I can’t bear art that you can walk round and admire. A book should be either a bandit or a rebel, or a man in the crowd.
Writers are often perceived as strange people because of their lifestyle and sometimes because of their writing style. D. H. Lawrence was a British writer and poet who was regarded as one of the most influential writers of the 20th century. He was a controversial writer – some of his works about sexuality were attacked or even censored. A lot of people even regard him as a pornographer who wasted his talents. However, he didn’t lack those who appreciated his work and saw him as a genius. E. M. Forster, an English fiction writer, had this to say about him: “the greatest imaginative novelist of our generation.”
I like to write when I feel spiteful. It is like having a good sneeze.
A little about D. H. Lawrence
He was born David Herbert Lawrence on September 11, 1885, to Arthur John Lawrence who was a miner, and Lydia Beardsall, a formal pupil-teacher. He was born in the coal-mining town of Eastwood, Nottinghamshire where he spent his early years. Young Lawrence didn’t like his father but he so much adored his mother. His mother was from a middle-class family and also a great lover of literature. The upbringing that Lawrence had would later influence some of his writings.
He was not the type of boy that everyone would love to be friends with while growing up but he was an excellent student. At the age of 12, he became the first boy in his town to win a scholarship to Nottingham high school. He started work as a factory clerk in 1901 but this career ended when he fell sick. After he recovered he became a teacher at the British School, Eastwood, where he met Jessica Chambers. They were both lovers of books and she encouraged him to start writing. He began writing poetry and also drafted his first novel, which would eventually become “The White Peacock”. Lawrence later married the wife of his professor, Frieda, whom he eloped with.
For my part, I prefer my heart to be broken. It is so lovely, dawn-kaleidoscopic within the crack.
Was Lawrence just a pornographer?
Much of Lawrence’s criticism was because of the way he openly talked about sex. His writings were explicit: in 1915 when he published “The Rainbow”, it attracted a lot of attention and was later banned for obscenity. In the book, he vividly explained sexual acts and talked about same-sex attraction. He also published “Women In Love” in 1920, which he considered to be the second half of “The Rainbow”. This was also banned although not for long.
In 1927, he published another novel, Lady Chatterley’s Lover, which also met with unfavorable judgment. It was nothing short of his high graphics details of sexual activities. He wrote about a sexual relationship between an aristocratic lady and a working-class man. The book was also banned because of its content. The publisher of this book would later face trial some years after his death and found “not guilty.” This would also give way for many publishers to escape the obscenity law.
The cruelest thing a man can do to a woman is to portray her as perfection.
Most of his works must have been motivated by his personal life. During the time he was writing the draft that will eventually become two novels, “The Rainbow” and “Women in Lover”, he was having a personal crisis. He constantly fought with his wife who felt she was free to have other lovers and during that time questioned his sexual orientation. He even developed a strong relationship with a farmer and some believed it was romantic… especially for the fact that he was openly talking about the same gender affair in his books.
He considered his writing as an attempt to challenge the constrictive view of the people about sex and give them freedom of expression. Lawrence responded to people who didn’t like his work and he once said, “what is pornography to one man is the laughter of genius to another.” He faced criticism till the time of his death and even after his death. He later died on March 2, 1930, of illness.
All that we know is nothing, we are merely crammed wastepaper baskets, unless we are in touch with that which laughs at all our knowing.
Lawrence was a great writer
Maybe most of his critics would have a different thing to say about him if they were alive today. Most of his works were ahead of his time and some of the things he was criticized for are being seen as normal today. His works were later proven to be of great literary merit and his novels are now recognized to be of great quality. D. H. Lawrence has made an important contribution to English fiction with his writing and today he is recognized as one of the influential writers of the 20th century.
Consciousness is an end in itself. We torture ourselves getting somewhere, and when we get there – it is nowhere, for there is nowhere to get to.
Written by AARON BOLUWATIF
P.S. My new book recommendations – Women in Love, D. H. Lawrence (I reread this book recently, recommend it to authors writing contemporary romance, erotica, or about love-hate relationships); The Burning Edge, Arthur Chichester (the book about Belarus, Chernobyl, from a person who really been there); Exsilium by Patrik Walts (really cool science-fiction, I recommend to start from book 1, Effugium) – click to check
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