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

By Daniel Dervin | Go to book overview

8
Sun

In the interior of every animal the hottest part is that which is around the blood and veins; it is in a manner an internal fountain of fire, which we compare to the network of a creel, being woven all of fire and extended through the centre of the body, while the outer parts are composed of air. -- Plato, Timaeus

Inside the earth were fires like the heat in the hot red liver of a beast. Out of the fissures of the earth came breaths of other breathing vapours direct from the living physical under-earth, exhalations carrying inspiration. The whole thing was alive, and had a great soul, or anima. . . . -- Etruscan Places, 49


1
Cosmic Centeredness

Traditionally the artist has viewed the sun as a cosmic body and energy-force whose fiery element finds its counterpart in the blood, the heart, and the sanguinary humor; more particularly for Lawrence, the sun also symbolizes the fierce masculine regenerative power whose counterpart is the solar plexus and phallus. Lawrence treats elements of the cosmos like substances that nourish the self and the creative imagination. As natural substances evoke the abiding world of primary love, so cosmic elements represent the originally split-off drive and self-fragments that may yet be reappropriated for equally valid creative ends. Consequently, both the benign and the lethal flow into the creative mix and transmute. As before, a psychic alchemy may be delineated in order to get at the mysterious ways in which body/self and environment/cosmos cross-fertilize and nourish one another. We will continue the line of inquiry begun as projective-identification and delve more deeply into the dynamic processes wherein the solar body is broken down into elements and substances that can be idealized, transformed, and reinternalized, for what Lawrence projects onto the sun is what he most fundamentally needs. Here the twin creative motives announced at the

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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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