‘Why have I cared? I don’t care.
How strange it is to be here, to be soul-less and alone...’
Kangaroo shapes a story of Australian politics to reflect the memorable Lawrentian ideas about love, loyalty, intellectual audacity and sexual expression.
Though Lawrence meant to spend only two days in Sydney, when he arrived Australia, in May of 1922, he wound up writing 150,000 words in five weeks' time, giving his book an undeniable urgency.
His descriptions of Australia are vivid and sympathetic and Kangaroo fuses lightly disguised autobiography with an exploration of political ideas at an immensely personal level.
Interest in Kangaroo has usually focused on the novel’s dramatization of the extreme politics of the day: socialists fighting fascists on the streets of Sydney.
Fear of anarchy, even the fear of mob rule in the guise of democracy, leads the lead character, R. L. Somers to political action.
What is most intriguing is that, when Lawrence eventually put a final stop to the thick manuscript of Kangaroo, he had in fact just completed what still remains, three quarters of a century later, perhaps the most penetrating portrait, the most truthful and disturbing image one can find of Australia in literature.
D. H. LAWRENCE (1885-1930), one of the greatest English authors, transformed the art of fiction. The author of numerous classic novels, poems and short stories, including Women In Love, The Plumed Serpent, and Lady Chatterley’s Lover, he is considered to be a central figure in the development of the modern novel.