“Dare I come into touch? For this is further than death. I have dared to let them lay hands on me and put me to death. But dare I come into this tender touch of life? Oh this is harder–“
–D. H. Lawrence “The Man Who Died”
I just finished reading D. H. Lawrence’s “The Man Who Died” tonight. It is comprised of two parts. I read part one last night and part two this evening. It’s a short piece, but rich in theme and description. The plot would seem simplistic if I spelled it out for you, because the book deals with the inner and outer worlds of one’s life. It deals with the age old cycle of death, rebirth and life, but it pays special attention to the areas where they overlap, converge, mingle.
To tell you about the main character would be a bit of a spoiler as well, as it is someone known the world over, but rendered so human by Lawrence’s words as to be almost unrecognizable. The world itself is a character and the story is told on many levels. You can choose to see the story as straight forward or you can let yourself get swept away in metaphor.
“The Man Who Died” is a gorgeous tale, told masterfully. I’m haunted by its poetry. Like the title character, it has given me new appreciation for life.