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If this is OK with you, please click 'Accept cookies', otherwise you will see this notice on every page. For more information, please click here Accept cookies. Although suffering from descriptive repetitiveness at times the book was poorly edited, among other flaws such as the whiny, irritatingly capricious lead character Somers , the book is worth it alone for the chapter Nightmare, which takes us back to his tempestuous time in Cornwall, to which he lends a ghostly beauty. View all 4 comments. This book purified a part of me and restored my faith in what it is to be human.
Lawrence's honesty and artistic integrity made me realize how far the modern world wants us to travel from being human - what makes us valuable and vital. His words are so beautiful. Many of the chapters are deeply moving and full of personal experience and emotion.
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The book is also semi-autobiographical. This is Lawrence's greatest work. It is full of who he is and how he loves the human condition and ye This book purified a part of me and restored my faith in what it is to be human.
It is full of who he is and how he loves the human condition and yet struggles with mediocrity and the mass hatred of those who are on the outside. You can really begin to love the characters he encounters. They often grow to hate him but he always bears a place for them in his heart. Lawrence is indefatigable and brave. He never enlisted in the army for the 1st world war but you will know by reading this book - what a great warrior and artist this man was.
And of course - Harriet. She is the hero of this book and Lawrence knows it. He makes way for her. Just by writing these words I feel myself being moved.
This is a book I will always treasure. An experience I will never forget. Some of the sharpest insights into Australia ever written, and all from only a few secluded weeks in Oz. I was astonished that the much-acclaimed Lawrence could write not only such drivel, but in places write it so badly. Here was a problem to solve. Such plot as there is starts with Richard Lovat Somers and his German-born wife Harriet, who are clearly Lawrence and Frieda, arriving in Sydney for a three month stay. Jack has thick Australian thick legs, and eyes that variously flash or glow or brood.
Somers and Harriet rent the place as they love the beach and bush. Talk becomes political. Jack claims that politics should be like the military: citizens, like those in the ranks, should obey orders from the high command.
Kangaroo: (Annotated) - Kindle edition by David Herbert Lawrence. Download it once and read it on your Kindle device, PC, phones or tablets. Use features like. Editorial Reviews. Review. "Presented in high editorial style." Frank Kermode, London Review Kangaroo (Annotated) - Kindle edition by D.H. Lawrence.
He tells Somers there are units in what seem to be RSL clubs ready to stage a military coup when the socialists stage a revolution. Jack introduces Somers to their charismatic leader, a lawyer called Ben Cooley known as Kangaroo because he has a long head, round belly and powerful hindquarters. Jack is also said to look like a kangaroo. This is where we start to get ridiculous. Depending on what he is saying, Kangaroo can be huge and beautiful with glowing eyes, or ugly.
He too speaks of love, not top down like Kangaroo, but with workers bonded by love and comradeship to equalise the wrongs of capitalism.
After talking with Struthers and rejecting his request to run a newspaper for him, Somers calls on Kangaroo. Love is not in his repertoire. In a Labor Party rally in Canberra House Struthers gives an impassioned speech, describing the inequality and victory of Industrialism over labour: workers do all the work for one pound a day while the bosses do nothing and get ten pounds a day, an accurate depiction of where the Labor movement was in Struthers is counted down by a group of diggers led by Jack, creating a riot in which three are killed.
Kangaroo is fatally wounded. He requests Somers to visit him in hospital and begs him as he is dying to say Somers loves him. What upper class men have said is real, what workers leave unsaid is real, whereas women chatter to each other whatever their class. Class differences depend on the aristocratic principle: differences between people are innate. Harriet is outraged; to her marriage should be based on love. But Richard sees love as the source of evil: he is driven by his icthypriapic? Vicky as a generalised woman figure? Somers is rejected for service in WW1on medical grounds but this only sets him apart.
He is outspokenly critical of the war, and because he also has a German wife he is accused of being a spy.
He is called up for military service several times, the last in Derby where he is outraged to the core, utterly humiliated by the medical inspection, involving genital and rectal inspection, which is standard practice. He dwells endlessly on wanting to be alone with his dark priapic god.
Somers is patronising about Australian buildings and the people, the accent a form of Cockney spoken through clenched teeth. There are no class distinctions: not better, just better off. But money is not much good where there is no genuine culture: money is a means to rising to a fuller, higher subtler state of consciousness. Australians are hollow like straw, gleaming gold on the outside empty inside. Yet he supports the aristocratic principle of innate differences.
He rejects Christianity and a loving god, but believes in his dark priapic god arising from within. Hard to make sense of this.
Apart from these conceptual corkscrews, Somers is full of contradictions, especially about love and about Australians. He wants to be alone and sees love as a poison, but when taken away from the riot in Canberra House he tries to return to bewailing what is happening to his fellow humans. He is attracted to Kangaroo yet hates him. The novel is in fact made up of different genres: part memoir, part self-contradictory rants on politics, religion and philosophy, and part lectures on botany, volcanoes, consciousness amongst different races and of species of animals, illustrated in the introspections and actions of essentially unlikeable people.
Too much telling and not enough showing is a no-no in fiction.
He uses too many adjectives and adverbs. In one scene with Somers and Kangaroo, nobody actually says anything: they roar, yell, shout, or whisper; whatever verb is qualified by adverbs such as sombrely, sarcastically, threateningly, pleadingly, etc. The nature writing is detailed and evocative, if at times repetitive. It was true then, now it depends on which political party you back. Characterisation and dialogue. Somers behaves like an adolescent, self-contradictory, emotionally volatile, loving and hating in the same paragraph, constantly changing his mind, over reacting to quite simple statements by others — is this how Lawrence wants the world to see him?
Remember he was in his mids when he wrote Kangaroo, not a confused adolescent.