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The Rainbow ()

Modern Library Top 100 Novels of the 20th Century (48)

Main Entry: love
Pronunciation: 'l&v
Function: noun
Etymology: Middle English, from Old English lufu; akin to Old High German luba love, Old
English lEof dear, Latin lubEre, libEre to please
Date: before 12th century
1 a (1) : strong affection for another arising out of kinship or personal ties <maternal love for a
child> (2) : attraction based on sexual desire : affection and tenderness felt by lovers (3) : affection
based on admiration, benevolence, or common interests <love for his old schoolmates> b : an
assurance of love <give her my love>
2 : warm attachment, enthusiasm, or devotion <love of the sea>
3 a : the object of attachment, devotion, or admiration <baseball was his first love> b (1) : a
beloved person : DARLING -- often used as a term of endearment (2) British -- used as an informal
term of address
4 a : unselfish loyal and benevolent concern for the good of another: as (1) : the fatherly concern of
God for humankind (2) : brotherly concern for others b : a person's adoration of God

Main Entry: pas·sion
Pronunciation: 'pa-sh&n
Function: noun
Etymology: Middle English, from Old French, from Late Latin passion-, passio suffering, being
acted upon, from Latin pati to suffer -- more at PATIENT
Date: 13th century
1 often capitalized a : the sufferings of Christ between the night of the Last Supper and his death
b : an oratorio based on a gospel narrative of the Passion
2 obsolete : SUFFERING
3 : the state or capacity of being acted on by external agents or forces
4 a (1) : EMOTION <his ruling passion is greed> (2) plural : the emotions as distinguished from reason b : intense, driving, or overmastering feeling or conviction c : an outbreak of anger

The essential project of the Romantic Movement and the Left in the past 100 or more years, perhaps best expressed in the novels of Lawrence, is to replace Love with Passion.  Love you see is a mutual thing.  It requires interrelations and bonds which are anathema to the wholly nihilistic, individualistic and selfish intellectual elites of the Modern era.  What in the end does Freudianism consist of, other than an attack on the foundations of the family?

Passion on the other hand, requires nothing from anyone other than the individual.  It does not require that the object of one's desires reciprocate.  The individual, whole in himself, can experience passion.

Lawrence, in these novels and others, tried to explore new alternatives to the traditional Western structures of marriage, family and Christianity.  He hoped to recreate humans and human relations in new forms, unbound by tradition and reason.

It is for this fundamental attack on the great accomplishments of Western Civilization that his books should have been banned, not because of some wildly melodramatic sex scenes in the haystacks.


Grade: (F)


D.H. Lawrence Links:

    -WIKIPEDIA: D. H. Lawrence
    -PODCAST: D. H. Lawrence in flames: A new biography of D. H. Lawrence, "the most judged writer of his age" (TLS, 5/27/21)
-ESSAY: Pleasure Island: DH Lawrence on Capri (Jeffrey Meyers, 9/03/23, The Article)
    -ESSAY: The Gospel according to DH Lawrence: If we could resurrect DH Lawrence, what would he make of spiritual belief today? (ZACHARY HARDMAN, 8/29/23, Engelsberg Ideas)
    -ESSAY: Lady Chatterley isn’t sexy: D.H. Lawrence didn't champion the Sexual Revolution (NICHOLAS HARRIS, 12/08/22, UnHerd)
    -ESSAY: The D. H. Lawrence We Forgot: Lawrence became famous writing novels about sex. But his best stories—and his most profound achievements—reside elsewhere (Frances Wilson, The New Yorker)
    -REVIEW ESSAY: The Arch-Heretic: ‘The Bad Side of Books’ (George Scialabba, October 10, 2020, Commonweal)
    -ESSAY: D.H. Lawrence Against The Machine: In Lawrence’s poetry, we catch a glimpse of how exactly the lordship of the machine is instituted: not with guns at the door, but on the altar of our worship. (Micah Paul Veillon, June 17, 2023, European Conservative)
-ESSAY: Up close and dangerous: the irresistible allure of DH Lawrence: For decades he was wildly out of fashion, now DH Lawrence is everywhere – from novels and biographies to a new adaptation of Lady Chatterley’s Lover (Lara Feigel, 30 Aug 2021, The Guardian)
    -REVIEW ESSAY: The D. H. Lawrence We Forgot: Lawrence became famous writing novels about sex. But his best stories—and his most profound achievements—reside elsewhere (Frances Wilson, October 8, 2020, The New Yorker)
    -REVIEW: of Burning Man: The Ascent of D H Lawrence By Frances Wilson (David Wheatley, Literary Review)
    -REVIEW: of Burning MKan< (DJ Taylor, WSJ)
    -REVIEW: of Burning Man (Lara Feigel, New Republic)
    -REVIEW: of Burning Man (Daphne Merkin, BookForum)
    -REVIEW: of Burning Man (Troy Jollimore, Washington Post)
    -REVIEW: of Burning Man (Kathryn Hughes, NY Review of Books)
    -REVIEW: of ook! We Have Come Through! by Lara Feigel (Paul Dean, The Critic)

Book-related and General Links:
-DH Lawrence
    -Literary Research Guide: D(avid) H(erbert) Lawrence (1885 - 1930 )
    -The Taming of D. H. Lawrence (J. M. COETZEE in NY Review of Books)


I have just finished the first 175 pages this beautiful novel.So far it looks marvellous particularly in the sense that it details all the ups and downs of romance,passion,marriage and the mixed and apparently confused feeling of the newly wed.I have found it very exciting all in all though it is too early to be conclusive for i am left with quite a bulk of the pages.However,the pretty much details he depicts on every character looks a bit boring.


- Oct-21-2005, 05:27


"injustices, hypocrisies, and and absurd rigidities in gender constructions"

We call that Creation.

- oj

- Mar-08-2004, 08:20


I'm not entirely sure that the reviewer actually read The Rainbow; this "review" seems to be more of an irrational reaction to a perceived threat. I doubt Lawrence was attempting to threaten traditional family structures, but rather was attempting to explore the complexities inherent in any sexual relationship, regardless of the presence of "Love," as the reviewer is so adamant about defending. While Lawrence was interested in exposing what he felt were injustices, hypocrisies, and and absurd rigidities in gender constructions, I find it hard to believe that he was trying to destroy the very institution, namely love and family values, that it seems to me he was desperate to validate against the illusions of romance and the difficulties of working class life. His interest was in discovering the truth of love, not in exposing it as a fallacy.

Lawrence's fault, therefore, is not in undermining western civilization. Rather, his fault is that he frustrates the reader by employing such a beautiful style for fascinating content in what is ultimately a boring read. I appreciate his style and his subject material, but I found it hard, through all the details of interior life, to stay interested the whole time.

Of course, this is just my opinion. I love Lawrence's short fiction, and I would understand if someone told me they love The Rainbow.

Grade for Orrin's review: F, for shortsightedness and lack of any actual critical input.

Grade for the Rainbow: B, for an excellent style, an excellent study of interpersonal relationships, a realistic depiction of conflict, but unfortunately, a loss of points for the yawns that come towards the 150th page.

- Billy

- Mar-07-2004, 22:51


There's a pony in there somewhere.

I'm sure there must be a review of "The Rainbow" somewhere amidst all of that rambling. I just couldn't find it. Good job of showing how superior you are though.

- Sam

- Dec-18-2003, 06:47