John Thomas, Lady Jane, Uncle Tom Cobley and All

You know, all my adult life I've been hearing about D.H. Lawrence and what a great writer he was. I mean, OK, not everybody seems to agree he was actually in the great class, but he's at least mentioned as one of the important authors of this century.

And he's certainly acclaimed for his writings on human sexuality; everybody talks about how sensitively and poetically he wrote about screwing, as contrasted with that crude fellow Henry Miller....

Well, I admit it: I just took all this on faith, because I'd never actually read Lawrence. Lady Chatterly's Lover was around, in popular paperback editions, when I was in college, and lots of people had it and passed it around, but somehow I never tried reading it - maybe because by then the barriers were already coming down and you could get plenty of equally explicit books, or expliciter, at any newsstand. And then too I'd discovered Henry Miller, and didn't feel much interest in checking out this other guy, who from the sound of it wasn't likely to be as much fun.

So I just went on through my life, taking it for granted that Lawrence was the major writer they said he was, but never having a look for myself...until recently I was at a lady's house, waiting for her to get done with her lady-type preparations for the evening; and I saw this copy of Lady Chatterly's Lover on a shelf, and took it down and began thumbing through it to pass the time.

And a few minutes later I was saying, "Shit!" and the lady was calling from the next room, asking me what was going on; and I asked her if I could borrow the book, and later I took it home with me and tried to read it, and Jesus Hashimoto CHRIST!

I'm really glad this happened, because I'm very pleased to learn that I am a great writer. At least I am if D.H. Lawrence was, because I can write better than this blind drunk and with both eyes shut.

Really. This guy who is supposed to be the hot-shit lyrical chronicler of love and passion - he turns out to write like somebody trying to stick his dick in his ear.

Here's a sample passage. The gamekeeper's got Her Ladyship out in the woods, on the ground under a tree:

For a moment he was still inside her, turgid there and quivering.

(Was he still or was he quivering? And if he knew how to make his thing "quiver" I wish it told how he did it, because I'd like to learn that trick, I'd make out like crazy, the Human Vibrator.)

Then as he began to move, in the sudden helpless orgasm, there awoke in her new strange thrills rippling inside her. Rippling, rippling, rippling

(How's that? How's that? How's that?)

like a flapping overlapping

(as of someone gently rapping, rap rap rapping on Lady Jane's door)

of soft flames, soft as feathers

(Flames, feathers, which the hell was it? Or were the feathers on fire? What a stink, if so. Not unlike the prose.)

running to points of brilliance, exquisite, exquisite

(We heard you the first time, D.H.)

and melting her all molten inside.

(Usually when you melt something it becomes molten. No doubt it also moistened her all wet, and dried her mouth all dry, and hardened her nipples hard, and God knows this is nauseating me all nauseated.)

[snippety snip, a little of this shit goes a long way]

Whilst all her womb was open and soft

(I bet it wasn't. Unless he was giving her a pelvic.)

and softly clamouring, like a sea-anemone under the tide

(Do sea anemones clamor? I've spent a lot of time watching them in the tidepools, when I lived in California, and I don't recall hearing a sound out of them. Furthermore, this implies that her vagina was surrounded by hundreds of waving purple tentacles, each bearing a lethal sting; an interesting picture but not exactly something I'd want to stick part of my body into.)

clamouring for him to come in again and make a fulfilment for her. She clung to him unconscious in passion, and he never quite slipped from her, and she felt the soft bud of him within her stirring,

(I thought she was unconscious?)

and strange rhythms flushing up into her with a strange rhythmic growing motion

(Would we not generally expect strange rhythms to have a strange rhythmic motion?)

swelling and swelling till it filled her all cleaving consciousness

(I have no idea what in the name of bleeding Jesus "all cleaving consciousness" is supposed to mean.)

and then began again the unspeakable motion that was not really motion

(Then what the hell WAS it?)

but pure deepening whirlpools of sensation swirling deeper and deeper through all her tissue and consciousness, till she was one perfect concentric fluid

(Concentric fluid? EXCUSE MY ASS OFF?)

of feeling, and she lay there crying in unconscious inarticulate cries. The voice out of the uttermost night, the life!

(That hand in the moonlight, that hand!)

The man heard it from beneath him with a kind of awe,

(Awwww.)

as his life sprang out into her. And as it subsided, he subsided too

(I'm not making this up, you know.)

and lay utterly still, unknowing, while her grip on him slowly relaxed, and she lay inert. And they lay and knew nothing, not even of each other

(And certainly nothing of sound prose technique.)

both lost. Till at last he began to rouse and become aware of his defenceless nakedness.

(Just now noticed he's buck naked, has he? Does this guy OFTEN fail to realize he's in the nuddy, and outdoors at that? Must have quite a file at the local police station.)

So he gets up and puts his pants on, while "She lay looking up to the boughs of the tree, unable as yet to move." (Actually MOST trees are unable to move.)

And then, we are told, "All was dense and silent, save for the awed dog that lay with its paws against its nose." And can't we all sympathize with the poor doggie. In fact I would say that dog rendered just about the definitive verdict on this passage, and indeed the rest of this God-damned stupid book....

This is what I get for taking the critics' and teachers' word for anything. I should have known, after some of the other swindles they sold me....

*****

LIT STUFF INDEX PAGE

HOME PAGE