A "Strange Sapience": The Creative Imagination of D.H. Lawrence

By Daniel Dervin | Go to book overview

6
Origins

I think the only re-sourcing of art, revivifying it, is to make it the joint work of man and woman. . . . Because the source of all life and knowledge is in man and woman, and the source of all living is in the interchange and the meeting and mingling of these two: man-life and woman-life . . . -- CL, 280

But one sheds one's sicknesses in books -- repeats and presents again one's emotions, to be master of them. -- CL, 234

D. H. Lawrence grew up in three successive residences, each of which may focus a succeeding stage of origins in his creative work. Each has something to contribute to his childhood's total Primal Scene that is the source of his art's re-sourcing. Specifically though, the sites correspond approximately to birth, the dyadic phase, and the oedipal phase. Although Lawrence seems to have been engaged in reworking or re-sourcing his origins whenever he wrote a serious or sustained piece, three works in particular reveal him concentrating on questions of beginnings by drawing on places of origins. Highlighting also his periods of literary development, these are Sons and Lovers (early), St. Mawr (middle), and Lady Chatterley's Lover (late). Each covers extensive emotional territory and so marks a stage in his progressive awareness of human sexual relations.

This is a study in threes, an exploration into how these groupings of mind, place, and creative work can be interrelated, and what they can further tell us about the sources of art as a resourcing of origins.


1

Even after allowances have been made for distortions in the Jessie Chambers (Miriam) episodes, Sons and Lovers is usually understood as an intensely autobiographical work; but one significant

-127-

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A "Strange Sapience": The Creative Imagination of D.H. Lawrence
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Key to Titles ix
  • Introduction 1
  • 1 - Fantasy 14
  • 2 - Reality 39
  • 3 - Symbol 48
  • 4 - Body 76
  • 5 - Play 111
  • 6 - Origins 127
  • 7 - Projection 148
  • 8 - Sun 166
  • 9 - Creative Selfhood 181
  • Appendixes 201
  • Appendix 1 - On Symbol Formation 203
  • Appendix 2 - On the Relation of Aggression To Creativity and Sexuality 206
  • Appendix 3 - On Maturation Versus Development 212
  • Notes 215
  • Selected Bibliography 231
  • Index 241
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