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D. H. Lawrence
(David Herbert Lawrence)
English novelist and poet

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Be a good animal, true to your instincts.
-- The White Peacock (1911), pt. 2, ch. 2

Curse the blasted, jelly-boned swines, the slimy, the belly-wriggling invertebrates, the miserable sodding rotters, the flaming sods, the sniveling, dribbling, dithering palsied pulse-less lot that make up England today. They've got white of egg in their veins, and their spunk is that watery its a marvel they can breed. They can nothing but frog-spawn — the gibberers! God, how I hate them! God curse them, funkers. God blast them, wish-wash. Exterminate them, slime. I could curse for hours and hours — God help me.
-- Letter to Edward Garnett, 3 July 1912, in which Lawrence expresses his anger that the manuscript for his novel Sons and Lovers had been rejected by Heinemann

He talked to her endlessly about his love of horizontals: how they, the great levels of sky and land in Lincolnshire, meant to him the eternality of the will, just as the bowed Norman arches of the church, repeating themselves, meant the dogged leaping forward of the persistent human soul, on and on, nobody knows where; in contradiction to the perpendicular lines and to the Gothic arch, which, he said, leapt up at heaven and touched the ecstasy and lost itself in the divine.
-- Sons and Lovers (1913)

Humanity is a huge aggregate lie, and a huge lie is less than a small truth. Humanity is less, far less than the individual, because the individual may sometimes be capable of truth, and humanity is a tree of lies. And they say that love is the greatest thing; they persist in SAYING this, the foul liars, and just look at what they do! Look at all the millions of people who repeat every minute that love is the greatest, and charity is the greatest— and see what they are doing all the time. By their works ye shall know them, for dirty liars and cowards, who daren't stand by their own actions, much less by their own words.
-- Women in Love (1920), ch. 11

Don't you find it a beautiful clean thought, a world empty of people, just uninterrupted grass, and a hare sitting up?
-- Women in Love (1920), ch. 11

But better die than live mechanically a life that is a repetition of repetitions.
-- Women in Love (1920), ch. 15

Mystic equality lies in abstraction, not in having or in doing, which are processes. In function and process, one man, one part, must of necessity be subordinate to another. It is a condition of being.
-- Women in Love (1920)

It was in 1915 the old world ended.
-- Kangaroo (1923)

A snake came down to my water-trough
On a hot, hot day, and I in pyjamas for the heat,
To drink here. (...)
And so, I missed my chance with one of the lords of life.
And I have something to expiate:
A pettiness.

- "Snake" (1923)

Never trust the artist. Trust the tale. The proper function of a critic is to save the tale from the artist who created it.
-- Studies in Classic American Literature (1923)

Ours is essentially a tragic age, so we refuse to take it tragically.
-- Lady Chatterley's Lover (1928)

To the Puritan all things are impure, as somebody says.
-- Etruscan Places (1932)

Pornography is the attempt to insult sex, to do dirt on it.
-- Phoenix (1936), "Pornography and Obscenity", ch. 3

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The selection of the above quotes and the writing of the accompanying notes was performed by the author David Paul Wagner.

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