Review of D. H. Larence’s Selected Stories

I picked this Penguin Classics ‘D. H. Lawrence Selected Stories’ off my shelf looking for something lighter during this time of Covid-19. On reading it I realized this was a University text I had read parts of twenty years ago. ‘The Rocking-Horse Winner’ I remember like yesterday. It is the closest I remember Lawrence coming to a supernatural subject.
I am working on my short story writing during this pandemic lock-down, so reading shorts is a marvelous way to learn from the masters. If Lawrence was not famous for his novels, his short stories alone would make him an important author.
I enjoyed these stories. Some are sad, like ‘Odour of Chrysanthemums’. I have read quite a bit of Lawrence, but never had seen death of the miners addressed. It must have been too common.
The sudden falling in love of characters, as in ‘Love Among the Haystacks’, was troubling but I suppose common. I laughed at seeing multiple characters named ‘Lydia’, as in ‘The Rainbow’. Lawrence’s mother’s name was Lydia, and she had an enormous impact on him.
Lawrence has been in and out of fashion. I love the very close third person narrative. The thoughts and feelings of these characters are vivid and encompassing. The minds are not always perfectly reasonable, as none of our minds are. We can be petty or obstinate, romantic and ethereal, and sore between extremes. These characters intimately express these feelings in a way I find so incredible and strive to match in my writing. I am reminded of George Eliot, stripped of the decorum. It does not quite match the stream of consciousness from Virginia Woolf, but might be compared to Tolstoy if he didn’t have the Russian censor looking over his shoulder.
I betray myself. Lawrence is my favourite, and I am still thirty-some years after first reading his work, in awe of his talent. Highly recommended.
#writingCommunity #amwriting #writerslife #Writers #Authors @goodreads #bookreviews
ISBN 978-0-141-44165-8