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Siobhan
Chief Healer

USA
2157 Posts

Posted - 08/10/2007 :  13:12:13  Show Profile Send Siobhan a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Here's where we can discuss our first post-DH reading, Lady Chatterley's Lover (thus the title of the thread).

For those who are looking for biographical information on Lawrence as well as an online source, here's one I found:

http://www.online-literature.com/dh_lawrence/

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Jokelly
Barking

USA
1509 Posts

Posted - 08/10/2007 :  15:53:14  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Lol! I love the title. What a way to attract readers.

Current location: Laying low at Lupin's
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Siobhan
Chief Healer

USA
2157 Posts

Posted - 08/10/2007 :  21:33:18  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
From the first chapter I'm impressed by the modernity-- not just the openness with which he handles sexual experiences, but the psychological and social understanding involved.

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Jokelly
Barking

USA
1509 Posts

Posted - 08/12/2007 :  14:24:41  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I'm going to read online, too, until I make it to the library this week.



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AMC
Mediwizard

1710 Posts

Posted - 08/12/2007 :  15:43:28  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I like that it's online - it sure makes keeping up easier.

Read the first chapter - it's so rushed! Connie did this, felt this and thought this for 2 years. Next! But I assume this is the scene-setting chapter.

Funny how ironic that Lady Chatterly should be called COnstance.

"And Sir Geoffrey died of chagrin." Rotter. What a way to dismiss a man's death. Lawrence definitely suffers there from the same affliction as young Clifford, who thinks everything is ridiculous.


And I love you, I love you, I love you.
Like never before, like never before.

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Siobhan
Chief Healer

USA
2157 Posts

Posted - 08/12/2007 :  17:42:43  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Yes, it does get the Introductory Chapter treatment: These are the characters. This is what they feel. The rest of the story is on its way! Let's get to the smut, already!
Hmmm. I wonder if that's how Lawrence felt?

It's handled much the same way the views on sex are. He talks about it a bit (that's the cerebral relationship = female), but is really wanting to get it on (the physical relationship = male). I just hope we don't end up with the let down after all the fuss.

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AMC
Mediwizard

1710 Posts

Posted - 08/12/2007 :  23:19:21  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Ah, but if we are, wouldn't we be echoing the experiences of the young women about their maiden sexual voyages? That's EXACTLY the author's implication - the females were let down by those insistent males, the fuss wasn't worth it. Maybe it's one of those books you need to read a few times to really enjoy.


And I love you, I love you, I love you.
Like never before, like never before.

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Jokelly
Barking

USA
1509 Posts

Posted - 08/12/2007 :  23:56:58  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
AMC, that's exactly what I was thinking in response to Siobhan's comment. As you put it, the "maiden sexual voyages" of women are usually not worth it.

What I'm surprised about is the open-mindedness of the girls and their parents in regards to their "education".

I'll elaborate tomorrow since I'm going to bed right now.

Current location: Laying low at Lupin's
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Siobhan
Chief Healer

USA
2157 Posts

Posted - 08/13/2007 :  10:29:13  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by AMC

Maybe it's one of those books you need to read a few times to really enjoy.

We could read it again, and again, and again.... to ourselves. Hmmm. This is beginning to sound like the "book" reading thread.

And that was exactly what I was getting at, btw.

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AMC
Mediwizard

1710 Posts

Posted - 08/13/2007 :  17:09:28  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Nothing like a little Stephen Fry to enliven a book reading club.


And I love you, I love you, I love you.
Like never before, like never before.

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AMC
Mediwizard

1710 Posts

Posted - 08/14/2007 :  00:51:40  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Okay, I've read chapter 2 - how fast are we going to go? He writes well, it's interesting - kind of a impressionist style, giving you the bits and pieces and letting you put together the whole. So Connie is living in a state of completely unreality, devoted to a husband with whom she has only intellectual intimacy (if that), in a house and land she has no connection to at all, among peole she ignores ... this state of affairs cannot last, yes?


And I love you, I love you, I love you.
Like never before, like never before.

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Siobhan
Chief Healer

USA
2157 Posts

Posted - 08/15/2007 :  17:07:41  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Wragyby qualifies for the title Grim Old Place. Stacks and mines and resentment...how cheery!

Clifford is a real winner, too. He's shy, insecure, snobby, and lives in a past that he never really lived in. His stories are just anecdotes of ridiculousness. But then again, this is a reflection of the age, too. The twenties were very frenetic, a sort of keeping-reality-at-bay. They were also a time of keeping wrapped in cotton wool. Lots people didn't want to feel anymore-- or didn't have any feeling left. I can't say I blame them after the horrors of WWI. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder hadn't been "discovered" yet, though after four years of bloody, futile war it certainly existed.

So, we've got two people who seem to think intellectualism can take the place of intimacy.

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AMC
Mediwizard

1710 Posts

Posted - 08/16/2007 :  00:46:35  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Well, I'm sure they're soon to learn their lesson, lol. It's not called Lady Chatterly's Book CLub.

*pauses for Jo to recover from her migrane*


And I love you, I love you, I love you.
Like never before, like never before.

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Siobhan
Chief Healer

USA
2157 Posts

Posted - 08/16/2007 :  10:24:21  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I suppose its not difficult to understand allowing intellectualism to substitute for intimacy. Connie has not had stellar sexual experiences, so she doesn't know what she's missing-- yet. Clifford can't even bear to think about it. He knows he can't "perform as a husband" and feels it a personal failure of sorts, though I doubt he could have been much of a lover regardless of his injury. His capacity for feeling and intimacy being what it was/is.

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AMC
Mediwizard

1710 Posts

Posted - 08/16/2007 :  11:18:12  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I'd agree - Clifford's crippling is just an physical manifestation of what's inside him. I loved the comment that Connie knew Clifford wouldn't truly care if she were demi-vierge or demi-monde - Demi-monde was an expression that came to represent the class of women who were mistresses or likely mistress-material.


And I love you, I love you, I love you.
Like never before, like never before.

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Jokelly
Barking

USA
1509 Posts

Posted - 08/17/2007 :  02:16:39  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Okay, the migraine finally went away, I think, and I've finished Chapter 2.

Connie really does have this disconnection from everything around her. She just doesn't belong anywhere in this world she's embroiled herself in. She doesn't truly belong to the aristocratic world of Clifford and she doesn't fit in the lower-working class around her. She's a fish out of water.

Clifford's injury isn't really the problem, either, in my opinion. Just a convienent excuse. I think you're right, Siobhan, that had he not had his injury then Connie would still be in the same predicament. Half-living. Not really experiencing true passion and intimacy. And I don't think she ever really loved him. She was getting older, expected to marry, he was there and impressive so she married. They just lack passion, which doesn't necessarily equate with coitus (which is impossible in this situation) to me. I can't help but think that there must be couples who navigate the world of paralysis but manage to keep intimacy. They're more like brother and sister. And maybe Clifford never expected passion in marriage. Didn't the aristocrats usually married for other reasons and then seeked out their passions elsewhere? I guess I believe that where there's a will, there's a way. But there is no "will" in this situation.

Obviously, Connie's situation is going to change or the book would only be two chapters long. I don't think she's taken up any flirtations because to her, even with her sexual experience, sex is just a means to an end. Something you do to get to someplace else. I feel she truly wants to honor her marriage vows, but is unhappy about her life and doesn't know how to correct it.

Where is Diri? It would be interesting to hear a male's perspective, and he's our resident representative, so far.

I wonder if any of that made any sense? It's 2am and a byproduct of sleeping off my migraine is that I'm all screwed up on my sleeping now.


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Siobhan
Chief Healer

USA
2157 Posts

Posted - 08/21/2007 :  11:09:53  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
On chapter 3:
Clifford is a parasite. Michaelis is a child. No wonder she's not happy. What Constance needs is a man-- a complete, mature, self-aware/confident man.

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Jokelly
Barking

USA
1509 Posts

Posted - 08/21/2007 :  11:53:36  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Siobhan
What Constance needs is a man-- a complete, mature, self-aware/confident man.



So do I.

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Siobhan
Chief Healer

USA
2157 Posts

Posted - 08/22/2007 :  21:03:00  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Eugh! I just waded through chapters 4 and 5. What a lot of bullsh*t those men can shovel! I mean every one of them! -- well, Mellors doesn't count because he didn't shovel, but the rest of them!

"habit is more vital than any occasional excitement"
"two people fall into a sort of unison"-- well, that's true enough, but it is the sexual intimacy that makes them "vibrate so inticately to one another." This is what happens when two people who have not had that great revelation of what sex can be get married. He isn't capable of intimacy (of any kind) and she has never experienced true intimacy. When I said Connie needs a man, I meant that she needs a secure, mature man who cares as much or more for her experience as for his-- one who can give of himself as well as take for himself without feeling guilty or unworthy about himself or her.

Clifford is too desperately afraid to be anything to anyone. That's why success is so important to him. Fame means that he's done something, at least outwardly. I can feel hysteria and panic building in him as he slowly drowns.

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AMC
Mediwizard

1710 Posts

Posted - 08/23/2007 :  00:43:01  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Well - yes and no, Siobhan - it's intimacy that makes people "vibrate" - no pun intended, although just typing that sentance makes me laugh. You can have intimacy without sex but you can't have that marital unison without some kind of intimacy and that's what's lacking in Clifford - there is nothing in him. He can't be close to anyone because it would require letting them inside - and there's really nothing inside but an empty pride in his lineage and his home. The only people he can share that with would be his family, which means he is probably "closer" to his missing sister than he has ever been with his wife.

I'm enjoying all the endless talk of the "intellectual" males - but the emptiness of the "life of the mind" is a subject near to my heart. To keep using sexual metaphors (and heck, with this book, why not?) we used to call that kind of conversation "mental mastubation" - you can spend a lot of time doing it, you can enjoy yourself very much in the process but in the end - you haven't actually accomplished anything.

I wonder who he based Michaelis on. I kind of like the character - a cad and a rotter and a completely self-centered jerk. But forthright about it. Why shouldn't Connie leave her crippled husband and marry again so she can have nicer clothes and a better car? Michaelis honestly doesn't comprehend that anyone's top priority could be something other than personal gain.


And I love you, I love you, I love you.
Like never before, like never before.


Edited by - AMC on 08/23/2007 00:44:41
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Siobhan
Chief Healer

USA
2157 Posts

Posted - 08/23/2007 :  11:06:25  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by AMC

...we used to call that kind of conversation "mental mastubation" - you can spend a lot of time doing it, you can enjoy yourself very much in the process but in the end - you haven't actually accomplished anything.
Except frustrating yourself.

quote:
I wonder who he based Michaelis on. I kind of like the character - a cad and a rotter and a completely self-centered jerk. But forthright about it. Why shouldn't Connie leave her crippled husband and marry again so she can have nicer clothes and a better car? Michaelis honestly doesn't comprehend that anyone's top priority could be something other than personal gain.
I guess the thing I dislike about him is that he's such a child-man. He brings out compassion and nuturing in Connie and she mistakes this for adult love rather than mothering-- enough to make me retch. After my first marriage (see the quote in my signature), I realised that I did NOT want to be my husband's mother. Michaelis is also frightened and insecure, thus the need to push Connie away after offering marriage and to do so by hurting her sexual self confidence.

About the "intellectual's" perception of marriage, they were right about some marriages. Sometimes it is being the tagged luggage in the railway station-- and sometimes those marriages work or at least survive. Some marriages are about seeking sucess. The problem is, that not all, and certainly not the strongest, marriages are any of those things (from experience, again). Having the proof-of-purchase papers and the blessing of one's religion does not a marriage make except in name alone. It is clear that none of these men has ever truly, deeply, sincerely loved another being, least of all the women in their lives.

Clifford says, and probably believes, that he won't mind Constance having a baby, but he will. Theory is all well and good, but when faced with reality, Clifford will find that all he wonders about is who the father is. He won't be able to look at his friends without wondering if they were the one and feel them laughing at him or pitying him.

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AMC
Mediwizard

1710 Posts

Posted - 08/23/2007 :  22:47:23  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
True but that's to be expected - he's not someone who understands anything deeply, least of all people and he certainly doesn't understand himself.

Hmmm - I'm not sure why you'd say masturbation is simply frustrating yourself, Siobhan - you must be doing it wrong! But I'd say we can agree it isn't the deeply satisfying experience you can have between the sheets.

Most of the characters we've met s far aren't living fufilling lives, they don't even really know what fufillment is. Connie is restless for "more" than she has but she doesn't know what "more" means. She knows it isn't more and better possessions (bully for her) or a more exciting existance, because Michaelis could give her those, albeit only if she made a very uncomfortable choice. But I don't think she was tempted for a minute by him.

I wonder why Lawrence associates premature ejaculation with "modern" men. He must know one of two cynical, unfufilled rotters who were nonetheless decent in the sack. I think he's using their sex lives as a metaphor for their underlying relationships - shallow, ungenerous and lacking in true unconnection.


And I love you, I love you, I love you.
Like never before, like never before.


Edited by - AMC on 08/23/2007 22:48:33
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AMC
Mediwizard

1710 Posts

Posted - 08/28/2007 :  00:07:44  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
All right, I've moved on the chapter 6. Things are looking up.

It's certainly not a cheerful book but I'm enjoying it.


And I love you, I love you, I love you.
Like never before, like never before.

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Siobhan
Chief Healer

USA
2157 Posts

Posted - 08/28/2007 :  10:51:17  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Read 6,7, and 8 this weekend. At least we're getting Connie out of her funk. The numbness is fading! She's returning to/standing up for herself little by little.

Chapter 9. The rift is complete. Surely Connie can't believe Clifford will keep to his bargain about a child now.

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Siobhan
Chief Healer

USA
2157 Posts

Posted - 08/29/2007 :  21:02:39  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
*yaaaaawwwwwnnnn*Oh gosh, I meant to read another chapter today, but just didn't get there. Perhaps tomorrow.

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Siobhan
Chief Healer

USA
2157 Posts

Posted - 08/30/2007 :  15:19:35  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hmmm. Mrs. Bolton is a dangerous creature.

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n/a
deleted

1483 Posts

Posted - 09/04/2007 :  20:37:58  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hi there! I'm actually reading this book too, and I'm all the way up to chapter nine, but I've been too busy to post much lately.

What strikes me most about this book so far isn't the smuttiness (what smuttiness?). Instead I'm noticing a metaphor that equates industrialism with the ruin of English society/culture. Everything indstrialized becomes tained somehow, from the destroying of Robin Hood's forest, to the corruption of Clifford by Mrs. Bolton. As he becomes more and more connected with her, he becomes more and more involved with the business of the mines. As a result, he becomes more and more repulsive and distant to Connie, even though he professes to worship her.

On the other hand, we have Mellors, who has in effect rejected the mines to work in the woods. He's the emerging hero of the story so far, who seems to be the only person able to bring Connie back from her depression and hopelessness. I'm waiting to see where this whole theme is going. Which will come out ahead in the end: artificial emotion and industrialism, or nature and being in touch with the organic world and true feelings? The optimist in me hopes for the latter, but unfortunately the cynic is winning right now. I'm not sure that Connie and Mellors can overcome the odds.
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AMC
Mediwizard

1710 Posts

Posted - 09/05/2007 :  00:42:06  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
.. must.. start.. reading.. and .. catch.. up... with.. Pixie! Sorry, I'm out of breath, I've been wasting all of my free time playing Spider Solitaire at the Difficult level.

Finish chapter 7, 2 more to go before I can comment!


And I love you, I love you, I love you.
Like never before, like never before.

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Siobhan
Chief Healer

USA
2157 Posts

Posted - 09/10/2007 :  18:08:42  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Ack! Too... much... to... do...! Must start reading again soon.
I know, I'll blame it on AMC! I'm just waiting for her to catch up.

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AMC
Mediwizard

1710 Posts

Posted - 09/11/2007 :  02:28:16  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Yes! Blame me! I've just been swamped but I WILL catch up!


And I love you, I love you, I love you.
Like never before, like never before.

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n/a
deleted

1483 Posts

Posted - 09/19/2007 :  09:09:36  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Ha, I'm still working my way through chapter nine. I'm just not very inspired to keep picking this book up. Not to say it's boring, but it is rather depressing so far. That, and I've been incredibly busy (honestly) and too tired to read in the evenings. Now if only it were truly smutty, then I probably couldn't tear myself away ...
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