My Tangled Web

drawing by Luke Accardi

D.H Lawrence is seducing me. Don’t all writers have to seduce the reader…this would be the perfect place for a Paul Valery quote I read the other day except I can’t really remember it…Rien…. séduire blah blah blah (or however they blah in French) something like- nothing seduces us that isn’t already secretly expected by our nature.
Ah, the internet, here it is:

Rien ne peut nous séduire, rien nous attirer ; rien ne fait se dresser notre oreille, se fixer notre regard ; rien, par nous, n’est choisi dans la multitude des choses et ne rend inégale notre âme, qui ne soit, en quelque manière ou préexistant dans notre être, ou attendu secrètement par notre nature. Paul Valery (Eupalinos)

Very prettily put but then again, maybe it’s just happenstance. I recently happen to read a short story of Lawrence’s while browsing at the library and then a few days later waiting for a student at the high school to finish her assigned reading so that I could help her answer the questions on the text, I picked up a literature anthology someone had left on the desk and opened right to another Lawrence story.

Then there was that weird bookshelf in the house my daughter rents during the school year that potruded from the ceiling directly above the couch. You kind of had to twist your body backwards, head craned up awkwardly to see the long row of “summer reading.” There were a ridiculous quantity of floral Nora Robert books. No one seemed to know what kind of books she wrote, but Victoria’s roommate apparently takes pleasure in lying on the couch pretending to read them. Of course there were many Nicolas Spark’s books: I am sorry if I offend, but his books do not bring out my best qualities. There was an incident…let me attempt an explanation of sorts: I sometimes think I’ll give “normal” a try: Oh won’t that be easier Jessica? Yes, let’s begin: today’s lesson in normalcy will be reading a Nicolas Spark book, large amounts of people really seem to like them. Okay. I’m ready – I made it about 1/3 of the way in and then, before I knew what was happening I just hurled it across the room. I’m not really a violent person, honestly, and I have a deep respect for books especially when they are borrowed, but, well…it was beyond my control.

Anyway, nestled in between the Robert’s and Sparks there was a D.H. Lawrence. As I mentioned, I am a sucker for coincidence however weak and where ever I find them, and hadn’t I just read  2 short stories of his…why yes I had. The book is Woman in Love, I’m still reading the phenomenal Les Misérables so I haven’t started it, but I read the introduction in which Lawrence charmingly discusses the banning of the book in England for pornography, something in his sweet manner at odds with the accusations of “pornography” amused me, so I borrowed it.

“I deny the charge, and take no further notice.” – Forward to Woman in Love, D.H. Lawrence

This weekend I watched 2 films on Netflix, there again was Lawrence, “suggested” for me, and half watched already by someone, (I should perhaps be more careful with my password)  was a version of  Lady Chatterly’s Lover. It was a French film and it was good: beautiful scenery, lovely costumes; there was one scene where the lovers are running around naked in the rain, very French. The second film I watched was a Norwegian film called Happy Happy which oddly had a very similar scene of two lovers running around naked (in the snow). Et tu Norway?
It was like a colder version of Lady Chatterly with lots of snow and rice pudding….I blame the  Netflix spiders: they really need to take it easy with their “best guess for Jessica,” most of the time it’s not even me: it’s my children corrupting my queue. Then again the theme of  “individual regeneration”…well, I suppose that’s one way of putting it.

“The creative, spontaneous soul sends forth its promptings of desire and aspiration in us. These promptings are our true fate, which is our business to fulfil. A fate dictated from outside, from theory or from circumstance, is a false fate.”- Forward to Woman in Love, D.H. Lawrence

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5 responses to “My Tangled Web

  1. I haven’t had the experience of reading D.H. Lawrence, but he’s been an author that I aim to read at some point.

  2. It’s his tone I really like. If you get to him, let me know what you think.

  3. Not a big fan I’m afraid. Bad English teachers spoiled him for me a long time ago. I love authors from between the wars – Graham Green, Anthony Burgess, Rose Macaulay

  4. OK Jessica, so this is the kind of blog where we suddenly are expected to not only read but understand “THE FRENCH?” How erudite. But yes, have you read The Story of O? which takes the concept of ‘seduction by reading’ to its logical if disturbing end? Reading is very seductive and so interesting how different authors tease and flirt with the reader…your ending quote is very inspiring and now that I am over 50, I actually believe it and aim to live by it.

  5. what, blah blah blah was not a sufficient interpretation for you?
    I’m happy to get a word or two. That equals comprehension for me…but there are some, well maybe just Cathy, but I felt obliged to not be lazy and put the actually quote in….
    Story of O – I have heard of it…it’s somewhere in the reference section of my mind…should I avoid it or look for it?

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