John Thomas and Lady Jane by D H Lawrence (1927)

Aha, gotcha! Expecting saucy bits, eh? Like, then he took her and laid her down, wasting no time, breaking her underclothing in his urgency… or She was like a volcano. At moments she surged with desire, with passion, like a stream of white-hot lava. Eh?

Well tough titties. We’re going to look at Connie with the wide blue eyes and her bored life and broken marriage instead – before she loses her knickers.

Lawrence nails it with his simple plodding rhythm.

… she went on through the days, with a monotony that in itself was a madness. In the morning she felt: now I’m getting up, now I’m washing myself, now I’m putting a dress on, the same green knitted dress! Now I’m going downstairs: the same stairs! Now I’m opening Clifford’s door, and I’m going to say Good morning! to him: the same Good morning! the same Clifford behind the same door, the same me looking at him to see how he is! – The tick-tock of mechanistic monotony became an insanity to her.

How’s that for a damned-good drudge? Five nows, five sames, six I’ms. And the dress…dress, the stairs…stairs, the Clifford…Clifford, the door…door, the Good morning…Good morning. Ooof, and those exasperation marks!

Let alone the completeness of opening the passage with monotony and madness and closing it with monotony and insanity.

Genius.

The joy of Lawrence’s writing is that rhythm. Pulse, swing, beat – call it what you will.

She was silent. Her hand lay dead in his, her heart lay dead inside her.

There we go again. It gives me ripples. And the deadness of the relationship makes me itch.

She slipped on her nightdress and went to bed, feeling infinitely sad. And in a sort of despair she wept the first tears she had cried for many a long day. Long and bitterly she wept.

But afterwards, she felt even tears made her younger.

Wow. No wonder she erupts later, with whatisname who makes her nerves run the wrong way.

And to lucky him, “Kiss me!’ she whispered. ‘Kiss me because you like me, not because you want me.’

Got to go, I’m late for my vulcanology class.

Thanks for being here.

Buy John Thomas and Lady Jane by D H Lawrence (free delivery, cardboard wrapping)

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Book Bore.

Guy Nicholls, writer and book bore.

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