Friday, June 14, 2002

When D H Lawrence’s novel Sons and Lovers was rejected by publishers, he wrote to a friend:

‘Curse the blasted, jelly-boned swines, the slimy, belly-wriggling invertebrates, the miserable sodding rotters, the flaming sods, the snivelling, dribbling, dithering, palsied, pulse-less lot that make up England today. They've got white of egg in their veins, and their spunk is that watery it's a marvel they can breed. They can nothing but frog-spawn – the gibberers! God, how I hate them!’

Lovely misanthropy, isn’t it? I’m beginning to share his feelings, not just for Englishmen, but for men. Am I in serious need of therapy?

Anyway, read Sons and Lovers. It is a novel of towering passion – the story of an artist’s struggle with life and love. There are novels that touch you, and then there are those that will stir you deep. Sons and Lovers belongs to the latter category. I’d recommend it to you especially as the protagonist is a painter – Lawrence was a painter himself, and this novel is famously autobiographical – and the narrative is coloured by his visual imagination. And Lawrence also persuasively presents his pet theme of the inherent spirituality of sex.