Wednesday, August 4, 2010

D. H. Lawrence – an interchange with Blogblather

Earlier Lawrence:: >>"I'm reminded of D. H. Lawrence who wrote "The minority of whites intellectualize the Red Man and laud him to the skies."<<

Billy Blogblather: Or perhaps they recognized truths and values within the Indian culture that were missing in our Western European culture.  "laud him to the skies" ?  Do you really need to resort to hyperbole to make your argument?

Lawrence: I didn't laud him to the skies. Neither did D.H. D.H. is critical of the hyperbolic notion of "the noble savage." He was indeed lauded, if not to the skies, at least to a considerable degree. This was a very popular notion.

Earlier Lawrence >>"But this minority of whites is mostly a high-brow minority with a big grouch against its own whiteness."<<

Blogblather: Perhaps, or perhaps that minority of whites recognized values and truths within the Indian culture that were missing in Western European cultures or largely discounted.

Lawrence: D. H. actually spends some time with what the Indian actually had and believed, but the High-Brow-Minority Whites he is criticism made up their own Indian.

Earlier Lawrence >>"He also wrote, 'There'll never be any life in America till you pull the pin out and admit natural inequality.'">>

Blogblather: Of course there's natural inequality.  Only a fool would suggest otherwise.  But what does that have to do with anything?  The only meaningful concept of equality is not one of natural abilities but of each person's equal right to existence, of equal rights before the law, of equal access to opportunity.

Lawrence: I don't think D.H. would have a problem with those modern notions.

Earlier Lawrence >>"And at one point in his discussion of Fenimore Cooper's leatherstocking novels, Lawrence wrote, ". . . the Natty and Chingachgook myth must remain a myth. It is wish-fulfillment, an evasion of actuality."<<

Blogblather: Of course it is   It's myth-making.  I read "Last Of the Mohicans" in the 10th grade and I knew what a crock it was even then.  But still it was a fun read.  "Trust the tale" !!!!!!!!  I think you've come across that quote before.

Lawrence: Yeah, D.H. said "trust the tale," but he didn't apply that saying to the leatherstocking tales. He liked them, but he didn't think anything Cooper wrote trustworthy.

Earlier Lawrence >>"As we have said before, the folds of the Great Serpent would have been heavy, very heavy, too heavy, on any white man. Unless the white man were a true renegade, hating himself and his own race-spirit, as sometimes happens."

"He wrote those things between 1917 and 1923. Since then the minority he refers to has grown. Self-hatred is the in-thing of the "high-brow minority wit.<<"

Blogblather: To be socially aware and self-aware, socially critical and self-critical has nothing to do with self-hatred -- it has much to do with intelligence and critical thinking.  I think David Hubert, a child of the working class, never got over his resentment towards the upper-classes and their privilege  (and I don't blame him).  The world loves and rewards the frivolous ones, whilst punishing those who grind out their lives to the profit and pleasure of the frivolous.  Cosi sia.

Lawrence: D.H. wasn't criticizing socially aware people. He probably didn't think America had any.

Earlier Lawrence: "Therefore let's erase our American distinctiveness so that we can prevent our enemy's intrusion. Let us become nothing; so we can make him nothing as well."

Blogblather: Therefore?????  Because you've misread D.H. Lawrence Americans should give up their distinctiveness -- as if such a thing were possible.  Sometimes you're just silly, Lawrence (both of you).

Lawrence: Sigh. . . . I'm not saying we should erase our distinctiveness. I'm saying that you are saying we should eliminate our distinctiveness when you are willing to deny our traditions, such as the building Christian churches wherever we like in order to prevent Mosques from being erected.

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