DH Lawrence Lady Chatterly's Lover review

In defence of four letter words

So,  now that D.H. Lawrence is on the Leaving Cert syllabus, to understand the man better, I’ve decided to read his most famous and controversial Lady Chatterly’s Lover.

My first impression was that there must be something really different about those times and now.

I thought: I can honestly say that my millennial brain didn’t detect anything remotely scandalous in it. The publisher was taken to court, you know, under the Obscene Publications Act in the UK… Fair enough, the subject is a little racy, but no racier than, say, Anna Karenina.

Apparently the man who led the prosecution of the trial in 1960 asked if it were the kind of book “you would wish your wife or servants to read”… Hard to believe that that was said not even 60 years ago!

My other impression was that it was bland. What is this book about at all? Why is it famous? Just by virtue of the trial?

Something wasn’t right.

Well… it turns out that I read a censored version without being aware of it.

I’ve looked over the full text now, and I can see how much I missed out on. Whoever insists on publishing abridged and censored versions has no soul.

Up until this point I never believed that swearing adds anything, but this has made me change my mind. And want to swear, too.

Here is the full version if you need it.

15 thoughts on “In defence of four letter words”

  1. So? Let’s here you swear! Oh, and where are those photos of you before you’ve had your coffee in the morning? That should give you reason to utter an expletive or twenty… Kidding, I’m just kidding. But, you know, you promised.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. When I embarked on writing my first novel through the viewpoint of a male protagonist, a young man from Guyana’s countryside, I had to come to terms with having him use the four letter swear word when angered. These are indeed different times.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Recently, To Kill A Mockingbird was restricted in the southern States. It is, a bit odd. That those works we hold on highest esteem undervalue the transformation of our society. I got more from the unpopular voices of those times. I get it. Maybe, its how we can perceive it? Its a bit of a contradiction how open commercially to sexual desire and how closed literally we are to it. Smut. Is a four letter word that labels most of what is “deviant.”

    Liked by 2 people

      1. George Orwell’s Down And Out In Paris and London, is one of my favorite books. What I shoot for when drawing comics that, pain of indignity. Evgeny Zamyatin’s “We.” Is great. I think it’s banned or not. It was, at one point.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Europe had an affectation toward Native Americans. I found Huxley in eighth grade. It kind of gave me hope seeing a Native hero in science fiction. I read Hitler handed out Westerns to his officers about killing Indians (Old name for Natives). I think, it’s more of the exotic domestication that my culture is paraded through fiction. We were the bogey man for white society.


  4. lol – I spent most of my life /not/ swearing, and still prefer something pithy and ‘clever’ to a four letter word. But…the real world isn’t like that and so my characters mouth obscenities when appropriate. When you write, you have to leave your inhibitions at the door. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s