D.H. Lawrence and Katherine Mansfield

Two extraordinary, brilliant writers who refused to fit into the cage that society wanted for them. There is David Herbert Lawrence with his wild sense of the power and sacredness of sexuality, of the way in which the rhythms of the universe are all in a constant state of creative flux and then there is Katherine Mansfield with her deep sense of the need for freedom from all kinds of tyranny. Each in their own way shape and bend the language to capture the ways in which human beings wrestle with their constraints- and either find freedom – or don’t. In “The Horse-Dealer’s Daughter” a suicide attempt turns into an experience of passionate love that breaks through all the boundaries of restraint. In “The Daughters of the Late Colonel” freedom from the tyranny of an imperialist father does not bring the wished for, hoped for freedom of spirit. Individuals -implies Mansfield – are too caught up in the histories that have shaped them into what they are. Freedom from this past is not easy to attain. It takes subtlety, quiet, stillness and penetrating insight to really learn how to be free of one’s past. What Mansfield describes at the end of this story is the agonising sense that every human being has from time to time: how near and yet how far is that for which I truly seek? It takes a momentary fear, a momentary self-doubt and all our possibilities are suddenly shrouded. For Mansfield this moment is symbolised in the cloud suddenly taking the place of the sun. What an amazing, insightful, dramatic story this is… it should encourage you to go on and read “The Garden Party” and any other Mansfield stories that you can get your hands on. Here is one for good measure: http://www.lamaquinadeltiempo.com/mansfield/04dollh.htm

Both these authors – it will be clear from the description above- were very Blakean in their approach to life and to conformity. Both were also seeking liberation through the power of the creative imagination.

So, as for blog topics- as said today:

1/ Why not draft a sequel to Mansfield’s story. That is draft an outline which you can then flesh out in your own time.

2/ Look at D.H. Lawrence’s poem “The Snake” and describe what you think his reaction to the snake is.

3/ Why does Lawrence hate the bourgeoisie so much. Check out his poem of this title.

 

4/ Collect a short list of the best films on either Lawrence or Mansfield on Youtube and provide an edited list ranking them in order of usefulness.

Enjoy your week off!

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