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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

This collection of short stories was my first foray into DHL territory, under the guidance of uni, and I actually really enjoyed it. I wasn't sure what to expect as opinion on DHL seems rather polarised into a love/hate type dilemma but, I came away pleasantly surprised by this book. The short st...more

Early writings, interesting but inferior to his best. Recommended for the reader interested in the development of a fine writer or the emergence of Lawrence's style; don't miss the introduction by Brian Finney, which gives this book rating its forth star.

Interesante y muy incisivo Lawrence. Dos actitudes muy diferentes representadas por las hijas del vicario

Overly flowery and indecisive. Dances between hyper feminine sentimental tirades and ultra masculine inexpressive stoicism. Just about every story is boring and tedious: The Vicar's Daughters and A Fragment of Stained Glass being the two exceptions. Rubbish.

Eh. The death scene in the first story goes on WAY too long. And overall this book gives me the vibe of being written by an ancient proto-MGTOW guy who thinks his wife doesn’t understand him but will appreciate him when he dies.

Was this what it all meant — utter, intact separateness, obscured by heat of living?

Odour of Chrysanthemums, good place to start with Lawrence's prose, along with White Stocking, Shades of Spring, Thorn in the Flesh.

Some gruelling, violent stories, not to be missed, but I still feel his short-story telling abilities were to develop further in later volumes. The ones that I appreciated most here had more to do with personal situations and tragedies - "The White Stocking" or ''Odour of Chrysanthemums'' , for e...more

Superb, each is like a shining jewel of literary revelation. Some say that aside from the major works, Lawrence is 'difficult', but I think what's more true is that Lawrence just isn't fashionable these days, and in the major works you simply cannot deny his genius, even if you wanted to, and wer...more

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