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Lady Chatterley's Lover - Transience Divine
March 3rd, 2005
09:00 am

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Lady Chatterley's Lover
Philosophy> I spent most of Sunday reading Lady Chatterley's Lover for a Philosophy of Love class I'm helping teach, and I finished it on the train to work Monday. At that point, I thought it was beautiful, powerful, endlessly intriguing, etc. Then, on the way back from work, I read the "a propos" written by D.H. Lawrence at the end of my copy of the book on what he intended by it, and why he wrote it. It blew me away. It's not often that one comes away from a book convinced of the nobility of the heros, only to find that oneself is the villain.

I think that by the book, I'm not a real man. I'm mostly just a more timid form of Clifford, the ego-centric, all-mental husband. In the a propos, Lawrence describes his concept of a real man not just as one who has "courage in tenderness" or a strong connection between his body and his mind, but as one who experiences life fully, and breaks out of the emotional shallowness both the modern Puritan and the modern rebel. I think, by its standards, I haven't felt a real, raw emotion in years-- ever, in my memory. I do feel emotion, but in Lawrence's words, my body supplies me with emotion like a trained animal.

Moreover, it seems like any halting steps that I might take to expand my emotional world go badly (and are opposed by others). Its clear that this particular fire in me has gone dead, but I seem to have perserved the hearth, and perhaps to more harm than good.

Politics> I also finished Don't Think of an Elephant. There are some good pointers in the last section, but otherwise it's pretty repetitive, if you grok the first chapter. I've scanned in the first chapter, Framing 101, for any who want it.

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