This volume features two profound essays by one of the English language's most famous and controversial authors. D. H. Lawrence wrote Psychoanalysis and the Unconscious and Fantasia of the Unconscious in the early 1920s, during his most productive period. Initially intended as a response to psychoanalytic criticism of his novel Sons and Lovers, ...
This volume features two profound essays by one of the English language's most famous and controversial authors. D. H. Lawrence wrote Psychoanalysis and the Unconscious and Fantasia of the Unconscious in the early 1920s, during his most productive period. Initially intended as a response to psychoanalytic criticism of his novel Sons and Lovers, these works progressed into a counterproposal to the Freudian psychoanalytic theory of the unconscious and the incest motive. They also voice Lawrence's concepts of education, marriage, and social and political action. "This pseudo-philosophy of mine," explained Lawrence, "was deduced from the novels and poems, not the reverse. The absolute need one has for some sort of satisfactory mental attitude towards oneself and things in general makes one try to abstract some definite conclusions from one's experiences as a writer and as a man." With these two essays, the author articulates his insights into the mental struggle to rationalize and reconcile the polarity that exists between emotional and intellectual identities. Critical to understanding Lawrence's other works, they offer a bold synthesis of literary theory and criticism of Freudian psychology. Fantasia of the Unconscious represents Lawrence's deliberate effort to set straight the record on his observations made in Psychoanalysis and the Unconscious. These he admits to be somewhat biased, even irresponsibly and "jeeringly" made. Again, it is unfortunate that while his novels and poems receive so much critical attention, his expository writings remain marginal or relegated to an almost secondary status in terms of critical importance. For it is here that Lawrence actually states the guiding principles, and philosophy, that shaped his life and his art, defiantly situating himself as an opponent of "mental understanding." Even though he is by this time far removed from his days as a schoolteacher, Lawrence still considers education to be a primary objective of his work, and he is prepared to discuss at length his ideas on how education can lead to a true apprehension of the aesthetic experience. "We don't want to educate children so that they understand," he says. "Understanding is a fallacy and a vice in most people. I don't even want my child to know, much less to understand
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