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Plumed Serpent (Wordsworth Classics) Paperback – December 5, 1999


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Product Details

  • Series: Wordsworth Classics
  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Wordsworth Editions Ltd; New edition edition (December 5, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1853262587
  • ISBN-13: 978-1853262586
  • Product Dimensions: 7.7 x 5 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #797,187 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Nik de Santa Fe on September 9, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I've read nearly all of Lawrence's novels; Plumed Serpent is rather different than the others. The language, syntax, and phrasing in PS is not so definitively the authorial voice of a cultured Englishman. In PS, the two male characters are charismatic Mexicans; the female surging between these two strong men is an Irish woman transplanted to early 20th Century Mexico. The language is very Americanized here, even though none of the characters are USA-Americans, while DHL makes much of Mexico being American -- as in "the American continent" -- and not European.

DHL clearly was wary, perhaps even frightened, of Mexicans and what he repeatedly refers to, ominously, as their "black, center-less eyes." For DHL this meant it was impossible to know what the Mexicans were thinking, or feeling, if they were (or weren't) in fact doing either. I doubt that this novel, were it new, would be published today: it would be pronounced racist and Feminists would deem it misogynistic, as the strong, independent female protagonist seems really just need to be sexually overpowered by dark, native men. (One might want to recall that a close American friend of DHL and Freda, the white female artist Mabel Dodge, who gave Freda a ranch near Taos, New Mexico, married a local New Mexican native American Indian--Red Indian, in the words of DHL.) When the book was originally published, the controversy was about it being Fascist. It is most certainly anti-Catholic. This being DHL, male skin is well in evidence, of course, in this case brown rather than pale white.

There is a fair amount of Mexican native-Indian-gods-worshiping DHL poetry, if you like that sort of thing; if not, it is easy to skip over; it's man-cave kind of mumbo jumbo, though beautiful too.
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19 of 25 people found the following review helpful By D. E. W. Turner on March 16, 2000
Format: Paperback
In the area of the poetic use and the beauty of the English language, this book is well-written and certainly worthy of one's time taken in reading it. The language and the imagery invoked is breath-taking. In the area of subject matter, it is rather unique. An Irish woman journeys to Mexico just after the Mexican Revolution and becomes involved with two men who have taken it upon themselves to return Mexico to the religion of Quetzalcoatl and Huitzilopochtli. She joins them to become the First Woman of Malintzi and wife of the First Man of Huitzilopochtli. However, in the area of social language, the book is a product of its time. The Mexican people -- and all "dark" people -- are the objects of particularly malignant language, which I found objectionable. As an historian, I can place the book in its proper perspective, however, and recommend it as a good read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By R. Lee Holz on October 8, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Although one hesitates to give any book by D. H. Lawrence two stars, in this case I must. The Plumed Serpent is no Son's and Lovers. This late Lawrence book is filled with long-winded, pretentious and repetitive passages of ersatz Aztec religious claptrap and equally ill-conceived mysticism about the savage Mexican Indian as a race. Couple these with a sort of proto-fascism, and one has a pretty nasty book. Lawrence's take on gender relations in this world of neo-Aztec revival is equally unattractive. At the same time, there are the descriptive passages of great lyric beauty that are pure Lawrence and some earnest wrestling with questions of individualism versus the commonality of humankind. I didn't like the book, but I'm glad I read it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By James C. Casterline on October 4, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This was one strange book though I guess nobody would accuse the author of writing garden variety literature. This is set in Mexico in a rural area not an unreasonable distance from the capital. Expatriates learn about the country and one stays as others leave. As she starts a life in a more remote area, certain prominent local citizens decide to bring back the ancient Aztec gods and goddesses. There is some philosophy, some religious observance, some adventure and so on. It was quite interesting, perhaps more interesting than most of Lawrence's writing but it is unusual and a little improbable. I am glad I read it. It was on Kindle for a reasonable price.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By flaviarasendyll on July 4, 2014
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history!!! the best that you'll read of those times and those people.
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