One of the things that never fails to surprise people is when they find out that I'm a huge fan of D. H. Lawrence. Yes, he of the controversial novels that have scandalized people in the early 1900s.
But I have to be honest though, as the reason I picked up my first D. H. Lawrence was to find out if there were really several of these naughty bits in his novels. Unfortunately, what I could find wouldn't be considered 'the good parts' in this day and age. The word 'tame' comes to mind.
However, when I finished my first D. H. Lawrence book and having had a great time reading it, I read another. And with my second, I was already a fan. Now, I consider Women in Love and Sons and Lovers as two of my all-time favorite novels. Who says there aren't any perfect novels? For me, these two titles of Lawrence are as close to perfect as any work of fiction can be.
Since the last 3 books that I finished recently are classics, I figured I might as well read another Lawrence, and I do recall that I have a copy of The Rainbow, whose story precedes Women in Love.
I'm not finished with it yet, but still, I couldn't find parts that would scandalize the reader of today. Consider what happens (excerpt below) during the marriage night of Tom Brangwen and Lydia Lensky.
"I want to," he said as he drew her closer and closer in. She was soothed by the stress of his embrace, and remained quite still, relaxed against him, mingling in to him. And he let himself go from past and future, was reduced to the moment with her. In which he took her and was with her and there was nothing beyond, they were together in an elemental embrace beyond their superficial foreignness. But in the morning he was uneasy again. She was still foreign and unknown to him. Only, within the fear was pride, belief in himself as mate for her. And she, everything forgotten in her new hour of coming to life, radiated vigour and joy, so that he quivered to touch her.Did you feel any hint of naughtiness in these lines, dear reader? I didn't. I loved the way Lawrence depicted the scene though. So lyrical and introspective, yes?