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    Smith, Stewart 2018. Nietzsche and Modernism. p. 69.

  • Print publication year: 2001
  • Online publication date: May 2006

5 - Work and selfhood in Lady Chatterley’s Lover

from Part 1 - Texts

Lady Chatterley's Lover is famously, even notoriously, a book about sex. The novel is divided into three sections: the first seeks to register the nature and causes of psychic and social degradation; the second stages a series of sexual encounters between Lady Chatterley and the gamekeeper, Mellors; and the third considers the viability of their existence as a couple. Lawrence created three different versions of the novel, using a range of characters and circumstances to articulate its different forms of individual and social dysfunction, but the basic structure of degeneration, rebirth and consequent fragility remains intact throughout all of Lawrence's re-writing. What has less frequently been noted, however, is that Lady Chatterley's Lover is also a novel about work: about the alienation of industrial labour, the desperate compensatory quality of intellectual work, the inescapability of physical toil, and the imaginative and ideological work of narrative fiction. The novel begins with the observation that: 'The cataclysm has happened, we are among the ruins, we start to build up new little habitats, to have new little hopes. It is rather hard work.'

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The Cambridge Companion to D. H. Lawrence
  • Online ISBN: 9780511999147
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