evict the somewhat man-handled Venus from his couch

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longxianchen

Senior Member
chinese
Hi, happy new year to you
Here are some words from the novel Lady Chatterley's Lover(page 386, chapter 17) by Lawrence (planetebook,here):
(background: Connie was in Venice, in a stupor of happiness. Then she received a letter from Clifford, saying Mellors' truant wife had returned. .……")

She(Mellors' wife) had broken a window and got in that way. Unable to evict(=remove/expel) the somewhat man-handled(=controlled by man) Venus(Apollo's wife) from his couch(=bed), he beat a retreat and retired, it is said, to his mother’s house in Tevershall. Meanwhile the Venus of Stacks Gate is established in the cottage, which she claims is her home, and Apollo, apparently, is domiciled in Tevershall.

The sentence in blue is quite confusing for me. How should I understand it please? I have inserted some notes in it.
Are they right?
Thank you in advance
 
  • longxianchen

    Senior Member
    chinese
    Thank you.
    But there is still a confusion about Venus:
    In a previous sentence of this paragraph there is he found the no longer fair(=pretty) lady firmly established in his bed, where fair lady tells us Mellors' wife is no longer pretty. But Venus is a beauty, as far as I know.

    And some Chinese think Venus is Apollo's sister, but some other Chinese say Apollo and Venus are enemies, rather than a couple.

    That's why I'm still confused.
     

    velisarius

    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    All you need to know is that Venus was the goddess of (sexual) love, and very beautiful. Apollo was also very beautiful, and I think that's why he is mentioned. He would be the male counterpart of Venus because of his great beauty. He wasn't Venus' husband in the myths I know of.

    The use of these names of ancient divinities is ironic of course. Clifford is mocking the erotic adventures of these low-class people.

    Clifford amy have made a mistake, and really meant Adonis.
    Adonis - Wikipedia
     
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    longxianchen

    Senior Member
    chinese
    Reading from here, I know that Apollo was the son of Jupiter and the goddess Latona. And Venus was believed by some to be the daughter of Jupiter, and by others to have sprung from the foam of the sea.

    So Apollo and Venus are brother and sister.
    Clifford amy(a typo for may?) have made a mistake, and really meant Adonis.
    Do you mean Clifford mistook Apollo for Adonis?
     

    longxianchen

    Senior Member
    chinese
    (Yes, "may" - sorry about the typo.)
    Not at all.

    Your interpretations are very reasonable for me. Maybe it's a mistake by Lawrence, maybe by Clifford.:thumbsup::thumbsup:

    But is it also possible that Clifford preferred that they were just a brother(Apollo) and a sister(Venus), with only mental affection, rather than sexual love?
     

    RedwoodGrove

    Senior Member
    English, USA
    I haven't studied Greek mythology for some time but I wouldn't get too wrapped up in the question of sibling relations. Many gods and goddesses, not to mention a host of other ethereal and earthly creatures, were the offspring of Zeus. It doesn't mean that much. I'd question a "marriage" between two of the gods/goddesses on Olympus. Zeus was married to Hera, it is true, but she apparently was also his sister and definitely the patroness of home, hearth, and childbirth. So she represented marriage.

    Don't forget that there was an early, middle, and late period of mythology and a lot of stories were pasted on top of each other. It depends on your sources.
     

    velisarius

    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    I don't know what associations "Apollo" had in Clifford's or in DHL's mind, since those gods and goddesses had many aspects. Venus doesn't seem to have any particular connection with Adonis Apollo. His twin sister was Diana/Artemis. I think Clifford may have made a slip, and it may have been intentional on DHL's part. The main thing to note is the absurdity of comparing these two common folk with ancient Greco-Roman deities.
     
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    PaulQ

    Senior Member
    UK
    English - England
    Reading from here, I know that Apollo was the son of Jupiter and the goddess Latona. And Venus was believed by some to be the daughter of Jupiter, and by others to have sprung from the foam of the sea.
    This is largely irrelevant: The [+ adjective] or A Venus is a way of saying "a beautiful woman" but, as has been pointed out, Sir Clifford is using sarcasm - he does not think that she is beautiful at all.
     

    AutumnOwl

    Senior Member
    -
    Swedish
    To say that a woman is a Venus usually doesn't only mean that she's beautiful, it also implies that she may be a bit promiscuous, as the goddess Venus/Aphrodite were know for her many lover. (Interestingly, Apollo was the only one of her brothers she wasn't sexually involved with, if Jupiter/Zeus was to be her father.)
     

    Hermione Golightly

    Senior Member
    British English
    The (human) people in question are Mellors and his estranged wife, Bertha Coutts, who had left him some years before and whom he hated. Earlier, in his long diatribe against women, Mellors describes their sexual incompatibility, ranting about her in particularly vicious and detailed terms.

    Now Bertha has come back into his life and what's more, she's got into his house. They are still married and she is claiming her rights as his wife.

    Clifford explains that he's only telling Connie all this because his carer, Mrs Bolton, had commented that Connie wouldn't be going into the woods anymore so long as Bertha was there. At this stage of the story I don't think that Clifford suspects that Connie and Mellors are having an affair.

    Clifford would be completely indifferent to his servants' domestic problems and gamekeeper's marital strife. This would be to him typical of the squalid goings-on of the working classes. (As if the upper classes never had scandals.)

    Lawrence may have got his Greek gods mixed up. After all, he did mistakenly write about the legend of St Bernard walking around Lake Lucerne, when it was Lake Geneva that was the scene of the story. DHL was very unwell at the time he was producing this version of the novel, dying from tuberculosis.
    But I think it's far more likely that he simply chose the goddess Venus as the epitome of all that's, well, sexy, and the glorious great god Apollo, god of the sun, as the epitome of beautiful manhood.

    I can't see any reason why DHL would deliberately have Clifford make a mistake.
     
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