The vague intimations of D.H. Lawrence

When all you have is a hammer, they say, all the world looks like a nail. When all you have is a sure sense that “things aren’t right,” all you can do is cast about, hoping to find a way to make it right. If you cannot believe in that, you are reduced to trying at least to keep your own life on the rails, which is task enough for most of us! These two quotes from D.H. Lawrence, like the one from Hemingway that I posted a bit ago, seem to me to demonstrate the dead-end that western civilization came to in the 20th century. Naturally artists noticed it first, but you’d have to be pretty complacent, pretty unthinking, not to know it now. Lawrence wrote this two generations ago:

“Well!” he said at last. “I agree to anything. The world is a raving idiot, and no man can kill it, though I’ll do my best. But you’re right. We must rescue ourselves as best we can.”

Lady Chatterley’s Lover

“And what is the point of your existence?”

“I tell you, it’s invisible. I don’t believe in the world, nor in advancement, nor in the future of our civilization. If there’s got to be a future for humanity, there’ll have to be a very big change from what now is.”

“And what will the real future have to be like?”

“God knows! I can feel something inside me, all mixed up with a lot of rage. But what it really amounts to, I don’t know.”

Lady Chatterley’s Lover

2 thoughts on “The vague intimations of D.H. Lawrence

  1. Very good! And we could continue with other aspects of life.

    The bottom line, surely, is that life is more complex than we sometimes think it when we’re trying to figure things out.

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