Monday, July 13, 2009

Guns N' Roses

Current book: Women In Love
Pages read: 81-176

I think the rose petal that our cat ate has caused him to go completely mad. This is not related to Women In Love.

Apropos of literature, Gudrun has fallen in love with Gerald and Ursula with Birkin, but both women are struggling with the fact that they have deep reservations about the men to whom they're attracted. (I would like to take this moment to point out that I tried to leave the preposition at the end of that sentence, so that I'd sound more like a normal person, and I was incapable of letting it stay published. The end.) Birkin's problem is that he "doesn't believe in love," in that horrible, philosophizing, jaded way that people think they don't believe in love when a) they've never really experienced it and b) they're afraid of what it might do to them. (Not that I'm editorializing or anything. Because this blog never indulges in knee-jerk criticism. Ever. Really.) Gerald, on the other hand, is just horribly classist and sexist. I'm not really sure which problem is worse, but at least Gerald might be educated out of his. Anyway, both couples are basically in the midst of courting, although there's a great moment before Birkin is obviously involved with Ursula when Hermione whacks him on the head with a lapis lazuli paperweight. That's classic literature right there, guys.

The couples, now, are being seen in public together, and go to a public picnic and boating party hosted by the Criches that's a village tradition. They have a lovely day, during which Gudrun and Ursula take an afternoon boating trip alone and use the opportunity to bathe naked in the river. It might seem like a little lesbian-tinted moment of voyeurism, but actually, it's a nice tie back to two earlier episodes in the novel - the first, I mentioned before, when the two girls long to be able to swim in public like men, and the second, at Hermione's party, when the crowd goes swimming together and both girls refuse to join in. It's interesting that they refuse in company but swim together in private, and indicative of the fact that their longing for freedom is ever constrained by society. Even when freedoms are offered in a limited way, such as swimming with a group in bathing costume, they are unsatisfied - it must be unobserved, naked swimming, or it's just not good enough. (I like it. Stick to your guns, Brangwen sisters. Your naked, solitary guns.) When they return, they split back into couples, but there's a tragic accident during which Gerald's sister and her beau are drowned, and that's pretty much the end of that party.

D. H. Lawrence pretty much rocks. I don't know how he does it, but even though the book consists almost entirely of his characters sitting around talking (aside from paperweight-assault and accidental drownings, that is), I'm still captivated by his prose. The conversation, as I mentioned in the last post, is so sharp and intelligent and viciously pointed that I can't help but both enjoy and be drawn to analyze and apply it.

Also, he used the phrase "meretricious persiflage." Oh, man. Stuff like that is why I majored in English.

No comments:

Post a Comment


A Clockwork Orange (5) A Good Man Is Hard to Find (4) A Passage to India (6) A Room with a View (3) A Separate Peace (2) Absalom Absalom (6) Achebe (5) Adams (3) All the King's Men (8) An American Tragedy (17) Atlas Shrugged (16) Babbitt (8) back from hiatus (1) baking (11) Baldwin (4) Baum (3) Bonfire of the Vanities (6) borderline (12) Brideshead Revisited (9) Burgess (5) Burroughs (1) canon (1) Capote (6) Cat's Cradle (3) Cather (19) cheesecake (4) Chopin (4) Conrad (5) cooking (25) Death Comes for the Archbishop (6) DeLillo (6) Dreiser (17) du Maurier (2) Edith Wharton (1) emergency (2) Ethan Frome (1) excuses (141) Faulkner (9) Felicia DeSmith (3) Finnegan's Wake (1) Fitzgerald (24) For Whom the Bell Tolls (3) Forster (19) Fowles (7) Franny and Zooey (2) Go Tell It on the Mountain (4) Grahame (2) Guest post (3) Hammett (2) Hemingway (5) hiatus (4) holiday (5) horrible (4) Howards End (6) In Cold Blood (6) In Our Time (1) Irving (6) James (25) Jazz (1) Joyce (1) Keneally (7) Kerouac (5) Kim (7) Kipling (7) Knowles (2) Lady Chatterly's Lover (6) Lawrence (26) Lewis (13) Light in August (3) London (3) Look Homeward Angel (9) Lord Jim (5) Mailer (7) Main Street (5) Midnight's Children (9) Miller (6) Morrison (1) Mrs. Dalloway (3) My Antonia (6) not a novel (4) O Pioneers (7) O'Connor (4) On the Road (5) Orlando (4) other books (7) page updates (1) Rabbit Run (4) Rand (24) Rebecca (2) recap (1) Rhys (6) Rushdie (18) Salinger (2) Schindler's List (7) Sinclair (6) Sons And Lovers (12) Sophie's Choice (10) Star Trek (1) Stein (5) Styron (10) Tender is the Night (10) The Age of Innocence (4) The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas (5) The Awakening (4) The Beautiful and the Damned (8) The Bostonians (9) The Call of the Wild (3) The Fellowship of the Ring (5) The Fountainhead (8) The French Lieutenant's Woman (7) The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (2) The Jungle (6) The Lord of the Rings (16) The Maltese Falcon (2) The Naked and the Dead (7) The Naked Lunch (1) The Old Man and the Sea (1) The Portrait of a Lady (10) The Return of the King (6) The Satanic Verses (9) The Two Towers (5) The War of the Worlds (4) The Wind in the Willows (2) The Wings of the Dove (6) The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (3) The World According to Garp (6) Things Fall Apart (6) This Side of Paradise (6) Thomas Wolfe (9) To the Lighthouse (3) Tolkien (16) Tom Wolfe (6) Triv (2) Tropic of Cancer (6) unworthy (33) Updike (4) vacation (2) Vonnegut (3) Warren (8) Waugh (9) Wells (4) Wharton (4) Where Angels Fear to Tread (4) White Noise (6) Wide Sargasso Sea (6) Women In Love (8) Woolf (10) worthy (25)