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A beautiful but aging woman in front of Waterstones across the street from his office. She is talking on her mobile phone. Statuesque, perhaps an actress, perhaps a famous one. (He wouldn’t know). But impossible to imagine her ever having sex with anyone, so dignified is her beauty. In fact, her dignity makes the desire to have sex, let alone the practice of having sex, seem like a symptom of some sort of genetic anomaly, a mineral deficiency. Only deformed people do or want to do it, he walks away thinking.

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January 15, 2010 at 12:46 am

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  1. Yes, sex does seem an obscenity in cases like that, a violation of beauty’s chaste goddess. Recently I’ve become enamoured of a pristinely elegant upper-class girl whose black hair and pale skin reminds me of the Russian countess and her daughter-in-law in Catch-22. She’s around my age (mid-late 20s) but she smokes a roll-up every fifteen minutes and has severe lines on her face, while her voice goes croaky sometimes as she lets out a smoker’s cough. She’s an incessant talker, I can hardly get a word in to stop her torrential high-speed RP monologue, and I’m starting to call her Lady Chatterley in my head, though I’ve never read the book. On Tuesday she asked if I would like to play tennis with her and her female friend today, but when I phoned her up yesterday evening she told me she had “forgotten about it,” so the tennis is off until whenever she re-remembers that I don’t not exist. Her female friend was there last night when I phoned too, they’re always around each other it seems, I think they may be a couple (her friend is quite tall with short hair and a manly build, while Ms Chatterley herself is very thin, black hair tied back into a bun). This whole thing is folly on every level on my part and it’s going to be an ‘epic fail’, which makes my inevitable demise all the more amusing to catalogue.

    The lines on her face may be from the sun as well as the smoking though; she grew up in Dubai, the scene of a different kind of folly going on concurrently with mine.

    I’m wondering did Lawrence mean for a chatter/Chatterley pun? The second version of LCL has this quote:

    “The noise of London, and the endless chatter, chatter, chatter of the people seemed like a death’s-head chattering its teeth in a sort of cold frenzy. […] But in Paris, she felt a certain tenderness again. […] She didn’t mind the so-called lustful glances of the men. They didn’t do her any harm. Not like the cold, analysing eyes in London.”

    The First and Second Lady Chatterley Novels, (p. 482)


    January 15, 2010 at 4:44 pm

  2. she sounds nice david.


    January 18, 2010 at 5:42 pm

  3. Aye, Anon, I am quite o’ercome. I’m thinking of doing out a Giacomo Joyce imitation based on the folly in progress. I’ll link to it if I write some good lines (i.e., I won’t link to it).

    As I read and re-read it, Giacomo is perhaps becoming my favourite Joyce work. Ulysses and Finnegans Wake are such relentless sprawling morasses that it’s a relief to have something so intimate and spare. I like it more than the Epiphanies because of its unity and its deeply personal nature, each paragraph acting as both a unique observation and a link in a narrative about a desire than will never be fulfilled.


    January 18, 2010 at 10:20 pm

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