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The Captain’s Doll by DH Lawrence

Novella review: The Captain’s Doll by DH Lawrence (1923)
from a Book Club Associates omnibus (1980)

In Germany, after World War I, a Scottish man has a relationship with a German woman. She makes dolls and is very good at doing so. She makes a doll of her Scottish friend, and one day, a British lady comes and wishes to buy it. The soldier’s wife. She thinks that it’s the dollmaker’s friend and business partner who has a relationship with her husband, however.

Then he goes away for a bit, the doll gets lost and the dollmaker moves. The wife dies. They reunite, the dollmaker about to be married to a local dignitary. The former couple travel up into the mountains and walk up to a glacier and bicker about this, that and the other and especially about love.

Again, it’s a lot of metaphors and symbolic language and scenery porn. It works if you’re into symbolism. Perhaps working less if you’re not. I’m not. To me, it’s a couple of irritating people who argue over silly things and who don’t say what they actually mean and it drives me potty. Just be honest with one another for ONE SECOND! Geez! Either you love each other or you don’t. Get over yourselves. Well-written and engaging, as usual, although feels a lot like Lawrence is using characters to have a philosophical argument he’d rather have with someone in real life. Which is a recurring theme in his writings, I feel. It’s a bit frustrating. Or I’m just unbelievably shallow. 😛

This is my seventh review for the DH Lawrence Challenge 2010. Better late than never …

Traxy Thornfield

A Swedish introvert residing in Robin Hood Country (Nottingham, UK) with a husband and two cats. She's an eager participant in tabletop and play-by-post roleplaying, woodworking, photography and European travel. Will get a novel out one of these days, if she doesn't get too distracted along the way.

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