Prufrock's Page

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Lady Chatterley's Chronicler

D.H. Lawrence's star has been under a cloud for some years now, with everyone from prose stylists to feminists accusing the man of unspeakable acts. One recalls being tremendously struck by Sons And Lovers as an impressionable teenager; later, one got hold of a copy of Lady Chatterley's Lover only to read the supposedly prurient bits. Much later, when one read the entire novel, one was struck at how much Lawrence's need to sermonise coloured and weakened the entire work. Now, in The New Yorker, Benjamin Kunkel (debutant author of Indecision) reviews The Life Of An Outsider, a new biography of the author by John Worthen. He states: "Now that the eighties and nineties fashion of censoriously political reading has come to seem a narrow cut, and nearly as dated as those postwar clich├ęs about the sickness of civilized humanity, Lawrence can be rescued from both the moralists and the Lawrentians." Sounds like a worthy project.

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