypal types: each is also Man, the active principle, and Woman, the subtle principle. In Lawrence's vision, we are ourselves - centers, unities, worlds unto ourselves - and we are also caught in a web of relations. We are individuals who are also a part of a dual pattern. The characters acquire deeper definition not merely as autonomous subjects, but by adopting, willy-nilly, a position in a world of countervailing forces, hence all the images of flux he uses to structure the most revelatory moments in the story. It is by opposing each other, just as well as by learning to love each other, that they acquire fuller being. And it is by their love of one another and by their struggle against one another that they oppose the ultimate opposer, death, whose specter from early on comes to stalk the consciousness of them all. Man is to woman, as woman is to man, the face of nature come ecstatically, terrifyingly close. His male and female characters alike show a fear of ultimate intimacy with one another which is a little like the fear of self-annihilation. This is because both instinctively seek to find in the relation with the other the abolition of separate subjectivity in favour of the higher awareness that can only be found on the other side of self-surrender in relation. His descriptions of the shedding aside of self of both parties can be pretty gut-wrenching if you let them sink in, emotionally, even by today's pornographic standards. Their hunger for a kind of absolute closeness can border on the disturbing. Nobody really wants to go peering that deeply into the fabric of one's relations as these characters end up doing. Ironically though, in the very concluding chapter of her great work, de Beauvoir finds herself agreeing with the core of Lawrence's insight into the unity emerging from oppositional duality that structures the human condition: “To emancipate woman is to refuse to confine her to the relations she bears to man, not to deny them to her; let her have her independent existence and she will continue nonetheless to exist for him also: mutually recognizing each other as subject, each will yet remain for the other an other. The reciprocity of their relations will not do away with the miracles – desire, possession, love, dream, adventure – worked by the division of human beings into two separate categories; and the words that move us – giving, conquering, uniting – will not lose their meaning. On the contrary, when we abolish the slavery of half of humanity, together with the whole system of hypocrisy that it implies, then the 'division' of humanity will reveal its genuine significance and the human couple will find its true form.” All in all, the book is a call to a deeper meditation, on our part, on the deeper spiritual meaning of our relations. If you open yourself up to its searching light, it can reorganize your insides, bringing new clarity, and perhaps, revealing new priorities.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Diletta

    QUALCUNO MI RIDIA IL TEMPO CHE HO SPRECATO LEGGENDO QUESTO LIBRO. Vi prego. Esisterà qualcosa tipo un soddisfatti o rimborsati, che ne so. Un sindacato dei lettori? Ok, respira a fondo. Cerchiamo di calmarci e di mettere giù il libro, invece di continuare ad agitarlo pericolosamente così. Su, spostati dalla finestra. Da brava, così. Donne innamorate è uno di quei libri che quando lo finisci di leggere, quando compi quel magnifico e agognato gesto di chiudere l'ultima pagina, fa nascere in te dell QUALCUNO MI RIDIA IL TEMPO CHE HO SPRECATO LEGGENDO QUESTO LIBRO. Vi prego. Esisterà qualcosa tipo un soddisfatti o rimborsati, che ne so. Un sindacato dei lettori? Ok, respira a fondo. Cerchiamo di calmarci e di mettere giù il libro, invece di continuare ad agitarlo pericolosamente così. Su, spostati dalla finestra. Da brava, così. Donne innamorate è uno di quei libri che quando lo finisci di leggere, quando compi quel magnifico e agognato gesto di chiudere l'ultima pagina, fa nascere in te delle domande esistenziali estremamente profonde e di difficile soluzione. Domande che si possono riassumere in un: "Embè? Quindi?" Solo che qui abbiamo un libro di 688 pagine. Di solito sono molto magnanima in questi casi, mi dico “e vabbè dai sei tu la villica che non ha capito il messaggio che voleva trasmettere l'autore”, ma non DOPO 688 FOTTUTE PAGINE. No. Dopo 688 pagine è un affronto. Ma andiamo con ordine. Parliamo della trama, ma sì. Ci sono due sorelle, Gudrun e Ursula, che nel secondo capitolo si innamorano di tali Gerald e Birkin. A metà libro una di loro due si sposa. Nel frammezzo, Gerald e Birkin ambiscono a conoscersi meglio in senso biblico. Nell’ultimo capitolo, un tizio tira le cuoia in maniera imprecisata e non frega nulla a nessuno. Sì, e poi? No no, niente poi, non accade nient'altro. E dico davvero. Lawrence può creare un capitolo di 70 pagine parlando di una gita in montagna (in cui non accade nulla di significativo, se non giustamente delle persone che vanno in slittino sulla neve) o uno di 40 in cui ci sono delle signorine che prendono il tè discutendo della vita. E' tutto un continuo scorrere di episodi di cui non ti frega un'emerita cippa, perché non mi interessa proprio sapere che Gerald per catturare un coniglio gli dà una legnata sul collo, e del fatto che Birkin e Ursula vanno al mercato a comprare una sedia e poi la regalano potevo anche farne a meno. E allora perché 3 stelline? Innanzitutto c'è da dire che sono clemente, perché sono felice di essermi tolta questo fardello dal groppone. Poi forse, seriamente parlando, qualcosa di buono sepolto sotto tutte le ciance di Lawrence c'è. La filosofia di Birkin, ad esempio. Non ho mai parlato della struttura di un capitolo tipo. Due personaggi, estratti a caso da un cappello che Lawrence teneva sul comodino presumo, si incontrano per caso. Cominciano a parlare. Iniziano a discorrere del tempo, o di un vestito, poi uno di loro si mette a parlare di vita, umanità, amore, morte, filosofia, coscienza, che non c'entra assolutamente nulla col tema di partenza, però se è Birkin che parla qualcosa di interessante lo tira fuori. Ad esempio: "L'umanità è un albero secco, e i suoi frutti, gli individui belli e brillanti di cui è carica, sono gusci vuoti. [...] Vorrei che fosse spazzata via. Potrebbe tranquillamente sparire, e non se ne sentirebbe di certo la mancanza, se tutti gli esseri perissero domani. Allora il vero albero della vita si sbarazzerebbe della più repellente, pesante messe del frutto del Mar Morto, l'intollerabile fardello di miriadi di simulacri umani, un peso infinito di bugie mortali." Certo, non è proprio un discorso che fareste ad una persona incontrata per caso qualche minuto prima su un sentiero che porta a un torrente, ma è senza dubbio qualcosa di interessante, che offre diversi spunti di riflessione. Ecco, Birkin parla sempre così. Poi quando inizia a discorrere d’amore intraprende percorsi in lande desolate che sfociano con la metafisica, l’astronomia, la religione, la semiotica…e che non vi sto a riportare. Sarà dura, ma so che saprete farvene una ragione. Gerald invece è solo una personcina molto inquietante. Ce l’ha coi cavalli e coi conigli. Vede il mondo come una gigantesca macchina, in cui ogni cosa ha un ruolo preciso nel grande ingranaggio dell’esistenza; può dunque asservirsene come più gli aggrada. Donne comprese, ovviamente. Ah, ogni tanto medita di uccidere qualcuno. Tutto normale, poi gli passa. Parliamo dello stile. Ecco, lo stile di Lawrence è particolare, secondo me non l’ha capito bene neanche lui. Quando è ispirato sa creare immagini meravigliose, in cui ogni elemento è carico di sensualità e malizia, in cui le azioni vengono descritte come meravigliosi amplessi anche se due persone stanno solo parlando. Poi però a volte non sa cosa scrivere, e allora si mette a costruire periodi a caso, mettendoci in mezzo un “la sua coscienza”, “il suo io mistico”, “la sua anima”,”il suo essere” ogni tanto, che fa figo ma non vuol dire un bel niente, soprattutto se lo ripeti ad ogni capoverso. “Avanzavano rapidi lungo la strada innevata, contrassegnata da rami secchi piantati a intervalli regolari. Gerald e Gudrun procedevano separati, come gli opposti poli di un’unica feroce energia. Però si sentivano abbastanza possenti da scavalcare i confini della vita per inoltrarsi in luoghi proibiti e tornarne.” PERCHE’. PERCHE’. COSA C’ENTRA. Donne innamorate ha diversi lati positivi, ma sono sommersi, seppelliti da quelli negativi. Primo fra tutti è che personaggi del genere non esistono nella realtà, e già qui il lettore si sente offeso. Indignato contro un Lawrence che ha voluto strafare ficcando nel suo libro elementi casuali di filosofia (dozzinale, peraltro) con la forza, come vestiti in una borsa da viaggio che chiede pietà. Il risultato è un romanzo di pura fantascienza.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Chiara Pagliochini

    « Pah – l’amour. Lo detesto. L’amour, l’amore, die Liebe – lo detesto in ogni lingua. Donne e amore, non c’è tedio più grande » esclamò. Lei se ne sentì un po’ offesa. E tuttavia era la sua stessa, elementare sensazione. Uomini e amore, non c’era tedio più grande. Non c’è cosa più irritante, io credo, che sentirsi troppo stupidi per capire un romanzo. Non c’è cosa più irritante che sentire che la distanza che ti separa dallo scrittore, in termini di complessità ideologica, di esperienze di vita e « Pah – l’amour. Lo detesto. L’amour, l’amore, die Liebe – lo detesto in ogni lingua. Donne e amore, non c’è tedio più grande » esclamò. Lei se ne sentì un po’ offesa. E tuttavia era la sua stessa, elementare sensazione. Uomini e amore, non c’era tedio più grande. Non c’è cosa più irritante, io credo, che sentirsi troppo stupidi per capire un romanzo. Non c’è cosa più irritante che sentire che la distanza che ti separa dallo scrittore, in termini di complessità ideologica, di esperienze di vita e di abilità linguistica, non è una piccola crepa, ma un crepaccio. Tra me e Lawrence c’è un crepaccio. Intorno, una valle innevata. Sopra, un cielo bianco lattiginoso. È uno di quei libri, rari a trovarsi, il cui contenuto in termini di trama si può sintetizzare in mezza riga. Due donne, due uomini, due storie d’amore, anzi tre. Picnic all’aperto, gite in macchina, crudeltà sui conigli, una scazzottata, un contorno di affascinanti personaggi bohemien, l’industria del carbone, tanta tanta voglia di libertà. I due personaggi femminili, Gudrun e Ursula, sono due sorelle, estremamente diverse l’una dall’altra. I due personaggi maschili, Birkin e Gerald, sono altrettanto estremamente diversi. Le tre coppie, Birkin-Ursula, Gudrun-Gerald, Birkin-Gerald, sono ancora più diverse ed estreme. Le coppie si formano al capitolo due. Benissimo, perché andare avanti allora? Un romanzo di Jane Austen si sarebbe fermato qui. Che problema c’è? Sarebbe un romanzo estremamente carino di 12 pagine. Ma cosa diavolo… ? Perché il mio romanzo ha 542 pagine? Cos’altro deve accadere? Ecco, in realtà non accade nulla. Si riflette. Questo è tutto, si riflette. Ma su cosa? Già, questa è un’altra bella domanda. Il problema è che in un romanzo di Jane Austen (per quanto la mia venerazione per zia Jane sia eterna ed incrollabile) non si troverebbe qualcosa su cui riflettere. Eroe ed eroina devono arrivare al matrimonio, punto. Dopo il matrimonio possono finalmente varcare la soglia del talamo nuziale e fare tanti bambini. Non c’è altra strada. Lizzy non è mai rientrata a casa dicendo « Mamma, Mr. Darcy mi ha chiesto se vado con lui in Svizzera, così possiamo darci dentro come conigli ». Il signor Lawrence è un nostalgico, è uno che Jane Austen l’ha letta, e molto bene. Ne riconosce tutti i meriti, ma anche tutti i limiti. Non che zia Jane non fosse una grande artista, ma era una donna del suo tempo. I tempi sono cambiati, e questo il signor Lawrence lo sa. Siamo nel 1921 e la gente è tutta diversa. La guerra ha cambiato tutto. Ha cambiato gli uomini, ha cambiato le donne, ha cambiato le relazioni tra i sessi. Le donne possono girare il mondo da sole, possono fare lo scultore, bere champagne, andare col primo che capita (e pensate, quello nemmeno è costretto a sposarle, dopo!). Gli uomini possono sentirsi forti della loro virilità e passare da un’amante all’altra, hanno automobili, hanno motori e operai. Il mondo corre veloce, c’è l’industria, c’è il tran-tran delle metropoli, c’è la modernità. Eppure si ritorna sempre allo stesso problema. L’eterno problema. L’amore. Pah, l’amour. Donne innamorate è proprio questo, una sottile e complessa analisi dei sentimenti umani allo scoccare del secolo, un tentativo di stabilire cosa è cambiato rispetto al secolo scorso, se c’è ancora l’amore e in che forme si esprime, attraverso tutto un campionario di esperienze quali la convivenza, il matrimonio, le relazioni tra persone dello stesso sesso. Lawrence ce la metteva proprio tutta per dare scandalo. Il romanzo precedente a questo, The rainbow, fu messo al rogo dalla censura (1921, sì, e ancora bruciavano i libri). Il suo romanzo più famoso, L’amante di Lady Chatterley, fu pubblicato a Firenze da un editore che non conosceva l’inglese. Se avesse capito cosa c’era scritto, non l’avrebbe pubblicato sicuro. Lawrence era troppo un uomo del suo tempo, troppo schietto per andare d’accordo con gli inglesi. Gli inglesi sono gente che va d’accordo con Dickens e con Jane Austen, con quelli che rientrano nel canale dell’ordine prestabilito. Ma Lawrence no, Lawrence è uno che ti tira pesci in faccia. La sua scrittura è scandalosa, la sua scrittura è sesso senza essere oscenità, la sua scrittura fa sciogliere le viscere e desta qualcosa, quel qualcosa che il cuore di un freddo inglese del ’21 non riesce ancora ad accettare. Che il mondo è cambiato, signori. Il mondo è cambiato e non possiamo farci niente. Le nostre donne non sono più donne. I nostri uomini non sono più uomini. E adesso i sessi cominciano ad interagire tra loro in un modo che ci manda fuori di testa. Donne innamorate è un romanzo che investe tutto sui personaggi e quasi nulla sull’azione. Il dialogo, il gesto, è su questi elementi che l’attenzione del lettore si deve concentrare. Su questi e su una serie di simboli ripetuti, di scene chiave per capire in che modo i personaggi interagiscono e quali sono le molle del loro pensiero. Abbiamo Ursula, donna di passione, di grandi slanci, di grandi gelosie, molto intensa e vera in tutto il suo sentire. Un po’ stupida alle volte, ma certamente umana, come tutte le donne un po’ troppo innamorate, un po’ troppo stupide, un po’ troppo umane. Alle volte vorresti prenderla a sberle, alle volte ti trovi a parteggiare per lei. Qualche volta pensi, è veramente cretina, e qualche volta, dagliele di santa ragione! Abbiamo Birkin, per molti versi un autoritratto dello scrittore, il filosofo del romanzo, la vera voce ideologica, un pensatore, un sognatore, teorizzatore di amori tutti spirito e niente carne, che vede l’amore come il bilanciamento tra due stelle vicine e poi finisce inevitabilmente per contraddirsi e soccombere all’amore molto più umano e realizzabile di Ursula. Birkin è il mio personaggio preferito. È un tizio che dice sempre cose memorabili. Sull’umanità. Sulla morte. Sul sentimento. Sui dinosauri. Qualsiasi cosa dica è un piccolo capolavoro artistico. Spesso frainteso, come capita alla gente grande quando finisce tra gente piccola. Abbiamo Gerald, orribile, terrificante, divino. Più che essere un personaggio, Gerald assomiglia a qualche divinità nordica del ghiaccio e del fulmine. È una macchina da guerra e vede il mondo in forma di macchina. Il mondo per lui è un enorme ingranaggio da oliare e ogni persona è uno strumento. Lui stesso è uno strumento, un meccanismo, e un meccanismo non deve mai smettere di funzionare. Gerald è uno sempre impegnato a fare qualcosa. Deve essere sempre impegnato a fare qualcosa. Perché se si fermasse a pensare, morirebbe. Abbiamo Gudrun. Abbiamo Gudrun, punto. Ecco, io non ho capito questo personaggio fino a venti pagine fa. Pensavo che in qualche modo molto lontano mi somigliasse, ma non capivo perché. È un personaggio così controverso e tremendo. È sadica. È masochista. Vuole dominare ed essere dominata. Vuole soccombere all’amore e non soccombere. Vuole una vita libera e piena di ispirazione e si costringe a un’esistenza di miseria intellettuale. Ci ho messo fino a venti pagine dalla fine, ma poi ho capito. E ho capito che mi somiglia davvero. Ci ho messo tanto tempo a riconoscerla solo perché era un ritratto troppo impietoso da guardare. Qualche breve considerazione sulla scrittura di Lawrence. Ecco, è semplicemente una delle più belle scritture che conosca. È una scrittura che ha un tessuto, ha qualcosa dell’oro e qualcosa dell’elettricità. È come se una vena potentissima di energia scorresse dalle pagine al lettore. Magari potessi averla. Magari fosse mia. E allora, vi starete chiedendo, dove dannazione è il problema? Quale cavolo è il tuo problema? Perché non hai dato a questo libro cinque stelline? Perché? Perché sei una cretina! No, perché sono umana. Perché sono umana e 542 pagine nell’inglese di Lawrence sono come la maratona di New York. Sono arrivata in fondo con grandissima soddisfazione, ma che fatica. In italiano avrei forse saputo apprezzarne tutte le sfumature, tastare il tessuto, ma in inglese no. È semplicemente troppo difficile per me, sono umana, e devo accettarlo. Questa barriera linguistica è stata anche il motivo principale, io credo, per cui le vicende dei personaggi mi sono sostanzialmente scivolate addosso. Li ho guardati con molta freddezza, con molta scientificità. C’è stata da parte mia davvero poca partecipazione. È stato come guardare da fuori un ballo in una sala da tè. Dentro ci sono tutte le signore agghindate, ci sono le tende, c’è la musica, c’è profumo, dentro c’è tutta la tua idea di bellezza orchestrata soltanto per farti piacere. Ma nessuno ti apre la porta. Grazie tante, tu dici.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Tyler Steele

    Holy crap what a miserable book. If your Emo or wannabe Emo this is the book for you. You hear people complain that Tolkien will write about a tree for 3 pages, well in this book the author will describe the same thought for 3 pages and then goes absolutely no where with it! My wife explained it best. There is no one in this book to root for. You just end up wishing all the characters would hold hands and jump off a bridge. the author is obviously trying to make you think about sacrifice and love Holy crap what a miserable book. If your Emo or wannabe Emo this is the book for you. You hear people complain that Tolkien will write about a tree for 3 pages, well in this book the author will describe the same thought for 3 pages and then goes absolutely no where with it! My wife explained it best. There is no one in this book to root for. You just end up wishing all the characters would hold hands and jump off a bridge. the author is obviously trying to make you think about sacrifice and love but ended up making me feel drained and delusional.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Lou Last

    Over the top with urgency and metaphysical wrestling. Language that is physical and morbid, often vulgar. Wonderful stuff - I found it undeniable this time around.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Mikey B.

    After 170 pages I had to give up. I couldn’t relate to these upper class snobs who just whined endlessly about how dreadful life is. “Go get a job” I say – “change some diapers”, “cook a dinner”, “Have a glass of wine”. Do something! It’s repetitive with misanthropic conversations like: Page 140 (my book) There was silence, wherein she wanted to cry. She reached for another bit of chocolate paper, and began to fold another boat. “And why is it,” she asked at length, ‘that there is no flowering, no After 170 pages I had to give up. I couldn’t relate to these upper class snobs who just whined endlessly about how dreadful life is. “Go get a job” I say – “change some diapers”, “cook a dinner”, “Have a glass of wine”. Do something! It’s repetitive with misanthropic conversations like: Page 140 (my book) There was silence, wherein she wanted to cry. She reached for another bit of chocolate paper, and began to fold another boat. “And why is it,” she asked at length, ‘that there is no flowering, no dignity of human life now?” ‘The whole idea is dead. Humanity itself is dry-rotten, really. There are myriads of human beings hanging on the bush – and they look very nice and rosy, your healthy young men and women. But they are apples of Sodom, as a matter of fact. Dead Sea Fruit, gall-apples. It isn’t true that they have any significance – their insides are full of bitter, corrupt ash.’ ‘But they are good people,’ protested Ursula. ‘Good enough for the life of today. But mankind is a dead tree, covered with fine brilliant galls of people’ I just could not see myself enduring this type of thought and dialogue for another 300 pages! Everybody, in so many different ways in this, novel despises someone else. And its’ about domination and control – man over woman, man over animals, nature... There is endless nihilism and a lack of humour (well I found myself snickering at passages like the above –as in here goes another rant from the author). The individual characters are so isolated. In a chapter called “Class-Room”, where one of our main characters is a teacher, two of her “friends” enter and in full view of the class embark into a sordid philosophical conversation of the evils and futility of mankind. Suddenly our teacher dismisses her class – and I suppose her students silently leave. The entire atmosphere was very unreal – as if the students would remain stupefied quiet through-out this. No reference by D.H. Lawrence is made to the youthful inhabitants of the classroom – for him they simply don’t exist. Years ago I read Lady Chatterley’s Lover which had a story-line and passion. “Women in Love” is bleak and cold. One gets the impression that the author had serious psychological problems.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Cydney

    Well, I'm proud of myself that I finished it. It wasn't horrible but I did push myself through it. I kept reminding myself that this classic novel is "magnificient" and that (the characters) "clash in thought, passion and belief, and the reader is gripped by deeply held convictions about love and modern society" . . or so they say. There are some passages written so beautifully, and definitely some thoughts on our existence that you can't help but think about; but it was the characters that I fo Well, I'm proud of myself that I finished it. It wasn't horrible but I did push myself through it. I kept reminding myself that this classic novel is "magnificient" and that (the characters) "clash in thought, passion and belief, and the reader is gripped by deeply held convictions about love and modern society" . . or so they say. There are some passages written so beautifully, and definitely some thoughts on our existence that you can't help but think about; but it was the characters that I found so difficult to deal with. They think about and discuss "life" and what it is all about ad nauseum, but they don't actually live. All of the characters are shallow with no attributes to admire or aspire to. It is interesting though that many of the things they worry about and the views they have could be pulled right out of their early 1900's and applied to today. So, in the end, I'm glad I read it, but I won't go so far as to say I enjoyed it. Now I have to decide what to read next . . . I am thankful to be moving on!

  24. 5 out of 5

    Richard Lodge

    It is Lawrence's most complete statement. He argues with himself all through it: struggling to find a way to define what he wants to know about the individual and others. The characters are intense, fierce, intelligent, combative. They clash; they pound into each other. Lawrence explores ideas through the fist-tight dialogue and the bold imagery. And he quests for answers in his insistent narrative too. Ursula remains the real centre of the book, but Birkin, Gudrun and Gerald all get close-up fo It is Lawrence's most complete statement. He argues with himself all through it: struggling to find a way to define what he wants to know about the individual and others. The characters are intense, fierce, intelligent, combative. They clash; they pound into each other. Lawrence explores ideas through the fist-tight dialogue and the bold imagery. And he quests for answers in his insistent narrative too. Ursula remains the real centre of the book, but Birkin, Gudrun and Gerald all get close-up focus too. I remembered from the film that one of the male characters died at the end. Funny, I was relieved to find that it was Gerald. Birkin is more congenial to me. Sadly, Ursula has no more sapphic adventures, but Gerald and Birkin represent an awkward attempt at male companionship that never quite happens. Lawrence is never less than interesting, and he has a great talent for rendering action with vivid immediacy. This is a book that is worth arguing with.

  25. 5 out of 5

    woodshadows

    I was close to giving this a five, but with the profusion of loins, shanks and limbs scattered around the pretty prose which at times read like straight up harlequin romance i had to pull back the final star. also, despite my having more in agreement with some of the thoughts/ideas expressed in this novel, it shared the flaw of that work which i share far less intellectual common ground with - atlas shrugged. in both works characters can at times feel like lifeless mouthpieces for the authors ph I was close to giving this a five, but with the profusion of loins, shanks and limbs scattered around the pretty prose which at times read like straight up harlequin romance i had to pull back the final star. also, despite my having more in agreement with some of the thoughts/ideas expressed in this novel, it shared the flaw of that work which i share far less intellectual common ground with - atlas shrugged. in both works characters can at times feel like lifeless mouthpieces for the authors philosophy, arragned in poses to spout the authors ideas/philosophy.

  26. 5 out of 5

    مروان البلوشي

    تاريخ القراءة الأصلية : ٢٠٠٧ الايروتيكا في تلك الأيام لا تدهشنا حقا ولا تبهرنا..ولكن لدى لورنس احساس عجيب وغريب بأن التحرر الجنسي طريق للتحرر الجماعي

  27. 5 out of 5

    Vit Babenco

    “I detest what I am, outwardly. I loathe myself as a human being. Humanity is a huge aggregate lie, and a huge lie is less than a small truth. Humanity is less, far less than the individual, because the individual may sometimes be capable of truth, and humanity is a tree of lies.” Novels by D.H. Lawrence possess the absolutely unique psychological climate and Women in Love is definitely his best one. Women in Love and Point Counter Point by Aldous Huxley constitute an exhaustive portrayal of the e “I detest what I am, outwardly. I loathe myself as a human being. Humanity is a huge aggregate lie, and a huge lie is less than a small truth. Humanity is less, far less than the individual, because the individual may sometimes be capable of truth, and humanity is a tree of lies.” Novels by D.H. Lawrence possess the absolutely unique psychological climate and Women in Love is definitely his best one. Women in Love and Point Counter Point by Aldous Huxley constitute an exhaustive portrayal of the era – at least on the intellectual plane. “She knew, with the perfect cynicism of cruel youth, that to rise in the world meant to have one outside show instead of another, the advance was like having a spurious half-crown instead of a spurious penny.” A human being is a complex combination of natural instincts, emotions, consciousness, reason and acquired knowledge so one's main task is to keep all these ingredients in harmony.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Georgia Smith

    I found the book dreamy. I'm a sucker for beautiful language and Lawrence is a master at it; his unexpected vocabulary kept me hooked right throughout. The first half I adored, but the second half just seemed a bit of a drag - was it really necessary to have all those meaningless conversations? Likewise the philosophy in the first half was thought-provoking and lovely, but by the second half it had slipped to something of a showing-off; Lawrence seemed to be questioning everything thoughtlessly I found the book dreamy. I'm a sucker for beautiful language and Lawrence is a master at it; his unexpected vocabulary kept me hooked right throughout. The first half I adored, but the second half just seemed a bit of a drag - was it really necessary to have all those meaningless conversations? Likewise the philosophy in the first half was thought-provoking and lovely, but by the second half it had slipped to something of a showing-off; Lawrence seemed to be questioning everything thoughtlessly and stirring no wonder in the reader. Gudrun and Gerald's relationship I found intriguing, Ursula and Birkin's not so much - but I suppose that was what the book was about. It raised many questions for me about the logistics of love, but more questions about the nature of humanity. Overall, a very interesting and beautiful book, but perhaps bogged down a little by the end.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Adam

    Nothing more wearisome than reviewing an already over-reviewed book. [It’s a different sort of BURIAL, eh?] The century, or just my past decade, has not been favorable to Lawrence. Where he ties himself in knots seems to me not worth the effort to unravel; the parallel movements of literature and philosophy have done much to expose these as symptomatic crotchets of self-obsession. So much of the overwrought atmospherics are little more than histrionic idiosyncrasies, and the “Lawrentian” ideolog Nothing more wearisome than reviewing an already over-reviewed book. [It’s a different sort of BURIAL, eh?] The century, or just my past decade, has not been favorable to Lawrence. Where he ties himself in knots seems to me not worth the effort to unravel; the parallel movements of literature and philosophy have done much to expose these as symptomatic crotchets of self-obsession. So much of the overwrought atmospherics are little more than histrionic idiosyncrasies, and the “Lawrentian” ideological universe blunts even sharp insights with bombastic language and notions. It is certainly not entirely awful—Lawrence deserves to be read, parsing merit from the meretricious—but the method of embellishing the obscure with more murky obscurity is hardly to my lasting taste. If the more maudlin side of Dostoyevsky wrote with his wang, that’d be Lawrence, a narcissistic Nietzschean epigone prowling for a soulmate. Someone is perpetually swooning or bursting. It’s a slipshod psychological framework of melodrama suffused with a “dark, dark, ever forever unfathomably dark” chthonic libido, a thwarted and duped cosmophilia, a metaphysically bleak vitalist romance rendered in existentialist pointillism, a pessimist’s soap opera via hallucination. Still, there is perceptive and lucid lightning amid this cloying fug of benighted introspective-cum-interpersonal wanderlust. Here is an example in which acuity and obscurity are superimposed: “There were depths of passion when one became impersonal and indifferent, unemotional. Whereas Ursula was still at the emotional personal level—always so abominably personal. He had taken her as he had never been taken himself. He had taken her at the roots of her darkness and shame—like a demon, laughing over the fountain of mystic corruption which was one of the sources of her being, laughing, shrugging, accepting, accepting finally. As for her, when would she so much go beyond herself as to accept him at the quick of death?” Enough. Despite the gems in the rough, despite the quotable quips mired in a nauseating Weltanschauung, an unbearable stylistic tic was the endless redundancy, as if while writing Lawrence would hit on a word or phrase and exclaim “Hmph, yes, that’s the ticket!” and write it again. And sometimes again. “I have something to say. Indeed, I am saying this something, this something that must be said.” Don’t take my word for it: “Oh, and the beauty of the subjection of his loins, white and dimly luminous as he climbed over the side of the boat, made her want to die, to die. The beauty of his dim and luminous loins as he climbed over the boat…” and so on and so on just die already or kill me. For kindred readers, you will understand when I say that Lawrence’s avatar Rupert Birkin reminds me of no one so much as Otto from The Recognitions.

  30. 4 out of 5

    James Hartley

    Its funny that Lawrence is now seen as an old-fashioned classic author: how funny itd be to see his face if he knew. Hes everything he didnt want to be and isnt that just wonderful? Im firmly in the Id-read-Lawrences-shopping-list camp. Nobody - nobody - has written in English like he does when hes on form. He had a gift for the language, for words, rhythm, meaning - and a fearlessless about writing that is awesome in its intensity and self-belief. He was all contradiction; exasperating but fasci It´s funny that Lawrence is now seen as an old-fashioned classic author: how funny it´d be to see his face if he knew. He´s everything he didn´t want to be and isn´t that just wonderful? I´m firmly in the I´d-read-Lawrence´s-shopping-list camp. Nobody - nobody - has written in English like he does when he´s on form. He had a gift for the language, for words, rhythm, meaning - and a fearlessless about writing that is awesome in its intensity and self-belief. He was all contradiction; exasperating but fascinating. And he took himself so seriously: doesn´t anyone else read his novels just to see how he turns up, in which disguise, and the situations he makes himself suffer? He´s so earnest the books are almost comedies now and, like all the best comedies, punch you right in the soul when you drop your defences. But then there´s the plots and characters. My God. Oh, there it all goes wrong, or goes right in flashes. There it places him as a poet writing prose. His books are prose poetry. Lawrence writes like a candle gives light. He flickers and illuminates but he´s not constant. He burns bright and burns low. He lightens the darkness. He shows us things we otherwise would not see. He is old-fashioned and messy. He provides a point in the darkness, hisses and vanishes.

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