Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The Most Entertaining Literary Biography Ever, Maybe

This book completely puzzled me for about three pages. Why was a book about DH Lawrence full of the author's rambling neuroses about making a decision? Do I care where he's going to live? Could I possibly spend an entire book with a man so completely self-involved and, frankly, strange?

I do and I can.

Dyer's being credited with a new form of literary biography. It takes a while to get into it, to see what he's up to. But now having gotten halfway through (I only get to read for fun late at night) I can say that I am being thoroughly entertained and probably understand DH Lawrence better than I ever could have with a traditional biography.

Dyer's indecisiveness, his inability to buckle down and get on with a project he says he wants to do, his clear unsuitability for life in what we think of as the real world, is exactly the voice needed to help the reader understand Lawrence, who was apparently a kindred spirit.

He's infuriating, he's hilarious, he's an immature brat and he's not ashamed to show himself as he is.

Well written, interesting, candy for people who long to write, long to travel, long to throw off their nine to five shackles and live dangerously, this is a great read. And it's just plain good.

I'm reading "But Beautiful" next.

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