Monday, May 14, 2007

D. H. Lawrence at the Starting Gate

To H. C.

. . . Heinemann was very nice; doesn't want me to alter anything; will publish in Sept. or Oct., the best season; we have signed agreements concerning royalties, and I have agreed to give him the next novel. Will he want it? This transacting of literary business makes me sick. I have no faith in myself at the end, and I simply loathe writing. You do not know how repugnant to me was the sight of that Nethermere MSS.* By the way, I have got to find a new title. I wish, from the bottom of my heart, the fates had not stigmatised me "writer." It is a sickening business. Will you tell me whether the Saga is good? I am rapidly losing faith in it. . . .

I assure you I am not weeping into my register. It is only that the literary world seems a particularly hateful yet powerful one. The literary element, like a disagreeable substratum under a fair country, spreads under every inch of life, sticking to the roots of growing things. Ugh, that is hateful. I wish I might be delivered. . . .

*Nethermere was the early title of The White Peacock; the Saga was issued as The Trespasser.

-fromThe Letters of D. H. Lawrence edited by Aldous Huxley (London: William Heniemann, 1956.) p. 2

H. C. : Helen Corke, a Croydon teacher and friend of D. H. Lawrence. Her experiences were used by Lawrence for his novel The Trespasser.

No comments: