Tuesday, January 31, 2012

David Herbert and Dylan

So I decided to write something for a change, well it's been too cold to paint, and we're working on the house.  I know it's a poor excuse, but in my defence I have been rereading "Sons and Lovers".
I read the book last  for "A level" in 1967. Naturally  back then I identified strongly with Paul.  I now realise how much I missed first time round, in the personalities of Mrs Morrel and Morrell,  the pain she feels as she becomes aware that he has misled her, not owning the house and his backsliding into drinking.

I have been really taken with Lawrence's lyricism in the passages where Mrs Morrel communes with nature and finds solace in the the the beauty of the sky or fields as a way of escaping her husband's coarseness. I'm not a Lawrence expert but the passages have a religious/pantheist feel.

Of course you cant write off Morrel as merely a clod, who would not love a man who uses "thee",  the descriptions of his jauntiness and boyish nature go some way to explaining  how she came to  love him in the first place.  I'm only a quarter of the  way through but the quality of the writing, makes me understand why the book had such an impact on me back then.

I don't know if there are any Lawrentian strands in Dylan's work and I've never seen anything written which might connect the two, but the line "as I walked out tonight in the mystic garden" came to me.
It might approximate something of Mrs Morrel's feelings, and in that verse from "Aint Talkin" " Dylan sings..."something hit me from behind" .....which might echo Mrs Morrel's pain.

Lawrence was of course  from Eastwood in Nottinghamshire, and there are a couple of Dylan coincidences there. "Masters of War" used an english folk tune "Nottamun Town", and of course there is a glorious moment in "Dont Look Back" when Dylan is introduced to the High Sherrif of Nottingham, Lady somthin' or other, who is terribly nice and talks like the queen ( maybe she finished up in Desolation Row).

More writing anon.........if the weather stays cold

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