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The Fox and the Ladybird- novellas
on 4 December 2014
This review is from: The Fox D.H.Lawrence(Kindle Edition)
I read this novella as part of the Delphi Complete Works of DHL. As would be expected in a DHL work, the sense of place, period (set in WW1) and atmospherics, the descriptive passages are second to none. I was perplexed by the repetitive nature of the' text in places- the descriptor 'plangent' , for example was repeated 5 times within the space of a couple of kindle screens. Phrases and sentences are repeated, which may be sloppy writing, or it may be a deliberate device that gives the novella a conversational feel to it. Also of course it added to the general sense of ennui and monotony of life, which was one of the themes. You live, work and die, no matter how much you might want to change that inevitability. The tensions between the characters is as would be expected in a work by Lawrence, and the plot , although character driven is strange, the characters odd, but not unbelievable given the setting and period. It was also unpredictable in so far as a story can be. The theme relating to the hunter and the hunted (the fox) run rather subtly for DHL overall. The boy as the fox did not quite work for me while reading, but after digesting for a couple of days (as is necessary with authors such as DHL), there was more than originally noticed whilst reading. Reflecting upon the novella, a single read , for this reader, is not going to be enough to fully appreciate it, as in writing this review I am seeing more and more. There are questions hanging, which probably do not require answers as far as plot and text are concerned, but add or detract from the story depending on the reader''s attitude to modernist literature.
4.0 out of 5 stars Character driven WW1 novella, typically Lawrentian tension., 18 Mar 2014
This review is from: The Ladybird D.H.LAWRENCE (Kindle Edition)
I read this in the Delphi Complete Works Kindle download. Having read most of the D.H.Lawrence novels before, I re-read some and read the ones I had not read and then on to the Novellas. I did not find the writing as polished as in the novels, but this did not detract, oddly enough. The exploration of how being held a prisoner of war from the p.o.v. of Count Dionys and of Lady Daphne's husband, Apsley, the one being a German held in England, and the other English having been held in Turkey- both men badly injured and both men recovered although broken in spirit in different ways. This is a recurrent theme in DHL and one which I personally find he does superbly, without mawkish sentiment. The protagonist, Lady Daphne is unlike many of Lawrence's other heroines. Although an aristocrat, vain of her appearance ('in love with her own beauty') this reader felt her more 'real' and less symbolic than some other Lawrentian characters. The Count irritated me, but then I think he was supposed to. She should have irritated me, but she did not. Apsley did, he came across as a caricature, or a ham actor in a Victorian melodrama, but again, he was meant to . No wonder poor Daphne recoiled from the over the top adoration. As for the ending, how very DHL. If only all such relationship crises of adultery and unfaithfulness, even in our rather less restricted world of the 21st century could be resolved so comfortably. I am not sure if this was written before Lady Chatterley , or after, but I would imagine it is a precursor for the more polished and developed trope and themes , also the characters to a certain extent in there. I would not recommend this as an introduction to the works of DHL. It is not representative of what I consider to be his genius, but as an addition to the appreciation of his works as a whole it was both an enjoyable and interesting read.