Guest Blogging Dream Team: Member #1

(Posted by Ben)

(If you’re wondering what this is all about, click here. I’ve reworded and updated the post since yesterday to make it clearer – thanks to Alan, Paul and J for pointing out the potential confusion.)

Given the current Local flavour of Troubled Diva, it seems fitting to make D H Lawrence the first member of the Guest Blogging Dream Team. Admittedly he’s a bit of a personal hero, but there are plenty of objective reasons to think he’d make a brilliantly engaging blogger.

Born and raised the son of a miner in nearby Eastwood, Lawrence spent most of his writing life abroad, however, living in Europe, America and Mexico as well as stopping off in Sri Lanka and Australia. He never forgot about what he called “the country of my heart“, though, and whether he was reminiscing about his childhood or being scathing about the region – on occasions he’d be inclined to agree with our very own Nixon that Nottingham is a “horrible city where the sky is always grey and the people eternally miserable” – he continued to write about this part of the world right up until his death, a keen analyst of English society and culture to the end.

At the same time, Lawrence’s travels and experiences of life in so many different places and cultures – the result of an innate restlessness – furnished him with the raw material for numerous novels, stories, essays, poems and newspaper articles, as did friends and those he met, who found themselves appearing thinly disguised in his work. Individual blog posts could have provided a verbal snapshot of wherever he was, and whoever he was with.

The fact that, though his career was short, he was nevertheless remarkably prolific would suggest that Lawrence would never need much encouragement to post. Though not a diarist, many of the thousands of letters he wrote almost read like blog entries – succinct summaries of his state of mind and views at any one point.

The sort of figure who polarised opinion in his own time and continues to do so, he was never afraid of speaking his mind, proud of the fact that he was like pepper up people’s noses. He always had a view on everything, even if it changed almost by the hour – he could never be accused of being a fence-sitter – and as someone who relished a good argument, he’d warmly welcome the opportunity to engage in direct debate with his readers through a comments facility.

Admittedly he had a regrettable tendency to lecture and preach at times, but even at his most cantankerous and distastefully un-PC, there’s a passion and vigour in his writing that can’t be denied.

Last but not least, as an author who throughout his career had constant difficulties finding publishers for his fiction, Lawrence would I’m sure embrace the internet as a medium which he could use to avoid having to compromise himself or his work.

Member #2 to be unveiled tomorrow.

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