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Wednesday, 18 April 2012

How beastly the bourgeois is


A Specimen

How beastly the bourgeois is
especially the male of the species –

Presentable, eminently presentable –
shall I make you a present of him?

Isn’t he handsome? Isn’t he healthy? Isn’t he a fine
      specimen?
doesn’t he look the fresh clean englishman, outside?
Isn’t it god’s own image? Tramping his thirty miles a
      day
after partridges, or a little rubber ball?
wouldn’t you like to be like that, well off, and quite
      the thing?

Oh, but wait!
Let him meet a new emotion, let him be faced with
      another man’s need,
let him come home to a bit of moral difficulty, let life
      face him with a new demand on his understanding
and then watch him go soggy, like a wet meringue.
Watch him turn into a mess, either a fool or a bully.
Just watch the display of him, confronted with a new
      demand on his intelligence,
a new life-demand.

How beastly the bourgeois is
especially the male of the species –

Nicely groomed, like a mushroom
standing there so sleek and erect and eyeable –
and like a fungus, living on the remains of bygone life
sucking his life out of the dead leaves of greater life
      than his own.

And even so, he’s stale, he’s been there too long.
Touch him, and you’ll find he’s all gone inside
just like an old mushroom, all wormy inside, and hollow
under a smooth skin and an upright appearance.

Full of seething, wormy, hollow feelings
rather nasty –
How beastly the bourgeois is!

Standing in their thousands, these appearances, in damp
      England
what a pity they can’t all be kicked over
like sickening toadstools, and left to melt back, swiftly
into the soil of England.

D H Lawrence (1885 - 1930)

6 comments:

Roger said...

Well, you could say the same about any politico of any party, all a pretty queasy lot.

The trouble is that UK politics has come to the end of the lollipop, there is nothing left, nothing they can do but wait and hope. Like the chicken whose head has been cut off, it runs about in a lively way, but is in fact dead. Recent tax changes are merely scraping the last dregs from an empty barrel. A lot more trouble to come. Bless.

A K Haart said...

Roger - yes, I thought of putting a few more images up, but decided Nick would do as an example of the type.

Sam Vega said...

Technically, the bourgeoisie are the owners and controllers of industry. Your pathetic specimen has done nothing as useful, ever.

A K Haart said...

Sam - I'm not sure there is a real distinction now, but I just had to point Lawrence's words at him.

James Higham said...

You're all just being cruel. I think we should ask Cleggy to lay out how he sees the perfect world functioning and we should all just embrace it.

A K Haart said...

James - okay you've persuaded me - he's so nice and I'm sure he means well.

Or is that well mean (: