giovedì 17 novembre 2016

L'amante Lady Chatterly, di D.H. Lawrence COVER BOOK

L'amante Lady Chatterly, di D.H. Lawrence

L'amante Lady Chatterly, di D.H. Lawrence, è uno di quei libri che ha fatto scandalo, generando un violento dibattito. Pubblicato per la prima volta nel 1928 a Firenze, il romanzo non fu osteggiato per le scene erotiche in cui venivano descritte dettagliatamente gli amori di Lady Chatterley, ma per il risveglio culturale e la voglia di libertà femminile che aveva pervaso i primi decenni del '900, espressi dalla protagonista, poco avvezza alla vita da lady e che si innamora del guardiacaccia. In altre parole Lady Chatterly non andava contro il buon costume ma al potere maschile, cosa che ne ha fatto una vera eroina, oltre che un personaggio indimenticabile.

L'amante di Lady Chatterley (titolo originale inglese: Lady Chatterley's Lover) è un romanzo di David Herbert Lawrence del 1928.
Scritto in Toscana in tre successive stesure tra il 1925 e il 1928 e pubblicato per la prima volta a Firenze, l'opera venne immediatamente tacciata di oscenità a causa dei riferimenti espliciti di carattere sessuale e al fatto che in essa veniva descritta una relazione tra una donna della nobiltà, sposata con un baronetto paraplegico, ed un uomo appartenente alla working class. Il romanzo venne perciò messo al bando in tutta Europa e specialmente nell'Inghilterra del tempo, ancora dominata dalla morale vittoriana, tanto che sarà pubblicato in Gran Bretagna solo nel 1960.
Il romanzo ha scosso nel profondo non solo la sensibilità di generazioni di lettori del ventesimo secolo, ma anche i pregiudizi sul piacere femminile e sulla virilità. A suscitare la disapprovazione dei benpensanti non fu la semplice descrizione degli amori della protagonista: la protagonista è il simbolo di un risveglio culturale e sociale che pervade l'Europa negli anni Venti, ed è un risveglio che non riguarda limitatamente l'universo femminile.
Lady Chatterley, eroina ribelle e rivoluzionaria suo malgrado, forse a causa delle sue esperienze giovanili che la rendono inadeguata alla vita rigorosa di una signora dell'alta società, è spinta ad opporsi sia alle convenzioni imposte dalla sua posizione sociale, sia al potere maschile. Lo squallore di un distretto industriale del nord dell'Inghilterra è la molla decisiva che le fa comprendere l'avvilimento della sua esistenza e cercare una vita migliore fino a portare alle estreme conseguenze la sua storia d'amore e la sua rivolta contro la società.

Ispirazione

La narrazione è ispirata al tradimento della moglie di Lawrence, Frieda von Richthofen. La vicenda, infatti, narra di una nobildonna, Lady Chatterley, che, sposata ad un uomo di nobile origine ritornato paralizzato dalla Prima Guerra mondiale, si trova a dover assistere suo marito in una tenuta immersa nelle nebbiose Midlands inglesi, e lo tradisce con un guardiacaccia; la vera storia è stata narrata nel romanzo di Alberto Bevilacqua, Attraverso il tuo corpo. Anni dopo l'uscita del romanzo si sarebbe scoperto che il personaggio del sanguigno Mellors era stato ispirato da un certo Angelo Ravagli, vigoroso capitano italiano dei bersaglieri.

Trama

In giovane età Constance, la futura Lady, fu mandata assieme alla sorella nelle città più importanti d'Europa (Parigi, Firenze, Roma, L'Aia e Berlino) ma a quindici anni si trasferì per un lungo periodo a Dresda per studiare (soprattutto musica). In Germania si innamorò di un giovane che le fece fare le sue prime esperienze sessuali; ma prima del Natale del 1914 costui era già morto in una delle battaglie della guerra.
Ritornata in Inghilterra si trasferì nella casa materna a Kensington e iniziò a frequentare il gruppo di Cambridge; in questo periodo conobbe Clifford Chatterley, un uomo della bassa aristocrazia e molto intelligente, che poi sposerà e grazie al quale diventerà Lady.
Nel corso del romanzo Connie maturerà sia sessualmente che come donna; col tempo arriverà a disprezzare e ad allontanarsi così tanto dal debole e impotente marito, a causa della freddezza e dei comportamenti di lui, al punto da iniziare una relazione dapprima con l'incostante irlandese Michaelis, poi con Oliver Mellors, il guardacaccia della tenuta di suo marito, Wragby Hall.
Mentre cerca di divorziare dal marito e di avere un bimbo dal suo amato Mellors, Lady Chatterley si allontana da quel freddo e industriale mondo che la circonda, regno dell'aristocrazia e degli intellettuali, per ritirarsi assieme al suo amante in una vita governata dalla tenerezza, dalla sensualità e dall'appagamento sessuale.

Personaggi principali

  • Lady Chatterley: è la protagonista del romanzo. Figlia di Sir Malcolm Reid e sorella di Hilda Reid, Constance (chiamata "Connie" nel libro) è una donna colta, intellettuale, socialmente progressista e molto passionale della media borghesia scozzese; di sua madre non si conosce il nome ma nel libro viene detto che era appartenuta alla socialista Fabian Society.

Nei media

  • 1955: L'amante di Lady Chatterley di Marc Allégret;
  • 1981: L'amante di Lady Chatterley di Just Jaeckin;
  • 1989: La storia di Lady Chatterley di Lorenzo Onorati;
  • 1993: Lady Chatterley di Ken Russell
  • 2006: Lady Chatterley di Pascale Ferran
  • 2015: L'amante di Lady Chatterley (Lady Chatterley's Lover), scritto e diretto da Jed Mercurio, film per la TV, BBC One, 2015, 1h 30m.
Negli adattamenti cinematografici e televisivi il personaggio di Lady Chatterley è stato interpretato da:
  1. Danielle Darrieux nella versione del 1955 diretta da Marc Allégret;
  2. Sylvia Kristel nel remake del 1981 diretto da Just Jaeckin;
  3. Malù nel film erotico italiano La storia di Lady Chatterley del 1989 di Lorenzo Onorati;
  4. Joely Richardson nel film televisivo, uscito in forma ridotta anche al cinema, Lady Chatterley del 1993 di Ken Russell;
  5. Marina Hands nella versione del 2006 di Pascale Ferran;
  • Holliday Grainger nella versione televisiva del 2014 per la BBC.

La prima edizione italiana

La prima traduzione in italiano apparve nel 1945, a opera di Manlio Lo Vecchio Musti, che nell'introduzione scrisse, tra l'altro, di essere stato fedele interprete del testo originale. In realtà le cose andarono diversamente. Certamente, per evitare problemi con la censura, il traduttore evitò la resa letterale di termini più volte utilizzati da Lawrence, quali to fuck, fottere, che egli rese costantemente con baciare, con effetti persino involontariamente comici, dove arrivò a tradurre «fuck's only what you do, animals fuck» con «baciar è quello che si fa, gli animali si baciano». Altri termini sessualmente crudi, quali cock e cunt, vennero tradotti rispettivamente con coda e musa, termine, quest'ultimo, praticamente ignoto al lettore italiano.
Il traduttore tenne certamente presente la corretta traduzione francese di Roger Cornaz, pubblicata nel 1929, ma da questa operazione derivarono numerosi errori. Così, l'inglese mouse, topo, venne tradotto con sorriso, fraintendimento del francese souris, woodpecker, picchio, fu reso con piccone, travisamento del francese pic, colliery, miniera, divenne minaccie [sic], un abbaglio preso traducendo il francese mines, e freckles divennero vampe di rossore, traducendo erroneamente le tâches de rousseur che in francese voglion proprio dire lentiggini.
Come fu rilevato, numerosi furono gli errori di questo genere: room divenne campo da pièce, cleanliness fu tradotto proprietà da propriété, as was inevitable in the course of time fu reso con poiché ciò doveva durare a lungo, silly, stupido, fu tradotto con bestiale, da bête, e così via. Sorprendente che un fine letterato come Emilio Cecchi ritenesse che la traduzione, da lui definita «accurata e riuscita», non avesse «indietreggiato davanti a quelle audacie verbali che esasperano la censura e il pubblico anglosassone».

Edizioni italiane

  • L'amante di Lady Chatterley, trad. Manlio Lo Vecchio Musti, introduzione di Aldous Huxley, Collana, Roma, Donatello De Luigi, 1945.
  • L'amante di Lady Chatterley, trad. Giulio Monteleone, introduzione di Carlo Izzo, prefazione dell'Autore, Collana Del cigno, Venezia-Milano, San Giorgio Nuova Editoriale, 1946. poi ripubblicata a cura di Pietro Nardi, con introduzioni di Claudio Gorlier e/o André Malraux (1929) e appendici tradotte da Carlo Izzo, Mondadori, Milano, 1946; dal 1954 anche in cofanetto, le tre diverse versioni Le tre «Lady Chatterley» e in appendice la prefazione d'Autore A proposito di L'amante di Lady Chatterley.
  • trad. Sandro Melani, Garzanti, Milano 1987, poi con introduzione di Paolo Ruffilli
  • trad. Adriana Dell'Orto, Rizzoli, Milano 1988, a volte con prefazione di Guido Almansi o di Doris Lessing
  • trad. Amina Pandolfi, Rusconi, Milano 1989
  • trad. Bruno Armando, Newton Compton, Roma 1990, poi con introduzione di Vanni De Simone
  • trad. Carlo Izzo della seconda stesura, John Thomas e Lady Jane, con uno scritto di Pietro Nardi, SE, Milano 1991
  • trad. Carlo Izzo della prima stesura, La prima Lady Chatterley, con introduzione di Guido Almansi, Guanda, Parma 1991
  • trad. Francesco Franconeri, Demetra, Bussolegno 1993
  • trad. Gian Luca Guerneri, Orsa Maggiore Editrice, 1989; Guaraldi, Rimini 1995; Introduzione di Nadia Fusini, Donzelli, Roma, 2011.
  • trad. Serena Cenni, Marsilio, Venezia 2001
  • l'ed. Mondadori in CD mp3 (18h e 19'), lettura di Valentina Dal Farra, 2002
  • trad. Richard Ambrosini, Giunti, Firenze 2005.
First edition

Lady Chatterley's Lover is a novel by D. H. Lawrence, first published privately in 1928 in Italy, and in 1929 in France and Australia. An unexpurgated edition was not published openly in the United Kingdom until 1960, when it was the subject of a watershed obscenity trial against the publisher Penguin Books. Penguin won the case, and quickly sold 3 million copies. The book soon became notorious for its story of the physical (and emotional) relationship between a working class man and an upper class woman, its explicit descriptions of sex, and its use of then-unprintable words.
The story is said to have originated from events in Lawrence's own unhappy domestic life, and he took inspiration for the settings of the book from Eastwood, Nottinghamshire, where he grew up. According to some critics, the fling of Lady Ottoline Morrell with "Tiger", a young stonemason who came to carve plinths for her garden statues, also influenced the story. Lawrence at one time considered calling the novel Tenderness and made significant alterations to the text and story in the process of its composition. It has been published in three versions.

Plot introduction

The story concerns a young married woman, Constance (Lady Chatterley), whose upper class husband, Clifford Chatterley, described as a handsome, well-built man, has been paralysed from the waist down due to a Great War injury. In addition to Clifford's physical limitations, his emotional neglect of Constance forces distance between the couple. Her sexual frustration leads her into an affair with the gamekeeper, Oliver Mellors. The class difference between the couple highlights a major motif of the novel which is the unfair dominance of intellectuals over the working class. The novel is about Constance's realization that she cannot live with the mind alone; she must also be alive physically. This realization stems from a heightened sexual experience Constance has only felt with Mellors, suggesting that love can only happen with the element of the body, not the mind.

Themes

In Lady Chatterley's Lover, Lawrence comes full circle to argue once again for individual regeneration, which can be found only through the relationship between man and woman (and, he asserts sometimes, man and man). Love and personal relationships are the threads that bind this novel together. Lawrence explores a wide range of different types of relationships. The reader sees the brutal, bullying relationship between Mellors and his wife Bertha, who punishes him by preventing his pleasure. There is Tommy Dukes, who has no relationship because he cannot find a woman whom he respects intellectually and, at the same time, finds desirable. There is also the perverse, maternal relationship that ultimately develops between Clifford and Mrs. Bolton, his caring nurse, after Connie has left.

Mind and body

Richard Hoggart argues that the main subject of Lady Chatterley's Lover is not the sexual passages that were the subject of such debate but the search for integrity and wholeness. Key to this integrity is cohesion between the mind and the body for "body without mind is brutish; mind without body... is a running away from our double being." Lady Chatterley's Lover focuses on the incoherence of living a life that is "all mind", which Lawrence saw as particularly true among the young members of the aristocratic classes, as in his description of Constance's and her sister Hilda's "tentative love-affairs" in their youth:
So they had given the gift of themselves, each to the youth with whom she had the most subtle and intimate arguments. The arguments, the discussions were the great thing: the love-making and connection were only sort of primitive reversion and a bit of an anti-climax.
The contrast between mind and body can be seen in the dissatisfaction each has with their previous relationships: Constance's lack of intimacy with her husband who is "all mind" and Mellors's choice to live apart from his wife because of her "brutish" sexual nature. These dissatisfactions lead them into a relationship that builds very slowly and is based upon tenderness, physical passion and mutual respect. As the relationship between Lady Chatterley and Mellors develops, they learn more about the interrelation of the mind and the body; she learns that sex is more than a shameful and disappointing act, and he learns about the spiritual challenges that come from physical love.
Neuro-psychoanalyst Mark Blechner identifies the "Lady Chatterley phenomenon" in which the same sexual act can affect people in different ways at different times, depending on their subjectivity. He bases it on the passage in which Lady Chatterley feels disengaged from Mellors and thinks disparagingly about the sex act: "And this time the sharp ecstasy of her own passion did not overcome her; she lay with hands inert on his striving body, and do what she might, her spirit seemed to look on from the top of her head, and the butting of his haunches seemed ridiculous to her, and the sort of anxiety of his penis to come to its little evacuating crisis seemed farcical. Yes, this was love, this ridiculous bouncing of the buttocks, and the wilting of the poor insignificant, moist little penis." Shortly thereafter, they make love again, and this time, she experiences enormous physical and emotional involvement: "And it seemed she was like the sea, nothing but dark waves rising and heaving, heaving with a great swell, so that slowly her whole darkness was in motion, and she was ocean rolling its dark, dumb mass."

Class

Lady Chatterley’s Lover also presents some views on the British social context of the early 20th century. This is most evidently seen in the plot; the affair of an aristocratic woman (Connie) with a working class man (Mellors). This is heightened when Mellors adopts the local broad Derbyshire dialect, something he can slip in and out of. Critic and writer Mark Schorer writes of the forbidden love of a woman of relatively superior social situation who is drawn to an "outsider" (a man of lower social rank or a foreigner). He considers this a familiar construction in D.H. Lawrence's works, in which the woman either resists her impulse or yields to it. Schorer believes the two possibilities were embodied, respectively, in the situation into which Lawrence was born, and that into which Lawrence married, therefore becoming a favourite topic in his work.
There is a clear class divide between the inhabitants of Wragby and Tevershall, bridged by the nurse Mrs Bolton. Clifford is more self assured in his position, whereas Connie is often thrown when the villagers treat her as a Lady (for instance when she has tea in the village). This is often made explicit in the narration, for instance:
Clifford Chatterley was more upper class than Connie. Connie was well-to-do intelligentsia, but he was aristocracy. Not the big sort, but still it. His father was a baronet, and his mother had been a viscount's daughter.
There are also signs of dissatisfaction and resentment from the Tevershall coal pit colliers, whose fortunes are in decline, against Clifford who owns the mines. Involved with hard, dangerous and health-threatening employment, the unionised and self-supporting pit-village communities in Britain have been home to more pervasive class barriers than has been the case in other industries (for an example, see chapter two of The Road to Wigan Pier by George Orwell.) They were also centres of widespread non-conformist (Non-Anglican Protestant) religion, which tended to hold especially proscriptive views on matters such as adultery. References to the concepts of anarchism, socialism, communism and capitalism permeate the book. Union strikes were also a constant preoccupation in Wragby Hall.
Coal mining is a recurrent and familiar theme in Lawrence's life and writing due to his background, and is also prominent in Sons and Lovers and Women in Love, as well as short stories such as Odour of Chrysanthemums.

Industrialisation and nature

As in much of Lawrence's fiction, a key theme is the contrast between the vitality of nature and the mechanised monotony of mining and industrialism. Clifford wants to reinvigorate the mines with new technology and is out of touch with the natural world. In contrast, Connie often appreciates the beauty of nature and sees the ugliness of the mines in Uthwaite. Her heightened sensual appreciation applies not just to her sexual relationship with Mellors, but to nature too.

Controversy

An edition of Lady Chatterley's Lover was published in Britain in 1932 by Martin Secker; reviewing it in The Observer, Gerald Gould noted that "passages are necessarily omitted to which the author undoubtedly attached supreme psychological importance – importance so great, that he was willing to face obloquy and misunderstanding and censorship because of them". An authorised abridgment of Lady Chatterley's Lover that was heavily censored was published in America by Alfred A. Knopf, Inc. in 1928. This edition was subsequently reissued in paperback in America by Signet Books in 1946.

British obscenity trial

When the full unexpurgated edition was published by Penguin Books in Britain in 1960, the trial of Penguin under the Obscene Publications Act 1959 was a major public event and a test of the new obscenity law. The 1959 act (introduced by Roy Jenkins) had made it possible for publishers to escape conviction if they could show that a work was of literary merit. One of the objections was to the frequent use of the word "fuck" and its derivatives. Another objection related to the use of the word "cunt".
Various academic critics and experts of diverse kinds, including E. M. Forster, Helen Gardner, Richard Hoggart, Raymond Williams and Norman St John-Stevas, were called as witnesses, and the verdict, delivered on 2 November 1960, was "not guilty". This resulted in a far greater degree of freedom for publishing explicit material in the United Kingdom. The prosecution was ridiculed for being out of touch with changing social norms when the chief prosecutor, Mervyn Griffith-Jones, asked if it were the kind of book "you would wish your wife or servants to read".
The Penguin second edition, published in 1961, contains a publisher's dedication, which reads: "For having published this book, Penguin Books was prosecuted under the Obscene Publications Act, 1959 at the Old Bailey in London from 20 October to 2 November 1960. This edition is therefore dedicated to the twelve jurors, three women and nine men, who returned a verdict of 'not guilty' and thus made D. H. Lawrence's last novel available for the first time to the public in the United Kingdom".
In 2006, the trial was dramatized by BBC Wales as The Chatterley Affair.

Australia

Not only was the book banned in Australia, but a book describing the British trial, The Trial of Lady Chatterley, was also banned. A copy was smuggled into the country and then published widely. The fallout from this event eventually led to the easing of censorship of books in the country, although the country still retains the Australian Classification Board.

Canada

In 1962, McGill University Professor of Law and Canadian modernist poet F. R. Scott appeared before the Supreme Court of Canada to defend Lady Chatterley's Lover from censorship. Scott represented the appellants, booksellers who had been offering the book for sale.
The case arose when the police had seized their copies of the book and deposited them with a judge of the Court of Sessions of the Peace, who issued a notice to the booksellers to show cause why the books should not be confiscated as obscene, contrary to s 150A of the Criminal Code. The trial judge eventually ruled that the book was obscene and ordered that the copies be confiscated. This decision was upheld by the Quebec Court of Queen's Bench, Appeal Side (now the Quebec Court of Appeal).
Scott then appealed the case to the Supreme Court of Canada. That Court allowed the appeal on a 5-4 split, holding that the book was not an obscene publication.
On 15 November 1960 an Ontario panel of experts, appointed by Attorney General Kelso Roberts, found that novel was not obscene according to the Canadian Criminal Code.

United States

In 1930, Senator Bronson Cutting proposed an amendment to the Smoot–Hawley Tariff Act, which was then being debated, ending the practice of having United States Customs censor allegedly obscene imported books. Senator Reed Smoot vigorously opposed such an amendment, threatening to publicly read indecent passages of imported books in front of the Senate. Although he never followed through, he included Lady Chatterley's Lover as an example of an obscene book that must not reach domestic audiences, declaring "I've not taken ten minutes on Lady Chatterley's Lover, outside of looking at its opening pages. It is most damnable! It is written by a man with a diseased mind and a soul so black that he would obscure even the darkness of hell!"
Lady Chatterley's Lover was one of a trio of books (the others being Tropic of Cancer and Fanny Hill), the ban on which was fought and overturned in court with assistance by publisher Barney Rosset and lawyer Charles Rembar in 1959. It was then published by Rosset's Grove Press, with the complete opinion by United States Court of Appeals Judge Frederick van Pelt Bryan, which first established the standard of "redeeming social or literary value" as a defence against obscenity charges.
A 1955 French film version based on the novel and released by Kingsley Pictures was in the United States the subject of attempted censorship in New York on the grounds that it promoted adultery. The Supreme Court held that the law prohibiting its showing was a violation of the First Amendment's protection of free speech.
The book was famously distributed in the United States by Frances Steloff at the Gotham Book Mart, in defiance of the book ban.

Japan

The publication of a full translation of Lady Chatterley's Lover by Sei Itō in 1950 led to a famous obscenity trial in Japan, extending from 8 May 1951 to 18 January 1952, with appeals lasting to 13 March 1957. Several notable literary figures testified for the defence, and the trial ultimately ended in a guilty verdict with a ¥100,000 fine for Ito and a ¥250,000 fine for his publisher.

India

In 1964, bookseller Ranjit Udeshi in Bombay was prosecuted under Sec. 292 of the Indian Penal Code (sale of obscene books) for selling an unexpurgated copy of Lady Chatterley's Lover.
Ranjit D. Udeshi v. State of Maharashtra (AIR 1965 SC 881) was eventually laid before a three-judge bench of the Supreme Court of India, where Chief Justice Hidayatullah declared the law on the subject of when a book can be regarded as obscene and established important tests of obscenity such as the Hicklin test.
The judgement upheld the conviction, stating that:
When everything said in its favour we find that in treating with sex the impugned portions viewed separately and also in the setting of the whole book pass the permissible limits judged of from our community standards and as there is no social gain to us which can be said to preponderate, we must hold the book to satisfy the test we have indicated above.

Cultural influence

In the United States, the free publication of Lady Chatterley's Lover was a significant event in the "sexual revolution". At the time, the book was a topic of widespread discussion and a byword of sorts. In 1965, Tom Lehrer recorded a satirical song entitled "Smut", in which the speaker in the song lyrics cheerfully acknowledges his enjoyment of such material; "Who needs a hobby like tennis or philately?/I've got a hobby: rereading Lady Chatterley."
British poet Philip Larkin's poem "Annus Mirabilis" begins with a reference to the trial:
Sexual intercourse began
In nineteen sixty-three
(which was rather late for me) –
Between the end of the "Chatterley" ban
And the Beatles' first LP.
By 1976, the story had become sufficiently safe in Britain to be parodied by Morecambe and Wise; a "play what Ernie wrote", The Handyman and M'Lady, was obviously based on it, with Michele Dotrice as the Lady Chatterley figure. Introducing it, Ernie explained that his play was "about a man who has an accident with a combine harvester, which unfortunately makes him impudent".
In the third Mad Men episode in season 1, "The Marriage of Figaro" (2007), Joan Holloway returns her borrowed copy of the book to one of the other administrative pool members, sparking conversation about its racy themes and the book's commentary about marriage.

Standard editions

  • First published privately in 1928 in Florence, with assistance from Pino Orioli, and in France in 1929. A private edition was issued in Australia by Inky Stephensen's Mandrake Press in 1929.
  • Michael Squires, ed. (1928). Lady Chatterley's Lover. Cambridge University Press, 1993. ISBN 0-521-22266-4.
  • Soon after the 1928 publication and suppression, an unexpurgated Tauchnitz edition appeared in Europe. Jock Colville, then 18, purchased a copy in Germany in 1933 and lent it to his mother Lady Cynthia, who passed it on to Queen Mary, only for it to be confiscated by King George V.
  • In 1946, Victor Pettersons Bokindustriaktiebolag Stockholm, Sweden published an English hardcover edition, copyright Jan Förlag. It is marked "Unexpurgated authorized edition". A paperback edition followed in 1950.[citation needed]
  • Dieter Mehl & Christa Jansohn, ed. (1999). The First and Second Lady Chatterley Novels. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-47116-8. These two books, The First Lady Chatterley and John Thomas and Lady Jane, were earlier drafts of Lawrence's last novel.
  • The Second Lady Chatterley's Lover. Oneworld Classics. 2007. ISBN 978-1-84749-019-3. Lawrence's 1927 version.

Adaptations

Books

Lady Chatterley's Lover has been re-imagined as a love triangle set in contemporary Silicon Valley, California in the novel Miss Chatterley by Logan Belle (the pseudonym for American author Jamie Brenner) published by Pocket Star/Simon & Schuster, May 2013.

Film and television

Lady Chatterley's Lover has been adapted for film and television several times:
  • L'Amant de lady Chatterley (1955), starring Danielle Darrieux, was banned in the United States because it "promoted adultery", but was released in 1959 after the Supreme Court reversed that decision.
  • Edakallu Guddada Mele (On top of Edakallu Hill) (1973), an Indian film in Kannada starring Jayanthi and directed by Puttanna Kanagal, was loosely based on Lady Chatterley's Lover.
  • Sharapancharam (Bed of Arrows) (1979), an Indian film in Malayalam starring Jayan and Sheela and directed by Hariharan, was loosely based on Lady Chatterley's Lover.
  • Lady Chatterley's Lover (1981) by Just Jaeckin, stars Sylvia Kristel and Nicholas Clay.
  • Lady Chatterley (1993), is a BBC Television serial directed by Ken Russell and starring Joely Richardson and Sean Bean for BBC Television. It incorporates some material from the longer second version John Thomas and Lady Jane.
  • The Daughter of Lady Chatterley (La Figlia di Lady Chatterley) (1995) is an Italian adaptation directed by Emanuele Glisenti and starring Solange Cousseau.[citation needed]
  • Milenec lady Chatterleyové (1998) is a Czech television version directed by Viktor Polesný and starring Zdena Studenková (Constance), Marek Vašut (Clifford), and Boris Rösner (Mellors).
  • Ang Kabit ni Mrs Montero (Mrs. Montero's Paramour, 1998) is a Filipino soft-core film adapted by director Peque Gallaga. Edu Manzano was cast as Cal Montero, the localised version of Clifford Chatterley (now a hacienda owner), Patricia Javier as his wife Gail, and Gardo Versoza as the local version of Mellors. Sunshine Cruz was added as a physical therapist tending to Mr Montero.[citation needed]
  • The French director Pascale Ferran filmed a French-Language version (2006) with Marina Hands as Constance and Jean-Louis Coulloc'h as the gamekeeper, which won the Cesar Award for Best Film in 2007. Marina Hands was awarded best actress at the 2007 Tribeca Film Festival. The film was based on John Thomas and Lady Jane, Lawrence's second version of the story. It was broadcast on the French television channel Arte on 22 June 2007 as Lady Chatterley et l'homme des bois (Lady Chatterley and the Man of the Woods).
  • Lady Chatterley's Lover (2015), a BBC television film starring Holliday Grainger, Richard Madden and James Norton. Produced by Hartswood Films and Serena Cullen Productions, it was first broadcast on BBC One on 6 September 2015.
Use of character
The character of Lady Chatterley appears in Fanny Hill Meets Lady Chatterly [sic] (1967), Lady Chatterly [sic] Versus Fanny Hill (1974), and Young Lady Chatterley (1977).[citation needed] Bartholomew Bandy meets her shortly after her 1917 marriage in the novel Three Cheers for Me (1962, revised 1973) by Donald Jack.

Radio

Lady Chatterley's Lover has been adapted for BBC Radio 4 by Michelene Wandor and was first broadcast in September 2006.

Theatre

Lawrence's novel was successfully dramatised for the stage in a three-act play by a young British playwright named John Harte. Although produced at the Arts Theatre in London in 1961 (and elsewhere later on), his play was written in 1953. It was the only D.H. Lawrence novel ever to be staged, and his dramatisation was the only one to be read and approved by Lawrence's widow, Frieda. Despite her attempts to obtain the copyright for Harte to have his play staged in the 1950s, Baron Philippe de Rothschild did not relinquish the dramatic rights until his film was released in France.
Only the Old Bailey trial against Penguin Books for alleged obscenity in publishing the unexpurgated paperback edition of the novel prevented the play's transfer to the much bigger Wyndham's Theatre, for which it had already been licensed by the Lord Chamberlain's Office on 12 August 1960 with passages censored. It was fully booked out for its limited run at the Arts Theatre and well reviewed by Harold Hobson, the prevailing West End theatre critic of the time.
A new stage version will open in autumn 2016 adapted and directed by Philip Breen opening at Sheffield Theatre and going on a UK tour Produced by English Touring Theatre and Sheffield Theatres.




Lady Chatterley et l'Homme des bois (John Thomas and Lady Jane) est un roman du Britannique D. H. Lawrence publié en 1927. Deuxième des trois versions du roman polémique de 1928 L'Amant de lady Chatterley, il s'en distingue par l'absence de scènes crues et plusieurs variations, notamment à la fin.
Moins connu que la version définitive, Lady Chatterley et l'Homme des bois a servi pour la mini-série télévisée britannique de Ken Russell diffusée en 1993 et l’adaptation cinématographique française de Pascale Ferran sortie en 2006 où jouent Marina Hands, Jean-Louis Coulloc'h et Hippolyte Girardot



L'amante di Lady Chatterley

Incipit

Adriana Dell'Orto

La nostra è sostanzialmente un'era tragica, per cui ci rifiutiamo di prenderla sul tragico. Il cataclisma si è ormai abbattuto su di noi, siamo circondati dalle rovine; cominciamo a creare nuovi piccoli centri di vita, a nutrire nuove piccole speranze. È un lavoro alquanto difficile; la strada verso il futuro è tutt'altro che piana, ma noi aggiriamo gli ostacoli o li scavalchiamo. Dobbiamo sopravvivere, per quanti cieli ci siano crollati addosso.

Gian Luca Guerneri

Abitanti di un'epoca tragica, ci rifiutiamo di prenderla tragicamente. Ci muoviamo tra le rovine di una catastrofe trascorsa accingendoci, ogni volta, alla ricostruzione, al riordino delle nostre tenui speranze.

Citazioni

  • Si ritiene che il mondo sia colmo di possibilità ma, nella maggior parte dei casi, nell'esperienza personale si riducono a pochissime. Vi sono miriadi di pesci nel mare… forse… ma a quanto sembra, la stragrande maggioranza è composta da sgombri o aringhe, e se non si è uno sgombro o un'aringa, si hanno scarsissime probabilità di incontrare altri tipi di pesci nel mare. (IV; 1988, p. 70)
  • Il romanzo può informare e incanalare in altre direzioni il flusso di coscienza della nostra simpatia, e può distogliere la nostra simpatia dalle cose morte. Di conseguenza, il romanzo, se costruito a dovere, può svelare i luoghi più segreti della vita; perché è proprio, e soprattutto, nei luoghi delle passioni segrete della vita che la corrente delle conoscenze sensitive deve fluire e rifluire, purificante e tonificante. (IX; 1988, p. 163)
  • Il pubblico non apprezza ora se non ciò che lusinga i suoi vizi. (IX; 1988, p. 163)
  • [I giovani] Non hanno abbastanza cervello per diventare socialisti. Non sono abbastanza seri e mai lo saranno per prendere davvero sul serio una qualsiasi cosa. (signora Bolton: IX; 1988, p. 168)
  • Inutile tentare di scrollarsi di dosso la propria solitudine. Bisogna tenercisi aggrappati per tutta la vita. Solo a volte, di tanto in tanto, il vuoto si colmava. A volte! Ma occorreva attendere l'occasione propizia. Rassegnarsi alla propria solitudine e tenercisi aggrappati, per tutta la vita. E poi accettare le rare occasioni in cui il vuoto si colma, se capitano. Ma bisogna che capitino, spontaneamente. Non si può forzare la mano al destino. (X; 1988, p. 222)
  • È forse l'unica cosa che non ti permettono di fare, quella di essere franchi e schietti in materia di sesso. Si può essere sudici quanto si vuole. Anzi, più ci si comporta sudiciamente riguardo al sesso, e più la cosa va loro a genio. Se invece si crede nel sesso e non si vuole che sia infangato, allora ti fregano. È il solo folle tabù superstite, il sesso inteso come una cosa naturale e vitale. Non ne vogliono sapere, e sono pronti ad ammazzare, piuttosto di permettere ad altri di praticarlo. (XVII; 1988, p. 377)
  • Ed è così che siamo fatti. Per pura forza di volontà isoliamo le nostre intuizioni interiori dalla consapevolezza di ciò che ammettiamo pubblicamente. Ciò provoca uno stato di paura, o di apprensione, che rende dieci volte più duro il colpo, quando lo riceviamo. (IXX; 1988, p. 408)

 

“A woman has to live her life, or live to repent not having lived it.”
― D.H. Lawrence, Lady Chatterley's Lover
“We've got to live, no matter how many skies have fallen.”
― D.H. Lawrence, Lady Chatterley's Lover
“Perhaps only people who are capable of real togetherness have that look of being alone in the universe. The others have a certain stickiness, they stick to the mass.”
― D.H. Lawrence, Lady Chatterley's Lover
“It's no good trying to get rid of your own aloneness. You've got to stick to it all your life. Only at times, at times, the gap will be filled in. At times! But you have to wait for the times. Accept your own aloneness and stick to it, all your life. And then accept the times when the gap is filled in, when they come. But they've got to come. You can't force them.”
― D.H. Lawrence, Lady Chatterley's Lover 
“She was always waiting, it seemed to be her forte.”
― D.H. Lawrence, Lady Chatterley's Lover
“Ours is essentially a tragic age, so we refuse to take it tragically. The cataclysm has happened, we are among the ruins, we start to build up new little habitats, to have new little hopes. It is rather hard work: there is now no smooth road into the future: but we go round, or scramble over the obstacles. We’ve got to live, no matter how many skies have fallen.”
― D.H. Lawrence, Lady Chatterley's Lover
“But that is how men are! Ungrateful and never satisfied. When you don't have them they hate you because you won't; and when you do have them they hate you again, for some other reason. Or for no reason at all, except that they are discontented children, and can't be satisfied whatever they get, let a woman do what she may.”
― D.H. Lawrence, Lady Chatterley's Lover
“We fucked a flame into being.”
― D.H. Lawrence, Lady Chatterley's Lover
“There's lots of good fish in the sea...maybe...but the vast masses seem to be mackerel or herring, and if you're not mackerel or herring yourself, you are likely to find very few good fish in the sea.”
― D.H. Lawrence, Lady Chatterley's Lover
“A little morphine in all the air. It would be wonderfully refreshing for everyone.”
― D.H. Lawrence, Lady Chatterley's Lover


“All hopes of eternity and all gain from the past he would have given to have her there, to be wrapped warm with him in one blanket, and sleep, only sleep. It seemed the sleep with the woman in his arms was the only necessity.”
― D.H. Lawrence, Lady Chatterley's Lover
“Obscenity only comes in when the mind despises and fears the body, and the body hates and resists the mind.”
― D.H. Lawrence, Lady Chatterley's Lover
“His body was urgent against her, and she didn't have the heart anymore to fight...She saw his eyes, tense and brilliant, fierce, not loving. But her will had left her. A strange weight was on her limbs. She was giving way. She was giving up...she had to lie down there under the boughs of the tree, like an animal, while he waited, standing there in his shirt and breeches, watching her with haunted eyes...He too had bared the front part of his body and she felt his naked flesh against her as he came into her. For a moment he was still inside her, turgid there and quivering. Then as he began to move, in the sudden helpless orgasm, there awoke in her new strange thrills rippling inside her. Rippling, rippling, rippling, like a flapping overlapping of soft flames, soft as feathers, running to points of brilliance, exquisite and melting her all molten inside. It was like bells rippling up and up to a culmination. She lay unconscious of the wild little cries she uttered at the last. But it was over too soon, too soon, and she could no longer force her own conclusion with her own activity. This was different, different. She could do nothing. She could no longer harden and grip for her own satisfaction upon him. She could only wait, wait and moan in spirit and she felt him withdrawing, withdrawing and contracting, coming to the terrible moment when he would slip out of her and be gone. Whilst all her womb was open and soft, and softly clamouring, like a sea anenome under the tide, clamouring for him to come in again and make fulfillment for her. She clung to him unconscious in passion, and he never quite slipped from her, and she felt the soft bud of him within her stirring, and strange rhythms flushing up into her with a strange rhythmic growing motion, swelling and swelling til it filled all her cleaving consciousness, and then began again the unspeakable motion that was not really motion, but pure deepening whirlpools of sensation swirling deeper and deeper through all her tissue and consciousness, til she was one perfect concentric fluid of feeling, and she lay there crying in unconscious inarticulate cries.”
― D.H. Lawrence, Lady Chatterley's Lover
“And that is how we are. By strength of will we cut off our inner intuitive knowledge from admitted consciousness. This causes a state of dread, or apprehension, which makes the blow ten times worse when it does fall.”
― D.H. Lawrence, Lady Chatterley's Lover
“Never was an age more sentimental, more devoid of real feeling, more exaggerated in false feeling, than our own.”
― D.H. Lawrence, Lady Chatterley's Lover
“What the eye doesn't see and the mind doesn't know, doesn't exist.”
― D.H. Lawrence, Lady Chatterley's Lover
“The world is supposed to be full of possibilities, but they narrow down to pretty few in most personal experience. There's lots of good fish in the sea... maybe... but the vast masses seem to be mackerel or herring, and if you're not mackerel or herring yourself, you are likely to find very few good fish in the sea.”
― D.H. Lawrence, Lady Chatterley's Lover
“Sex and a cocktail: they both lasted about as long, had the same effect, and amounted to the same thing.”
― D.H. Lawrence, Lady Chatterley's Lover
“Vitally, the human race is dying. It is like a great uprooted tree, with its roots in the air. We must plant ourselves again in the universe.”
― D.H. Lawrence, Lady Chatterley's Lover
“So as long as you can forget your body you are happy and the moment you begin to be aware of your body, you are wretched. So if civilization is any good, it has to help us forget our bodies, and then time passes happily without our knowing it. Help us get rid of our bodies altogether.”
― D.H. Lawrence, Lady Chatterley's Lover
“She herself had never been able to be altogether herself: it had been denied her.”
― D.H. Lawrence, Lady Chatterley's Lover

 

“In the short summer night she learned so much. She would have thought a woman would have died of shame... She felt, now, she had come to the real bedrock of her nature, and was essentially shameless. She was her sensual self, naked an unashamed. She felt a triumph, almost a vainglory. So! That was how it was! That was life! That was how onself really was! There was nothing left to disguise or be ashamed of. She shared her ultimate nakedness with a man, another being.”
― D.H. Lawrence, Lady Chatterley's Lover
“It's terrible, once you've got a man into your blood!" she said.”
― D.H. Lawrence, Lady Chatterley's Lover
“How ravished one could be without ever being touched. Ravished by dead words become obscene and dead ideas become obsessions.”
― D.H. Lawrence, Lady Chatterley's Lover
“Me? Oh, intellectually I believe in having a good heart, a chirpy penis, a lively intelligence, and the courage to say ‘shit!’ in front of a lady.”
― D.H. Lawrence, Lady Chatterley's Lover
“If you could only tell them that living and spending isn't the same thing! But it's no good. If only they were educated to live instead of earn and spend, they could manage very happily...”
― D.H. Lawrence, Lady Chatterley's Lover
“You're spending your life without renewing it. You've got to be amused, properly healthily amused. You're spending your vitality without making any. Can't go on you know. Depression! Avoid depression!”
― D.H. Lawrence, Lady Chatterley's Lover
“The world is a raving idiot, and no man can kill it: though I’ll do my best. But you’re right. We must rescue ourselves as best we can.”
― D.H. Lawrence, Lady Chatterley's Lover
“They lived freely among the students, they argued with the men over philosophical, sociological and artistic matters, they were just as good as the men themselves: only better, since they were women.”
― D.H. Lawrence, Lady Chatterley's Lover
“For {she} had adopted the standard of the young: what there was in the moment was everything. And moments followed one another without necessarily belonging to one another.”
― D.H. Lawrence, Lady Chatterley's Lover


“It was as if thousands and thousands of little roots and threads of consciousness in him and her had grown together into a tangled mass, till they could crowd no more, and the plant was dying. Now quietly, subtly, she was unravelling the tangle of his consciousness and hers, breaking the threads gently, one by one, with patience and impatience to get clear.”
― D.H. Lawrence, Lady Chatterley's Lover
“You can't insure against the future, except by really believing in the best bit of you, and in the power beyond it.”
― D.H. Lawrence, Lady Chatterley's Lover
“because when i feel the human world is doomed, has doomed itself by its own mingy beastliness, then i feel the colonies aren't far enough. the moon wouldn't be far enough, because even there you could look back and see the earth, dirty, beastly, unsavory among all the stars: made foul by men. Then i feel i've swallowed gall, and its eating my inside out, and nowhere's far enough to get away. but when i get a turn, i forget it all again. though it's a shame, what's been done to people these last hundred years: men turned into nothing but labor-insects, and all their manhood taken away, and all their real life. i'd wipe the machines off the face of the earth again, and end the industrial epoch absolutely, like a black mistake. but since i can't, an' nobody can, i'd better hold my peace, an' try an' life my own life: if i've got one to live, which i rather doubt.”
― D.H. Lawrence, Lady Chatterley's Lover
“Their whole life depends on spending money, and now they’ve
got none to spend. That’s our civilization and our education: bring up
the masses to depend entirely on spending money, and then the money
gives out.”
― D.H. Lawrence, Lady Chatterley's Lover

“But, especially in love, only counterfeit emotions exist nowadays. We have all been taught to mistrust everybody emotionally, from parents downwards, or upwards. Don’t trust anybody with your real emotions: if you’ve got any: that is the slogan of today. Trust them with your money, even, but never with your feelings. They are bound to trample on them.”
― D.H. Lawrence, Lady Chatterley's Lover
“I only want one thing of men, and that is, that they should leave me alone.”
― D.H. Lawrence, Lady Chatterley's Lover
“How she hated words, always coming between her and her life: they did the ravishing, if anything did: ready-made words and phrases, sucking all the live-sap out of living things.”
― D.H. Lawrence, Lady Chatterley's Lover
“She would have thought a woman would have died of shame. Instead of which, the shame died.”
― D.H. Lawrence, Lady Chatterley's Lover
“The wood was silent, still and secret in the evening drizzle of rain, full of the mystery of eggs and half-open buds, half unsheathed flowers. In the dimness of it all trees glistened naked and dark as if they had unclothed themselves, and the green things on earth seemed to hum with greenness.”
― D.H. Lawrence, Lady Chatterley's Lover
“What liars poets and everybody were! They made one think one wanted sentiment. When what one supremely wanted was this piercing, consuming, rather awful sensuality.”
 ― D.H. Lawrence, Lady Chatterley's Lover



“the more i live, the more i realize what strange creatures human beings are. some of them might just as well have a hundred legs, like a centipede, or six, like a lobster. the human consistency and dignity one has been led to expect from one's fellow-man seem actually non-existent. one doubts if they exist to any startling degree even in oneself.”
― D.H. Lawrence, Lady Chatterley's Lover
“It was cold, and he was coughing. A fine cold draught blew over the knoll. He thought of the woman. Now he would have given all he had or ever might have to hold her warm in his arms, both of them wrapped in one blanket, and sleep. All hopes of eternity and all gain from the past he would have given to have her there, to be wrapped warm with him in one blanket, and sleep, only sleep. It seemed the sleep with the woman in his arms was the only necessity.”
― D.H. Lawrence, Lady Chatterley's Lover
“The beautiful pure freedom of a woman was infinitely more wonderful than any sexual love.”
― D.H. Lawrence, Lady Chatterley's Lover
“Be sure your sins will find you out, especially if you're married and her name's Bertha”
― D.H. Lawrence, Lady Chatterley's Lover
“Connie went for walks in the park, and in the woods that joined the park, and enjoyed the solitude and the mystery, kicked the brown leaves of autumn, and picked the primroses of spring. But it was all a dream; or rather it was like the simulacrum of reality. The oak leaves were to her like oak-leaves seen ruffling in a mirror, she herself was a figure somebody had read about, picking primroses that were only shadows or memories, or words. No substance to her or anything...no touch, no contact!”
― D.H. Lawrence, Lady Chatterley's Lover
“And however one might sentimentalise it, this sex business was one of the most ancient, sordid connections and subjections. Poets who glorified it were mostly men. Women had always known there was something better, something higher. And now they knew it more definitely than ever. The beautiful pure freedom of a woman was infinitely more wonderful than any sexual love. The only unfortunate thing was that men lagged so far behind women in the matter. They insisted on the sex thing like dogs.

And a woman had to yield. A man was like a child with his appetites. A woman had to yield him what he wanted, or like a child he would probably turn nasty and flounce away and spoil what was a very pleasant connection. But a woman could yield to a man without yielding her inner, free self. That the poets and talkers about sex did not seem to have taken sufficiently into account. A woman could take a man without really giving herself away. Certainly she could take him without giving herself into his power. Rather she could use this sex thing to have power over him. For she only had to hold herself back in sexual intercourse, and let him finish and expend himself without herself coming to the crisis: and then she could prolong the connection and achieve her orgasm and her crisis while he was merely her tool.”
― D.H. Lawrence, Lady Chatterley's Lover
“And here lies the vast importance of the novel, properly handled. It can inform and lead into new places the flow of our sympathetic consciousness, and it can lead our sympathy away in recoil from things gone dead. Therefore, the novel, properly handled, can reveal the most secret places of life: for it is in the passional secret places of life, above all, that the tide of sensitive awareness needs to ebb and flow, cleansing and freshening.”
― D.H. Lawrence, Lady Chatterley's Lover
“It's just love," she said cheerfully.
"whatever that may be," he replied.”
― D.H. Lawrence, Lady Chatterley's Lover
“Thank God I've got a woman! Thank God I've got a woman who is with me, and tender and aware of me. Thank God she's not a bully, nor a fool. Thank God she's a tender, aware woman.”
― D.H. Lawrence, Lady Chatterley's Lover
“Neither was in love with a young man unless he was she were verbally very near: that is unless they were profoundly interested, talking to one another. The amazing, the profound, the unbelievable thrill there was in passionately talking to some really clever young man by the hour, resuming day after day for months...”
― D.H. Lawrence, Lady Chatterley's Lover

 

“But you don't fuck me cold-heartedly,' she protested.
'I don't want to fuck you at all.'
Lady Chatterly's Lover”
― D.H. Lawrence, Lady Chatterley's Lover
“His defences were all in his wits and cunning, his very instincts of cunning, and when these were abeyance he seemed doubly naked and like a child, of unfinished, tender flesh, and somehow struggling helplessly”
― D.H. Lawrence, Lady Chatterley's Lover
“From the old wood came an ancient melancholy, somehow soothing to her, better than the harsh insentience of the outer world. She liked the inwardness of the remnant of forest, the unspeaking reticence of the old trees. They seemed a very power of silence, and yet a vital presence. They, too, were waiting: obstinately, stoically waiting, and giving off a potency of silence.”
― D.H. Lawrence, Lady Chatterley's Lover
“He felt the devil twisting his tail, and pretended it was the angels smiling on him.”
― D.H. Lawrence, Lady Chatterley's Lover
“If only there weren't so many other people in the world,' he said lugubriously.”
― D.H. Lawrence, Lady Chatterley's Lover
“Meanwhile you just lived on and there was nothing to it. She understood perfectly well why people had cocktail parties, and jazzed, and Charlestoned till they were ready to drop. You had to take it out some way or other, your youth, or it ate you up. But what a ghastly thing, this youth! You felt as old as Methuselah, and yet the thing fizzed somehow, and didn't let you be comfortable. A mean sort of life! And no prospect! She almost wished she had gone off with Mick, and made her life one long cocktail party, and jazz evening. Anyhow that was better than just mooning yourself into the grave.”
― D.H. Lawrence, Lady Chatterley's Lover
“It was the talk that mattered supremely: the impassioned exchange of talk. Love was only a minor accompaniment.”
― D.H. Lawrence, Lady Chatterley's Lover
“The human consistency and dignity one has been led to expect from one's fellow-men seem actually nonexistent”
― D.H. Lawrence, Lady Chatterley's Lover
“The world is a raving idiot, and no man can kill it: though I'll do my best.”
― D.H. Lawrence, Lady Chatterley's Lover
“Couldn't one go right away, to the far ends of the earth, and be free from it all?
One could not. The far ends of the earth are not five minutes from Charing Cross. nowadays. While the wireless is active, there are no far ends of the earth.”
― D.H. Lawrence, Lady Chatterley's Lover 



Si on pouvait seulement leur dire que vivre et dépenser ne sont pas la même chose! Mais cela ne sert à rien. Si seulement on les avait élevés à sentir, au lieu de gagner et de dépenser, ils se tireraient très bien d'affaire avec vingt-cinq shillings. Si les hommes portaient des pantalons écarlates, comme je l'ai dit, ils ne penseraient pas tant à l'argent; s'ils pouvaient danser et chanter et fanfaronner et être beaux, ils s'accomoderaient de très peu de monnaie; et s'ils savaient s'amuser eux-mêmes, et se laisser amuser par les femmes! Ils devraient apprendre à être nus et beaux, et à chanter en masse et à danser les anciennes danses de caractère, et à sculpter les tabourets sur lesquels ils s'assoient, et à broder leurs propres emblêmes. Alors, ils n'auraient plus besoin d'argent. Voilà le seul moyen de résoudre le problème industriel: enseigner au peuple à vivre, et à vivre en beauté, sans avoir besoin de dépenser de l'argent.



Nous vivons dans un âge essentiellement tragique ; aussi refusons-nous de le prendre au tragique. Le cataclysme est accompli ; nous commençons à bâtir de nouveaux petits habitats, à fonder de nouveaux petits espoirs. C'est un travail assez dur : il n'y a plus maintenant de route aisée vers l'avenir : nous tournons les obstacles ou nous grimpons péniblement pardessus. Il faut bien que nous vivions, malgré la chute de tant de cieux.
Telle était à peu près la situation de Constance Chatterley. La guerre avait fait écrouler les toits sur sa tête. Et elle avait compris qu'il faut vivre et apprendre.
Elle avait épousé Clifford Chatterley en 1917, pendant une permission d'un mois qu'il avait passée en Angleterre. Ils avaient eu un mois de lune de miel, après quoi il était reparti pour le front des Flandres1. Et six mois plus tard, il était ramené en Angleterre plus ou moins en morceaux. Constance, sa femme, avait alors vingt-trois ans ; lui, vingt-neuf.
Il avait une merveilleuse emprise sur la vie. Il ne mourut pas ; ses débris semblèrent se rejoindre. Il resta deux ans entre les mains des médecins. Puis on le déclara guéri, et on le renvoya à la vie avec la moitié inférieure de son corps, à partir des hanches, paralysée pour toujours.
C'était en 1920. Ils retournèrent, Clifford et Constance, chez lui, à Wragby Hall, le domaine de famille. Son père était mort, Clifford avait hérité du titre ; il était Sir Clifford, et Constance était Lady Chatterley. Ils vinrent commencer la vie en commun dans le château, un peu à l'abandon, des Chatterley, avec un revenu un peu insuffisant. Clifford avait une sœur, mais elle était partie. Il n'avait pas d'autres parents proches. Son frère aîné était mort à la guerre. Estropié pour la vie, sachant qu'il ne pourrait jamais avoir d'enfants, Clifford revint aux fumeux Midlands2 pour faire vivre, tant qu'il le pourrait, le nom de Chatterley.
Il supportait assez allégrement son sort. Il pouvait aller et venir dans une petite voiture qu'il manœuvrait lui-même, et il en avait une autre, avec un moteur, pour se promener lentement dans le beau parc mélancolique dont il était en réalité si fier malgré les airs détachés qu'il se donnait en en parlant.
Il avait tant souffert que sa capacité de souffrir s'était quelque peu épuisée. Il restait étrangement vif, et joyeux, et presque gai, avec son beau teint, son air de santé, ses yeux bleu clair, brillants et provocants. Il avait de larges et fortes épaules, des mains puissantes. Il était coûteusement vêtu, portait de belles cravates de Bond Street3. Et pourtant sur son visage perçait encore le regard qui épie, l'air un peu absent de l'estropié.
Il avait été si près de perdre la vie que ce qu'il lui en restait lui était merveilleusement précieux. On lisait clairement dans l'inquiet éclat de ses yeux l'orgueil d'être encore vivant après une telle aventure. Mais il avait été si touché qu'en lui quelque chose était mort ; quelques-uns de ses sentiments avaient disparu ; il y avait comme un vide d'insensibilité.
Constance, sa femme, était une belle fille saine et campagnarde avec des cheveux doux et bruns, un corps solide, et de lents mouvements pleins d'une énergie peu commune. Elle avait de grands yeux étonnés, une voix douce et moelleuse, et semblait venue tout droit de son village natal. Ce n'était nullement le cas. Son père était le vieux Sir Malcolm Reid, membre de l'Académie royale de peinture, qui avait eu son heure de célébrité. Sa mère avait été un des membres cultivés de la Société Fabienne4, en ces beaux jours un peu préraphaélites5. Au milieu d'artistes et de socialistes cultivés, Constance et sa sœur Hilda avaient reçu ce qu'on pourrait appeler une éducation esthétiquement sans conventions. On les avait menées à Paris, à Rome, à Florence, pour leur faire respirer une atmosphère d'art ; et on les avait menées aussi ailleurs, à La Haye et à Berlin6, aux grands congrès socialistes où les orateurs parlaient toutes les langues civilisées et où personne ne s'étonnait de rien.
Ainsi les deux jeunes filles, dès leur enfance, avaient vécu à leur aise parmi les théories d'art et les spéculations politiques. Elles étaient à la fois cosmopolites et provinciales, de ce provincialisme cosmopolite qui distingue l'art quand il s'allie à un pur idéal social.
À l'âge de quinze ans, on les avait envoyées à Dresde7 pour étudier la musique entre autres choses. Et elles s'y étaient bien amusées. Elles vivaient librement parmi les étudiants, elles discutaient philosophie, sociologie et art avec les hommes ; elles valaient bien les hommes ; elles valaient plus qu'eux puisqu'elles étaient femmes. Elles partaient en balade dans les bois avec de solides jeunes gens qui portaient des guitares. Elles chantaient les chants des Wandervögel8 ; elles étaient libres ! Libres ! C'était le grand mot : libres de courir le monde, de parcourir les forêts matinales, avec de vigoureux jeunes gens aux belles voix, libres de faire ce qu'elles voulaient et, surtout, de dire ce qu'elles voulaient. C'était la conversation qui comptait le plus, l'échange passionné de paroles ! L'amour n'était qu'un accompagnement.
Avant d'atteindre dix-huit ans, Hilda et Constance avaient toutes deux essayé de l'amour. Les jeunes gens avec qui elles causaient si passionnément et chantaient si joyeusement et campaient sous les arbres avec tant de liberté, désiraient, cela va sans dire, aller plus loin. Les jeunes filles hésitaient ; mais on avait tant discuté l'amour, on avait tant déclaré qu'il était de première importance ! Et les hommes étaient si humbles, si implorants ! Pourquoi une jeune fille n'aurait-elle pas agi en reine, et fait le don d'elle-même ?
Ainsi elles avaient fait le don d'elles-mêmes, chacune au jeune homme avec qui elle discutait le plus subtilement, le plus intimement. La discussion était la plus grande chose ; l'amour, les rapports charnels n'étaient qu'une sorte de retour à l'instinct, une espèce de réaction. Ensuite, on aimait un peu moins le jeune homme, on avait une légère tendance à le détester comme s'il avait violé une intimité secrète, une liberté défendue. Car toute la dignité d'une jeune fille, toute sa signification dans l'existence ne consistaient qu'en l'accomplissement d'une parfaite, d'une pure, d'une noble liberté. Que pouvait signifier la vie d'une jeune fille sinon le rejet des anciennes et sordides relations entre sexes, de l'ancienne et sordide sujétion ?
Et, de quelque sentimentalité qu'on l'eût peinte, toute cette question de sexe était une des relations, une des sujétions les plus anciennes et les plus sordides. Les poètes qui l'avaient glorifiée étaient surtout des hommes. Les femmes avaient toujours su qu'il y avait quelque chose de meilleur, quelque chose de plus haut. Et maintenant elles le savaient avec plus de précision que jamais. La belle et fière liberté de la femme était supérieure à toute espèce d'amour sexuel ! Par malheur, le point de vue des hommes était si arriéré ! Ils s'entêtaient comme des chiens à vouloir l'acte sexuel.
Et la femme était bien forcée de céder. L'homme était comme un enfant plein d'appétits. Si la femme ne lui cédait pas, il ferait l'enfant, se rendrait insupportable, s'en irait en gâtant ce qui aurait pu être si agréable. Mais une femme pouvait céder à un homme sans céder son moi profond et libre. Les poètes, les gens qui parlent de l'amour ne semblaient pas en avoir assez tenu compte. Une femme pouvait prendre un homme sans s'abandonner vraiment. Au contraire, elle pouvait user de l'acte sexuel pour acquérir un pouvoir sur l'homme. Pendant l'acte physique, elle n'avait qu'à se retenir, laisser l'homme finir et se répandre, sans jouir elle-même. Et puis, elle pouvait prolonger l'étreinte et achever son spasme en ne faisant de lui qu'un instrument.
Quand la guerre éclata et qu'elles furent en hâte rappelées chez elles, les deux sœurs avaient eu toutes deux leur aventure amoureuse. Aucune n'avait jamais aimé un jeune homme sans s'être sentie très près de lui en paroles ; il leur fallait des conversations passionnantes. Le profond, l'extraordinaire, l'incroyable intérêt qu'il y avait à causer passionnément, heure après heure, jour après jour, pendant des mois avec un jeune homme vraiment intelligent ; voilà ce qu'elles n'avaient jamais imaginé avant d'en faire l'expérience ! La promesse paradisiaque : « Tu auras des hommes avec qui tu pourras causer », n'avait jamais été exprimée et elle s'était accomplie avant qu'elles eussent compris tout ce que contenait cette merveilleuse promesse.

1. Lors de l'offensive de 1917 dans les Flandres, les armées britanniques subirent de très lourdes pertes.

2. Midlands : région du centre de l'Angleterre dont la partie ouest, aussi appelée le Pays Noir, est une vaste zone industrielle qui s'est développée à partir du bassin houiller.

3. Bond Street : rue du centre de Londres, célèbre pour ses boutiques élégantes.

4. D'inspiration socialiste, mais rejetant toute action révolutionnaire violente, la Fabian Society, fondée en 1884, était ainsi nommée d'après le général romain Quintus Fabius Maximus surnommé « Cunctator » (« Temporisateur ») à cause de sa tactique essentiellement défensive contre Hannibal. Les Fabiens préconisaient une évolution progressive de la société et cherchaient avant tout à influencer les sphères gouvernementales en leur proposant des idées par leurs nombreux essais et pamphlets. Proches des premiers Trade Unions, ils contribuèrent à la création du parti travailliste. Parmi leurs membres les plus célèbres il y eut George Bernard Shaw, Keir Hardie, H.G. Wells, Sidney et Béatrice Webb.

5. Les préraphaélites : nom que se donnèrent en 1848 un groupe de peintres et de critiques très liés à Ruskin, parmi lesquels J.E. Millais, D.G. Rossetti et W. Holman Hunt. Ils voulaient revenir à la pureté de la peinture du Quattrocento contre ce qu'ils considéraient comme l'influence corruptrice de Raphaël. Leur symbolisme mystique, souvent lié à des thèmes méd



Comment élever une famille avec un salaire de vingt-cinq à trente shillings ? Les femmes sont les plus enragées ; mais ce sont aussi les plus enragées à la dépense, de nos jours. Si on pouvait seulement leur dire que vivre et dépenser ne sont pas la même chose ! Mais cela ne sert à rien. Si seulement on les avait élevés à sentir, au lieu de gagner et dépenser, ils se tireraient très bien d'affaire avec vingt-cinq shillings. Si les hommes portaient des pantalons écarlates, comme je l'ai dit, ils ne penseraient pas tant à l'argent; s'ils pouvaient danser et sauter et chanter et fanfaronner et être beaux, ils s'accommoderaient de très peu de monnaie; et s'ils savaient s'amuser eux-mêmes, et se laisser amuser par les femmes ! Ils devraient apprendre à être nus et beaux, et à chanter en masse et à danser les anciennes danses de caractère, et à sculpter les tabourets sur lesquels ils s'assoient, et à broder leurs propres emblèmes. Alors, ils n'auraient plus besoin d'argent. Voilà le seul moyen de résoudre le problème industriel: enseigner au peuple à vivre, et à vivre en beauté, sans avoir besoin de dépenser de l'argent. Mais c'est impossible. Il n'y a plus aujourd'hui que des intelligences bornées. Tandis que la masse du peuple ne devrait même pas essayer de penser, parce qu'elle en est incapable. Elle devrait être vivante et fringante et n'adorer que le Grand Pan. Lui seul sera toujours le dieu de la masse. L'élite peut s'adonner, s'il lui plait à des cultes plus élevés. Mais que la masse reste à jamais païenne.



 Elle avait épousé Clifford Chatterley en 1917, pendant une permission d'un mois qu'il avait passée en Angleterre. Ils avaient eu un mois de lune de miel, après quoi il était reparti pour le front des Flandres. Et six mois plus tard, il était ramené en Angleterre plus ou moins en morceaux. (...) Il avait une merveilleuse emprise sur la vie.Il ne mourut pas; ses débris semblèrent se rejoindre. Il resta deux ans entre les mains des médecins. Puis on le déclara guéri, et on le renvoya à la vie avec la moitié inférieure de son corps, à partir des hanches, paralysées pour toujours.



 Des anémones jaunes fleurissaient de toutes parts, grandes ouvertes, dans le nouvel éclat de leur lustre jaune ; c’était le jaune, le jaune puissant de l’été qui commence. Et les primevères s’épanouissaient largement, en un pâle abandon, d’épaisses touffes de primevères qui avaient perdu leur timidité. Le vert luxuriant et sombre des jacinthes était comme une mer d’où s’élevait le bleu pâle des boutons ; tandis que, dans l’allée cavalière, les myosotis ébouriffaient leurs plantes et que les ancolies dépliaient leurs ruches d’un violet d’encre.



 “Non va bene cercare di sbarazzarsi della propria solitudine. Bisogna rimanerci attaccati tutta la vita. Solo a volte, a volte, il vuoto sarà riempito. A volte! Ma bisogna aspettare quei momenti. Accettare la propria solitudine e rimanerci attaccati tutta la vita. E poi accettare le volte in cui il vuoto viene riempito, quando è il momento. Ma quel momento deve arrivare da solo. Non lo si può forzare.”

 “Fica! Sei tu; è quella cosa in cui entro ed è quello che diventi tu quando entro in te, nient'altro. Chiavare è soltanto quello che si fa. Gli animali chiavano. Ma fica è molto di più. Sei tu, capito: e non sei affatto un animale, no? anche da chiavare. Fica! È questo il bello di te, piccolina!”

 “La nostra è un'epoca essenzialmente tragica, perciò ci rifiutiamo di viverla tragicamente. C'è stato un cataclisma, siamo tra le rovine, incominciamo a costruire nuovi piccoli habitat, ad avere nuove piccole speranze. È un lavoro piuttosto duro; adesso non ci sono strade scorrevoli che portano al futuro: bisogna scavalcare gli ostacoli o aggirarli. Dobbiamo vivere, non importa quanti cieli ci siano crollati addosso.”

 “A ciascun giorno basta la sua pena. A ciascun momento è sufficiente l'apparenza della realtà.”

 “Le belle idee vengono alle classi superiori, ma i sentimenti, la vita vera, bisogna cercarla nella gente del popolo.”

 “Forse l'animo umano ha bisogno di escursioni, e non si deve negargliele. Ma la caratteristica dell'escursione è che si ritorna sempre a casa.”

 “Quando l'anima emotiva riceve un colpo violento, che non uccide il corpo, l'anima sembra guarire insieme al corpo. Ma è solo apparenza. Si tratta solo del meccanismo dell'abitudine, che riprende a funzionare. Lentamente, lentamente la ferita dell'anima comincia a farsi sentire, come un'abrasione che solo con lentezza spande il suo dolore lancinante, finché non riempie tutta la psiche. E quando cominciamo a credere di essere guariti e avere dimenticato, proprio allora si va incontro alle terribili ripercussioni.”

“Le donne sono quello che sono perché gli uomini non sono uomini.”

 “Da solo era perso. Aveva bisogno della presenza di Connie, che lo persuadeva di essere vivo.”

 “Le donne incominciano a adorare troppo tardi.”




































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