Son of Woman: The Story of D. H. Lawrence

Son of Woman: The Story of D. H. Lawrence

Son of Woman: The Story of D. H. Lawrence

Son of Woman: The Story of D. H. Lawrence

Excerpt

Somewhere about the age of thirty-five, men of spiritual genius come to maturity, if they are fortunate enough to live so long. It is the middle of the road of life -- nel mezzo di cammin di nostra vita -- which seldom for the great ones reaches beyond the threescore years and ten of the Bible, and often lamentably falls far short of them.

At the age of thirty-five D. H. Lawrence wrote one of his greatest books -- Fantasia of the Unconscious . It marks the zenith of his mortal course, as will be apparent in this history. In it, he declares a faith, and takes a position, which afterwards he slowly relinquishes. His courage, or rather his simple strength, is not great enough to maintain him in the precarious harmony he has won out of his own conflicting elements. In this halcyon moment, he looks back calmly upon his own life and sees clearly what he is: how compounded, how conditioned, how compelled. And, in essence, Fantasia of the Unconscious is the effort, born of this clear self-knowledge, so to change the world of men that in future no child shall be compounded, and conditioned, and compelled as he was.

The relation of marriage between a man and woman, he says in Fantasia , is the necessary basis of the new order of society which he desires. In order that this relation should be creative, and not destructive, it is necessary that the man should, at the age of maturity, assume a sacred responsibility for the next purposive step into the future. If this creative responsibility is not undertaken by the man . . .

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