The astonishing Mr. Lawrence
Women in Love by D. H. Lawrence
London: Martin Secker. Pp. 508. 9s. net.
The principal defect of this book is that it is difficult to read. It is full of absurdities; but Mr. Lawrence, although he may occasionally repel by egotism, has at least the courage which leads him to risk absurdity for the sake of what he holds to be the truth. The difficulty is another matter. It arises from the static quality of the book, the lack of momentum. It arises also from the intrinsic similarity of all the characters. All are torturers and self-torturers, absorbed in the foulnesses of hatred and disgust. It takes one, therefore, a considerable time to disentangle them. Perhaps one hardly ever does so. And yet at its best “Women in Love” is in a class apart from other novels. No writer of to-day has such an electrically vivid power to imagine a scene as Mr. Lawrence. He may horrify us, and he does this; but our horror is a sign of his weakness, as well as of our own. If we are squeamish, he is obsessed…read more