Sunday, January 9, 2011

Book Review: Lady Chatterley's Lover

As many of my readers know (thanks, both of you) I have been reading Lady Chatterley's Lover by D. H. Lawrence.  I have sworn that not only would I obsessively up my readership, I would also include book reviews (for my own good, for your own good, just to make a point, because I feel like, because my analytic writing is really horrifying so I must find some way to improve it, etc...) on my blog.  I hope that the more of these I do the better they become.

I think that there are enough social parameters that I can skip over when it comes to this novel-- it was banned for obscenity, it contains language that was considered unacceptable, etc.  As I had written previously, this was the first D.H. Lawrence novel that I have read, though I have read some of his short stories and I wasn't unaware of him as a writer, and I had some concept of him as an artist.  I had a friend who was obsessed with good ol' D.H. and would claim up and down that there wasn't a writer in print who could match Mr. Lawrence at fiction.

There is no great action in this novel; most of the work happens within conversations and private thoughts.  The novel is known for obscenity and for sex-- as a post-post modern reader this is, of course, funny and uncomfortable.  The sex, and there is a bit of it, is not at all obscene by today's standards.  This was the first book of 2011 that I have finished, and after a point I had to start kicking myself into reading until the book was finished.  I enjoyed it, and I could understand and identify with some parts of the narrative-- but I couldn't help but be off-put by the overwhelming feeling that D.H. Lawrence couldn't really understand the female psyche at all.  I'm sure that this is something that most female readers can appreciate and identify with; I have heard the same sentiment uttered on other female ran book review blogs.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Grand Master

Bonne Annee, mon frere et mon amis-- Bienvenue!  I haven't written since 2010.  I wanted to start my blog out fresh and give myself a few days to figure out why I decided to write a blog in the first place.  It initially began out of the inspiration to create a fashion/ style blog, but I believe that the vision has changed.  A lot of what has been going on my life has been a moving away from style/ looks/ shopping etc., and has moved more into the field of reading, writing, thinking, seeking, eating (not eating), adoring, feeling-- with certain mixtures of anxiety, hopefulness, sloth and rude will.  Also, not having a camera is a hinderance in me being able to make a style blog.  C'est la vie, non?

Today actor Pete Postlethwaite died of Cancer; I don't usually take much notice of celebrity deaths but his was special; or rather, he was special.  He played the part of Friar Laurence in Baz Luhrman's Romeo+Juliet and delivered one of my favorite Shakespearean monologues, which I transcribed below:

The grey-eyed morn smiles on the frowning night,
Chequering the eastern clouds with streaks of light,
And flecked darkness like a drunkard reels
From forth day's path and Titan's fiery wheels:
Now, ere the sun advance his burning eye,
The day to cheer and night's dank dew to dry,
I must up-fill this osier cage of ours
With baleful weeds and precious-juiced flowers.
The earth that's nature's mother is her tomb;
What is her burying grave that is her womb,
And from her womb children of divers kind
We sucking on her natural bosom find,
Many for many virtues excellent,
None but for some and yet all different.
O, mickle is the powerful grace that lies
In herbs, plants, stones, and their true qualities:
For nought so vile that on the earth doth live
But to the earth some special good doth give,
Nor aught so good but strain'd from that fair use
Revolts from true birth, stumbling on abuse:
Virtue itself turns vice, being misapplied;
And vice sometimes by action dignified.
Within the infant rind of this small flower
Poison hath residence and medicine power:
For this, being smelt, with that part cheers each part;
Being tasted, slays all senses with the heart.
Two such opposed kings encamp them still
In man as well as herbs, grace and rude will;
And where the worser is predominant,
Full soon the canker death eats up that plant.

 find myself quoting parts of the soliloquy often-- that and with several from Hamlet which I am sure to get to sooner or later.

I am smack in the middle of reading my first D. H. Lawrence novel "Lady Chatterley's Lover" and I find myself wondering why on earth I hadn't read any of his novels before.  His writing is sublime-- quite English, quite sublime.  I want to, one day soon, write eloquent and important summaries of what I read and accurately transcribe my thoughts and feelings without being too abstract or too forceful and mechanical.

I have also been spending time trying to figure out exactly what it is that I want to do with my life.  I have spent so much time outside of what I want to do that I am excited to start making headway into knowing what it is that I want, which is to be a librarian.

Books, art, thoughts, films, music-- all of these things are tremendously important to me, and much of my life revolves around loving them.  As I come more into my own it becomes clearer to me that I must take action and live the life that I want-- which is to archive, protect and serve the written word and the dewey decimal system.

I want to be a librarian-- which involves six years of schooling-- and I want to be a great chess player.  If not great, than slightly brilliant.