Saturday, September 17, 2011

Lady Chatterley's Lover ~ by D. H. Lawrence

Banned Books Week starts September 24, and that's this coming Friday.  An online friend and I plan to read Lady Chatterley's Lover by D. H. Lawrence, first published in 1928.  For me it's a re-read, so even if I fail to finish it, I'll be able to discuss the book.  The discussion here will last at least a month, as long as there's any interest.

Just so you know, there are sexually explicit scenes, which is why the book was banned in the United Kingdom until 1960 and, thus, first published in Italy.  (I read the "complete, unexpurgated" version in the United States in the early 1970s.)  Constance, the Lady Chatterley of the title, is a young married woman whose husband, Clifford, has been paralyzed and rendered impotent.  Her sexual frustration leads her to have an affair with the gamekeeper, Oliver Mellors.

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS (choose one at a time, in any order)

1. What do you think of Lady Chatterley? the gamekeeper? the husband? the situation?

2. Edwin Muir said about D. H. Lawrence that “we remember the scenes in his novels; we forget the names of his men and women. We should not know any of them if we met them in the street.” Do you think this applies in the case of Lady Chatterley’s Lover?

3. Did you notice the nature imagery in the novel?

4. Did you pick up on the theme of resurrection?

5. Do you think the novel is obscene or vulgar?


Bonnie Jacobs said...

Calling all Book Buddies! I'm trying once again to pick a book we may actually finish and discuss.

Sheila (Bookjourney) said...

My book club read this a few years ago... I was actually surprised how tame I found it... I was so sure I was in for the most vulgar thing I had ever read, but really it was not that bad.

Shirley said...

Sounds like a plan! I have made an online request for it from the library (large print to boot!) and it indicates that it is checked in so I hope to join in on the discussion.

Bonnie Jacobs said...

Shirley, I've got the book and have read the first two dozen pages so far. I'm glad you are in!

Bonnie Jacobs said...

Wendy told her readers about our read-along in her Sunday Salon post today:

Shirley said...

That's nifty that the blog's reading caught her attention.

The jacket cover and title of The Things We Cherished that she noted she'll be reviewing sounded interesting so I read a review about it and have put it on my "to read" list.

Bonnie Jacobs said...

Shirley, it's the other way around. Wendy planned to read this book, I said I'd read with her, I set it up here for discussion, and THEN Wendy announced it on her blog. So far, we three are it -- you, me, and Wendy.

Shirley said...

Ta! Ta! I finally got the book so will be able to join in on the discussion.

I'll respond with what I can to the first of the posted questions:
1. What do you think of Lady Chatterley? the gamekeeper? the husband? the situation?

Lady Chatterley seems quite attuned to her own needs and appears to have no need for commitment on the part of her lovers.

I don't think I've met the gamekeeper yet (I've read the first three chapters).

Clifford seemed rather odd even before sustaining the horrible war injuries. His disinterest in sex seemed abnormal. His interest in making a name for himself seems rather self-centered.

The situation of a young wealthy couple confronted with the husband's injuries rendering him unable to meet his wife's needs is certainly quite a setup for the novel.