Sunday, April 25, 2021

281. Aaron's Rod

Aaron's Rod
D.H. Lawrence
1922
Around 350 pages





















Even as a D.H. Lawrence fan, I think he is overrepresented on this List. This is one of his entries that I would label as expendable. Apparently the Listmakers agreed and removed this one from subsequent editions. But a so-so Lawrence novel is still pretty good.

Aaron Sisson is a union official in the coal mines of the English Midlands. He decides to walk out on his wife and kids to pursue his dream of becoming a celebrated flautist. He eventually ends up in Florence, swimming in circles he certainly wouldn't have been exposed to if he decided to be a good dad. 

It's interesting to see this novel appear right after Babbitt. Babbitt was a man who couldn't bring himself to escape the shackles of his domestic life, to the point where you wonder if he ever had a choice in the matter. Aaron manages to cut ties, but it's difficult to argue that he's much better. So I guess it's all pretty bad. 

It wouldn't be a Lawrence novel without heavy symbolism. Here he is slightly more subtle than he was in The Fox. But only slightly. 

RATING: ***--

Interesting Facts:

Lawrence began writing the novel in 1918, but abandoned it after 11 chapters. He picked it up again in 1921.

UP NEXT: The Last Days of Humanity by Karl Kraus. Technically, this isn't a novel, this is a play. The Listmakers are getting frisky.

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