Dec 12, 11
Read in January, 1970
I cannot explain it myself but I feel and have always felt, DH Lawrence's novels to be enormously tedious. I have read them out of a sense of duty to Literature with a capital L and have always been pleased when the ride was over. It is not that I am unsympathetic to the man or his ideas. Quite the contrary. I met someone once who said that they intensely disliked what Lawrence was trying to say but admired Larence's novels as great literature. With me it is exactly the opposite. I strongly approve of what he is saying but am half bored half repelled by the way he is trying to say it. I find the Leavis "discovery" of DH Lawrence contrived. I think it is the earnestness and gravitas of the novels which I find wearying and uninspiring. I am simply uninterested beyond words in his generations and families and his grave pronuncments about their feelings and fates, but why, when I find, say, Thomas Mann's "Buddenbrooks", comparable as the history of a family, with "The Rainbow" enthralling? One answer may lie in the inherent purtianism of Lawrence's view of the world, yes puritanism, the smell of church, the ponderous finger wagging. Nevertheless, I award these two stars in sadness and envy rather than disagreement with those who award four or five.