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Selected Letters by D.H. Lawrence

Selected Letters (original 1932; edition 1971)

by D.H. Lawrence

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1662109,843 (4.25)2
Title:Selected Letters
Authors:D.H. Lawrence
Info:Penguin Books Ltd (1971), Edition: New impression, Paperback, 192 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:Richard Aldington, D.H. Lawrence, letters, 20th-century literature

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Selected Letters by D. H. Lawrence (1932)



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I did follow the advice of Geoff Dyer and I read these Selected letters. D.H. Lawrence was not only a fine letter-writer, he was timely and persistent. Reading these letters in conjunction with a couple biographies and a personal triptych memoir regarding his travels in Italy, a reliable bullshit meter is installed, equipped, and in good operating condition. Even if the person of Lawrence was a beast at times, he remained charming until the end, and what impressed me the most about his life-long battle with lung disease was how he somehow remained in amazing, unparalleled denial throughout the duration, even within a couple days before he finally succumbed. Two snippets below can act for you as teasers:

To Ernest Collins,
17 January 1913

"...My great religion is a belief in the blood, the flesh, as being wiser than the intellect. We can go wrong in our minds. But what our blood feels and believes and says, is always true. The intellect is only a bit and a bridle.
... We have got so ridiculously mindful, that we never know that we ourselves are anything — we think there are only the objects we shine upon.
... A flame isn't a flame because it lights up two, or twenty objects on a table. It's a flame because it is itself. And we have forgotten ourselves.
... The real way of living is to answer to one's wants. Not 'I want to light up with my intelligence as many things as possible' — but 'For the living of my full flame — I want that liberty, I want that woman, I want that pound of peaches, I want to go to sleep, I want to go to the pub and have a good time, I want to look a beastly swell today, I want to kiss that girl, I want to insult that man.' — Instead of that, all these wants, which are there whether-or-not, are utterly ignored, and we talk about some sort of ideas."

Letter to Mabel Dodge Luhan
9 Aug 1928
re: Lady Chatterly's Lover

"...makes one hate hypocrisy and prudery more than ever — and people as a bulk." ( )
  MSarki | Mar 31, 2013 |
“Learned from D.H. Lawrence about how to say what you felt about country.”
Letter to Arnold Gingrich, 1933
Selected Letters, pg. 385
  ErnestHemingway | Dec 27, 2008 |
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» Add other authors (3 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
D. H. Lawrenceprimary authorall editionscalculated
Aldous HuxleyEditorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Aldington, RichardEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0521777992, Paperback)

This is another good book to have at your desk for those between-chapter breaks: flip it open and read from this distillation of over 300 letters written by D. H. Lawrence. There are letters to lords and ladies, culture barons, chambermaids and pals, discoursing widely on Whitman, wilderness ("the big old pagan cosmos"), German gingerbread, and Mexican railways--the selections are fun and lively, and they illuminate an era. Plus, his political predictions tend to be right on the money: "Chaos," Lawrence writes, "is necessary for Russia." For the peripatetic author, too: Lawrence never stayed in one place too long. The better to keep up the letters.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:24:53 -0400)

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An authoritative selection of letters by one of the great English letter-writers, first published in 1997, is also available in paperback.

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