Wednesday, October 22, 2008

D.H. Lawrence is such a fag

I have a bus commute of about forty-five minutes to and from work, so I bring along books to read (since I started this job I've actually been reading more than I was before, which is nice). This morning I brought along a collection of D.H. Lawrence stories, because my roommate Matthew's been reading Lady Chatterly's Lover and it made me realize that I've never read him before.

The first story in the book (I napped a bit on the bus and only ended up reading one 20-page story) is "The Prussian Officer", which is I think the gayest damn thing I've ever read, and that includes gay porn fiction and Everything About Me Is Fake...And I'm Perfect by Janice Dickinson. I mean, jesus, there's even a bit where the gay-ass officer (who is driven to violence by his shame and confusion over his attraction to his young assistant) walks into a tent full of soldiers and encounters "a hot smell of men, of sweat, of leather. He knew it well." I had no idea that D.H. was ever such a homo.

The upshot of it all is that the whole thing is kind of violently, uncomfortably hot, including the scene where (SPOILERS!!!!) the assistant murders the officer:

The spur of the officer caught in a tree-root, he went down backwards with a crash, the middle of his back thudding sickeningly against a sharp-edged tree-base... And in a second the orderly, with serious, earnest young face, and underlip between his teeth, had got his knee in the officer's chest and was pressing the chin backward over the farther edge of the tree-stump, pressing, with all his heart behind in a passion of relief, the tension of his wrists exquisite with relief. And with the base of his palms he shoved at the chin, with all his might. And it was pleasant, too, to have that chin, that hard jaw already slightly rough with beard, in his hands. He did not relax one hair's breadth, but, all the force of all his blood exulting in his thrust, he shoved back the head of the other man, till there was a little "cluck" and a crunching sensation... Heavy convulsions shook the body of the officer, frightening and horrifying the young soldier. Yet it pleased him, too, to repress them. It pleased him to keep his hands pressing back the chin, to feel the chest of the other man yield in expiration to the weight of his strong, young knees, to feel the hard twitchings of the prostrate body jerking his own whole frame, which was pressed down on it.

But it went still... How curiously the mouth was pushed out, exaggerating the full lips, and the moustache bristling up from them. Then, with a start, he noticed the nostrils gradually filled with blood. The red brimmed, hesitated, ran over, and went in a thin trickle down the face to the eyes.

Mr. D.H. then goes on to describe how, now that the life is gone from the hated officer, the orderly finds the body strangely appealing.

Sad link of the day: Dee Dee Warwick dead at 63


miriam beetle said...

i love this post exceedingly, & i'm glad you are trying blogging again.

Ethan said...

Hi, miriam! Glad you like it. And yeah, I was largely absent from the internet for a while there but now I'm trying it out again. We'll see how it goes.