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The Prussian Officer and Other Stories

D. H. Lawrence

Book Overview: 

The collection of short stories – of which The Prussian Officer is one – was Lawrence’s first such book. A German officer and his orderly are the focus of the piece and, while socially the superior of his orderly, the officer demonstrates his is the distinctly baser character.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .Occasionally there had been a duel, an outburst before the soldiers. He knew himself to be always on the point of breaking out. But he kept himself hard to the idea of the Service. Whereas the young soldier seemed to live out his warm, full nature, to give it off in his very movements, which had a certain zest, such as wild animals have in free movement. And this irritated the officer more and more.

In spite of himself, the Captain could not regain his neutrality of feeling towards his orderly. Nor could he leave the man alone. In spite of himself, he watched him, gave him sharp orders, tried to take up as much of his time as possible. Sometimes he flew into a rage with the young soldier, and bullied him. Then the orderly shut himself off, as it were out of earshot, and waited, with sullen, flushed face, for the end of the noise. The words never pierced to his intelligence, he made himself, protectively, impervious to the feelings of his master.

He . . . Read More

Community Reviews

I do not know why the editor of the anthology where I found this story says that D. H. Lawrence "shows here a prophetic insight into the roots of the perverse cruelty that flourished later under the Nazis." There is a palpable sexual tension here, at the beginning, between the Prussian officer (a Ca

Very naturalistic atmosphere. Clearly an early work of Lawrence.

I find ‘The Prussian Officer’ as an example of the creativity and insightfulness of D. H. Lawrence. In this work he showed a great understanding of psychoanalysis and the role of the defensive mechanism of the self, particularly the role of repression. The disturbing homoerotic impulses the Prussian


Um drama sexual entre um oficial prussiano e a sua ordenança, um soldado.
Um jogo de poder entre o dominador e o dominado intensificado pela diferença social e o ambiente militar.
O oficial esforçando-se por não assumir o arrebatamento que o domina; o soldado submisso à imp

I chose to read this famous short story by D H Lawrence as it was mentioned in my writing group as containing a classic example of "unverbing" . The story has all the tension and relational intensity one expects from Lawrence as well as hints of homoeroticism. Like Doestoevesky Lawrence discusses ho

“Gradually the officer had become aware of his servant's young, vigorous, unconscious presence about him. He could not get away from the sense of the youth's person, while he was in attendance. It was like a warm flame upon the older man's tense, rigid body, that had become almost unliving, fixed. T

This is my first book by Lawrence, and I am greatly impressed. These short stories were published near the beginning of his writing career; yet they show a mature writer with a fully developed voice. Several qualities are immediately apparent. The first is Lawrence’s exquisite sensitivity to nature.

Astonishingly good. This is very early Lawrence, and it's easy to see how he got slated for the hit and miss quality of some of his earlier work, but whilst these works aren't the finished article in the rich vein of Women in Love, or even Sons and Lovers, they are without doubt masterpieces in thei

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