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D. H. Lawrence and Italy: Sketches from Etruscan Places, Sea and Sardinia, Twilight in Italy (Penguin Classics) [Paperback]

D. H. Lawrence , Anthony Burgess , Tim Parks
3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
RRP: 14.99
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Book Description

22 Feb 2007 Penguin Classics
In these impressions of the Italian countryside, Lawrence transforms ordinary incidents into passages of intense beauty. Twilight in Italy is a vibrant account of Lawrence's stay among the people of Lake Garda, whose decaying lemon gardens bear witness to the twilight of a way of life centuries old. In Sea and Sardina, Lawrence brings to life the vigorous spontaneity of a society as yet untouched by the deadening effect of industrialization. And Etruscan Places is a beautiful and delicate work of literary art, the record of "a dying man drinking from the founts of a civilization dedicated to life."

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D. H. Lawrence and Italy: Sketches from Etruscan Places, Sea and Sardinia, Twilight in Italy (Penguin Classics) + Italian Hours (Penguin Classics) + Pictures from Italy (Penguin Classics)
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Product details

  • Paperback: 528 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Classics (22 Feb 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0141441550
  • ISBN-13: 978-0141441559
  • Product Dimensions: 19.7 x 13.4 x 2.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 118,394 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

D.H. Lawrence (1885-1930), English novelist, storywriter, critic, poet and painter, one of the greatest figures in 20th-century English literature. Among his works, Sons and Lovers appeared in 1913, The Rainbow (1915), Women In Love (1920), and many others.

Tim Parks grew up in London and studied at Cambridge and Harvard. In 1981 he moved to Italy where he has lived ever since. He has written twelve novels as well as two non-fiction accounts of life in northern Italy, and two collections of essays.


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First Sentence
The imperial road to Italy goes from Munich across the Tyrol, through Innsbruck and Bozen to Verona, over the mountains. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Strange and wonderful chords 27 April 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
"So that for us to go to Italy and penetrate into Italy is like a most satisfying act of self-discovery - back,back down the old ways of time.Strange and wonderful chords awake in us, and vibrate again after many hundreds of years of complete forgetfulness". Thus Lawrence acknowledges his debt to Italy. This trilogy is drenched with the most exquisite prose and ravishing metaphors (" And looking down the hill,among the grey smoke of olive leaves, pink puffs of smoke are rising up. It is the almond and apricot trees, it is the Spring") and similes ("The sky and sea are parting like an oyster shell, with a low red gape").He,typically,repeats and artfully re-works his ideas to enhance the effects. "And cork trees! I see curious,slim oaky-looking trees that are stripped quite naked below the boughs standing brown,ruddy...They remind me of glowing,coffee-brown,naked aborigines of the South Seas. They have the naked suavity,skin-bare and intense coffee-red colour of unclothed savages". I therefore enjoyed this book far more than the novels. And I was impressed by how this working-class boy peppered these Italian dishes with Biblical, classical and literary references.Of course, his philosophy and view of history is flawed. as is his attempt to penetrate minds and cultures with so little acquaintance, yet they do tell us a great deal about what was going on in his very original mind. Lawrence is not scientific. His heightened perception is subjective, idiosyncratic and anti-rational. He is physically aroused by nature and the ancient blood and life forces, the consequence of his fragile health that kept him out of the army, obliged him to give up his job and brought him to a premature death. But this was also the young man who walked from Switzerland to Italy. Read more ›
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars D H Lawrence and Italy Penguin Classics 18 Feb 2012
By prahs
Format:Paperback
I do not think that the quality of this book acceptable. The paper is what I would call semi transparent. One can see the print on the other side of the paper whilst reading. Also the maps at the back leave a little to be desired. The sea is black and almost obscures the names printed on it.ie Amalfi on page 451 - Lawrence's Italy.

I am rating the quality of the book not the written contents.
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Amazon.com: 4.0 out of 5 stars  8 reviews
34 of 34 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Journal of Italian travel.... 17 Nov 2001
By Dianne Foster - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
D.H. LAWRENCE AND ITALY is composed of three stories: 'Twilight in Italy', 'Sea and Sardinia' and 'Etruscan Places'. The first two "books" seem to be based on journals he wrote while traveling with his German born lover then wife Frieda, whom he refers to as q-b for queen bee, through various villages on the mainland of Italy and the island of Sardinia. Lawrence does not record his experience of "famous" sights in these two books, in fact he says he is not interested in historical places, museums etc. but rather he wishes to see the people and the places in the out-of-the way areas of Italy. He and Frieda travel by bus, train, and boat--close to the ground.
Those who have read Lawrence's fiction will recognize his writing. He describes what he encounters with a visceral language--people, clothing, food, establishments. Some of the places are stunning and some so filthy you wonder how he could have stayed overnight. He visits lemon and olive groves and various high places along the coast and in the interior valleys. His writing is graphic--the reader will be as appalled and enchanted. He reflects Italy just before and after WWI.
In the third book, 'Etruscan Places', Lawrence describes his visits to various Etruscan sites, including the painted tombs of Tarquinia. His writing is less descriptive than that of the first two books. He is concerned with nothing less than the meaing of life, and the conflict between religion and truth (he died a few short years later at age 44 so his reflections seem almost prescient). He muses that societies are organized around death or life. He speaks of the use of fertility symbols such as fish and lambs for Christians and dolphins and eggs for Etruscans; the significance of the color vermillion -- male body painting by warrior classes where red paint connotes power contrasted with the the red skin coloring of the Etruscan tomb portraits which seems to have connoted the blood of life. He says the Etuscans loved life and the Romans who subdued them loved power.
Lawrence's book provides good background for those who would know more about Italy. Many of the places he describes have changed since the 1920s--some for the better. The people have changed--their clothing, homes, etc. are less unique and colorful, but they are better fed, warmer in winter, and cleaner. Hopefully their lives are better, but I don't think Lawrence would agree.
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thoughtful and Beautiful 24 Aug 2005
By Bodhi Tree - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
These essays are classics. Etruscan Places almost single-handedly revived "modern" interest in the Etruscans and was essential to the preservation and study of their tombs and paintings. Throughout, Lawrence is sensitive and insightful. An added patina to these works is the fact that they were written in the 1930s during the build-up toward WWII. There is an immediacy mixed with nostalgia here that is compelling.
25 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An extraordinary in a world... that still exist 15 May 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Had the wonderful feeling of being lost in a magic world, while reading this book. Brought to the magic island of Sardinia, on an old train, on the mountains of the island. And then, when I had the chance to be there, it all became true. The same train, the same atmosphere... in a world that did not change...after all.
10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Over the Alps with a stolen German girlfriend... 8 May 2002
By Professor Joseph L. McCauley - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
If i were to read only two travel books then this would be the second one, although both my wife and an English friend read it in German translation and reported that it was terrible. Maybe it doesn't translate well. Lawrence, as young man, describes a thread running through his life as he starts the journey by heading south toward Italy on foot from Bavaria with Frida, a way of travel that many Germans still understand very well. Descriptions of people are attractive, like the one-legged Italian who tried to seduce the cold, northern women at a dance. I liked best his description of his own Alpüberquerung, his description therein of the hurried English hiker, the way that Italins have ruined the alpine valleys with industrialization. And I felt loss at his growing distance from Frida. The book made me want to see the lemon and olive trees above Lago di Garda and the villages high above the lake, but we haven't done that in spite of our nearness to the region. Gardasee is completely overrun by German tourists now, not just by those wearing heavy hiking boots.
0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Conditions of the book and reception 13 July 2011
By girlwhostares - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The book arrived perfectly in time, I have nothing to say about it (I chose the most expensive way, but I needed it in few days!).
The only thing that I can report are the conditions of the book. It seems old or at least treated in a bad way, the coverture is fold and I don't like when my new books seem like old ones!
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