NOW READING: Lady Chatterley's Lover by D.H. Lawrence
This novel is not just smut, you know. It has a lot to say about issues of class. In fact, I would say the questions and issues of class are easily the prevailing theme, whereas Lady Chatterley's stumbling upon ecstasy is more of a random plot point.
Should a "lady" have a dalliance with a "common man" ... the feelings of the nurse toward the "masters" and the ruling class that killed her husband, a mine worker ... the intellectual life versus the physical life, the ivory tower versus stopping to smell the flowers... these are the things the reader is asked to ponder.
In fact, the novel is not particularly salacious at all. When there are exciting or revealing scenes (OK, sex scenes), they're really straightforward and brief. They also are part of the plot. The scenes are not gratuitous, so I find it amusing that the book caused such a scandal upon its publication and took thirty years to get to the U.S. I guess it's not that surprising though. But it's funny to think that I know many people who were alive and kicking when this book was not allowed to be published here.
"And we're still building churches, burning books
Killing the babies to feed the crooks,
Who said the world would turn out fair?"
--the wonder stuff