Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Now I've begun again

It's been a long time.

I'm just going to get right back into the swing of things here. Lady Chatterly's Lover has a lot of history behind it; it was banned both in the UK and the US for being pornographic. This is one a lot of lists of the classic great books so I thought I better give it a shot.

I did not like it.

Connie Chatterly's husband was wounded in the war and is confined to a wheelchair. They live on a great English estate that included a giant industrial mine. While Connie is set up to be an educated and forward-thinking woman, I found her annoying. Surrounded by modern thinkers and culture, there is no meaning in any of the actions or thoughts of any of the characters. They just go through the motions.

"Sex and a cocktail: they both lasted about as long, had the same effect and amounted to about the same thing."

Connie has affairs that seem just ways to pass her time. Until she meets him, Mellors, the groundskeeper. He is also married, but his wife left him and lives on the other side of town. They start on together and there are some pretty explicit scenes. I've never been a fan of bodice-ripping romance novels, but this doesn't seem like the same thing. I mean, Connie weaves flowers into his pubic hair.

I guess my problem is that I don't buy their idea of love. Connie and Mellors just seem to be in lust. They don't really have conversations, he mauls her in the woods and has sex with her while she is half-passed out. He has some really strict demands on what a woman does during sex.

While her father and sister are fine with her having an affair, they are not pleased with the thought of such a scandal over a man of lower class.

There are bigger things going on in this book besides these two having sex. Old England is being destroyed by a newer, industrial England. The characters are only half-living, crippled by their inability to deal with the changing world.

I think that the idea of the scandal around this book is more appealing to me than the actual book itself. Color me unimpressed.