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Growth of a Chrysanthemum D H Lawrences 1914 short story Odour of Chrysanthemums is still in print and considered worth reading in 1999 Perhaps its printed and reprinted as a matter of habit Perhaps editors like it because other editors have But maybe its a success because its an exceptional work Of these three possibilities the last is certainly the most appealing Luckily it seems most likely to be true Lawrence made a conscious effort to improve and focus the story as differences between the 1910 draft and the 1914 final version reveal Lawrence succeeded in this endeavor carefully revising an already excellent work to create a classic The claim that Odour of Chrysanthemums is a well-crafted story is hardly brave or risky for many would agree For instance the man who in a sense discovered Lawrence English Review editor F M Ford said this about Odour of Chrysanthemums The very title makes an impact on the mind You get at once the knowledge that this is not whatever else it may turn out either a frivolous or even a gay springtime story Chrysanthemums are not only flowers of the autumn they are the autumn itself This man knows what he wants He sees the scene of his story exactly He has an authoritative mind Ford 257 As a fiction editor he is quite receptive to Lawrences descriptive gifts He is impressed with Lawrences sense of purpose But readers neednt assess the short story by Fords methods alone Modern readers have a very different perspective than Lawrences contemporaries ensuring that many different analyses of Odour of Chrysanthemums are possible However the plot itself is very simple In the 1914 version Elizabeth Bates spends most of the story waiting for her husband to return from the mine fretting that he is once again dallying at a favorite pub His coworkers drag him home but he is not in
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