Friday, 9 February 2018

Pulp Fiction

Chatterley on Trial

Peter Hitchens has written a latter-day review of D. H. Lawrence's Lady Chatterley's Lover.  He reflects upon the literary worthlessness of the book and considers it in the post-modern context of amorality in which we now live. 

It turns out that Chatterley has not improved over time.  In fact, it has made the contribution to Western Civilization that Lawrence probably intended--that is, the dismantling of the Judeo-Christian ethic in the West.  But it has not been successful in building a Brave New World. 

Readers can access the full review and attendant social commentary upon the court case that failed to ban Chatterley at First Things.  The piece is entitled "Chatterley on Trial". 

Hitchens's concluding paragraph may serve to whet your appetite:
The liberation of pornography from dingy shops in seedy quarters has not led to the death of repression or an outbreak of sexual health, but to even more pornography, to the commodification of flesh, and to a society deader in the loins and in the head than anything Lawrence knew. This is what the Chatterley trial was about. Some of those who championed the book must have known what they were doing. But their campaign succeeded because so many people did not take words and language as seriously as they should have. They thought they could take a brief, sunlit Mediterranean holiday from morals and restraint, and then return comfortably to the old, secure ways. In fact, they said goodbye to them forever. It takes centuries to create a taboo, and an afternoon to destroy it.

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