Quotes by D. H. Lawrence

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Men are free when they are in a living homeland, not when they are straying and breaking away. Men are free when they are obeying some deep, inward voice of religious belief. Obeying from within. Men are free when they belong to a living, organic, believing community, active in fulfilling some unfulfilled, perhaps unrealized purpose. Not when they are escaping to some wild west. The most unfree souls go west, and shout of freedom. Men are freest when they are most unconscious of freedom. The shout is a rattling of chains, always was.

We make a mistake forsaking England and moving out into the periphery of life. After all, Taormina, Ceylon, Africa, America -- as far as we go, they are only the negation of what we ourselves stand for and are: and we're rather like Jonahs running away from the place we belong.
The deadly Hydra now is the hydra of Equality. Liberty, Equality and Fraternity is the three-fanged serpent.
Brute force crushes many plants. Yet the plants rise again. The Pyramids will not last a moment compared with the daisy. And before Buddha or Jesus spoke the nightingale sang, and long after the words of Jesus and Buddha are gone into oblivion the nightingale still will sing. Because it is neither preaching nor commanding nor urging. It is just singing. And in the beginning was not a Word, but a chirrup.
But the effort, the effort! And as the marrow is eaten out of a man's bones and the soul out of his belly, contending with the strange rapacity of savage life, the lower stage of creation, he cannot make the effort any more.
Design in art, is a recognition of the relation between various things, various elements in the creative flux. You can't invent a design. You recognize it, in the fourth dimension. That is, with your blood and your bones, as well as with your eyes.
The more I see of democracy the more I dislike it. It just brings everything down to the mere vulgar level of wages and prices, electric light and water closets, and nothing else.
You must drop all your democracy. You must not believe in the people. One class is no better than another. It must be a case of Wisdom, or Truth. Let the working classes be working classes. That is the truth. There must be an aristocracy of people who have wisdom, and there must be a Ruler: a Kaiser: no Presidents and democracies.
I believe that a man is converted when first he hears the low, vast murmur of life, of human life, troubling his hitherto unconscious self.
The human consciousness is really homogeneous. There is no complete forgetting, even in death.
They were evidently small men, all wind and quibbles, flinging out their chuffy grain to us with far less interest than a farm-wife feels as she scatters corn to her fowls.
Every new stroke of civilization has cost the lives of countless brave men, who have fallen defeated by the dragon, in their efforts to win the apples of the Hesperides, or the fleece of gold. Fallen in their efforts to overcome the old, half sordid savagery of the lower stages of creation, and win the next stage.
Towns oftener swamp one than carry one out onto the big ocean of life.
The upshot was, my paintings must burn that English artists might finally learn.
I can't bear art that you can walk round and admire. A book should be either a bandit or a rebel or a man in the crowd.
One sheds one's sicknesses in books -- repeats and presents again one's emotions, to be master of them.
After all, the world is not a stage -- not to me: nor a theatre: nor a show-house of any sort. And art, especially novels, are not little theatres where the reader sits aloft and watches... and sighs, commiserates, condones and smiles. That's what you want a book to be: because it leaves you so safe and superior, with your two-dollar ticket to the show. And that's what my books are not and never will be. Whoever reads me will be in the thick of the scrimmage, and if he doesn't like it -- if he wants a safe seat in the audience -- let him read someone else.
It is so much more difficult to live with one's body than with one's soul. One's body is so much more exacting: what it won't have it won't have, and nothing can make bitter into sweet.
We need not feel ashamed of flirting with the zodiac. The zodiac is well worth flirting with.
Be a good animal, true to your animal instincts.
America is neither free nor brave, but a land of tight, iron-clanking little wills, everybody trying to put it over everybody else, and a land of men absolutely devoid of the real courage of trust, trust in life's sacred spontaneity. They can't trust life until they can control it.
America does to me what I knew it would do: it just bumps me. The people charge at you like trucks coming down on you -- no awareness. But one tries to dodge aside in time. Bump! bump! go the trucks. And that is human contact.
I believe a man is born first unto himself --for the happy developing of himself, while the world is a nursery, and the pretty things are to be snatched for, and pleasant things tasted; some people seem to exist thus right to the end. But most are born again on entering manhood; then they are born to humanity, to a consciousness of all the laughing, and the never-ceasing murmur of pain and sorrow that comes from the terrible multitudes of brothers.
The war is dreadful. It is the business of the artist to follow it home to the heart of the individual fighters -- not to talk in armies and nations and numbers -- but to track it home.
The chief thing about a woman -- who is much of a woman -- is that in the long run she is not to be had... She is not to be caught by any of the catch-words, love, beauty, honor, duty, worth, work, salvation -- none of them -- not in the long run. In the long run she only says Am I satisfied, or is there some beastly dissatisfaction gnawing and gnawing inside me. And if there is some dissatisfaction, it is physical, at least as much as psychic, sex as much as soul.
You'll never succeed in idealizing hard work. Before you can dig mother earth you've got to take off your ideal jacket. The harder a man works, at brute labor, the thinner becomes his idealism, the darker his mind.
I hate the actor and audience business. An author should be in among the crowd, kicking their shins or cheering them on to some mischief or merriment.
I like to write when I feel spiteful. It is like having a good sneeze.
people in their thirties, and the older ones, have gotten bad inside, like fruit that nobody eats and nobody wants, so it rots, but is not forgotten.
I am amazed at this spring, this conflagration Of green fires lit on the soil of earth, this blaze Of growing, these smoke-puffs that puff in wild gyration, Faces of people blowing across my gaze!