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

By Daniel Dervin | Go to book overview

Appendix 3
On Maturation versus Development

. . . affect must quicken percept. . . . -- René A. Spitz, 1972

The fact that more sophisticated art forms begin with life in media res assumes that eventually they will get around to accounting for life ab initio. Consequently, every artist creates a new beginning when he produces a work of art, and every such act of creation is also necessarily a re-creation. This will sound axiomatic, but it should take on added meaning now that we know something of the available polarities of those beginnings and have Ehrenzweig's dynamic sequence of this reshaping process. We should also be able to perceive a bit more clearly how the sources of life serve as the resources of art.

The idea that creative processes and emotional development are intimately, perhaps inseparably, bound together has never been far from the focus of this study. Yet the nature of this relationship is intensely obscure. Certainly it would be a misguided application of psychoanalysis to place creativity merely in the service of psychosexual development, if only because it would circumscribe the area far too narrowly. On the other hand, Lawrence's emotional development and evolving reality-sense are patently discernible through the works. Clearly the two proceed hand in hand, and it would be a mistake to view him as a fixed entity, as does Dorothy Van Ghent when she asserts that the yellow pollen streaks Mrs. Morel retains on her face following her rapturous interlude among the lilies is an instance of the "phallic reality" which Lawrence was only able to deal with adequately some fourteen years later in Lady Chatterley's Lover.1 For even though he was enjoying a richly varied kind of phallic experience with Frieda during the writing of Sons and Lovers, he had not re-sourced his own life thoroughly enough or worked through his conflicts sufficiently well to deal with phallic reality in the fullness of imagination that he eventually would attain.

This leads to an important distinction within psychoanalysis between maturation and development. René Spitz, in a provocative paper we shall shortly come to, notes that maturation is innate as "part of the newborn's congenital equipment";

-212-

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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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