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Lady Chatterley's Lover: Transcendent Sex

Written by eastern writer on Friday, May 02, 2008

Lady Chatterley’s Lover is more about transcendence than it is love or sex.

You notice right away that Connie and Oliver rarely talk to each other, and when they do, it is because the world is impinging on them, either in their own thoughts or through some reality that they have experienced while apart. Oliver has a further, distancing tactic: the use of his Derbyshire dialect, which makes him almost incomprehensible to Connie and Clifford. By contrast, Connie and Clifford do nothing BUT talk!

Instead, Oliver and Connie create a sacred space. They perform sacred acts within that space, and through a series of transforming sexual encounters each becomes the archetypal male and female, culminating in their union- the marriage of John Thomas and Lady Jane – a union of transcendent souls.

Human beings cannot remain in a state of perpetual transcendence. The question then becomes, what do you do with the experience? How do you integrate your higher, sacred self into your mundane, profane life? And in their case, having merged their souls, how does their union find a way in the world?

By the end of the final chapter, you are deeply relieved to read in Oliver’s letter, written in plain English, his credo. It is the longest string of words he has put together about his experience, and you are relieved that is has such deep and abiding meaning to him. But, you are also a little disappointed, that he and Connie have had their relationship forced into this intellectualizing, explaining place, where description and hope must stand in for experience.

And whenever you think of this book again, you will see them still in the winter, frozen in time, waiting and hoping for spring.

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    "There is only one school of literature - that of talent."
~ Vladimir Nabokov (1899 - 1977)

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