Tuesday, March 2, 2010

D.H. Lawrence and His "Ship of Death"

I suppose depression would be difficult enough, but at least most of us are saved from persecution complexes like that suffered by the writer D.H. Lawrence! Though I suppose given his most-famous book Lady Chatterley's Lover was banned and many people considered his work, if not him, pornographic, he wasn't entirely paranoid. Anyway, today is the 80-year anniversary of his death.

On this day in 1930 forty-five-year-old D. H. Lawrence died in Vence, France, of tuberculosis. Lawrence was so scoffing of medical (or any other) science that he refused to name or accept his condition, or to submit to any of the "magic mountain" treatments recommended to him. This fatalism was combined with a belief that he was in the grip of an evil spirit, visited upon him by a lifetime of vilification from misguided critics and an outraged public -- most recently for the banned Lady Chatterley's Lover (1928), and for an exhibition of paintings condemned as "filth" by the press and confiscated by the police. "The hatred which my books have aroused comes back at me and gets me here," he told a friend, tapping his chest. "If I get the better of if in one place it goes to another."

But I'd rather remember him for his amazing writing. Here is a fabulous reading of his poem "The Ship of Death," written just months before his own:

No comments:

Post a Comment