Windows to the Sun: D.H. Lawrence's 'Thought-Adventures'

Overview

Windows to the Sun: D.H. Lawrence's 'Thought-Adventures' illustrates some of the ways in which Lawrence's ideas were before their time as he sought to look beyond the 'umbrella' of his current age to truths that were still beyond it. From his insights he developed a philosophy of relative and contingent realities, in which diversity was a prime value. This concept was partly related to his understanding of an Einsteinian 'pluralistic universe' as well as to principles of Cubist art. But the title attempts to ...

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Overview

Windows to the Sun: D.H. Lawrence's 'Thought-Adventures' illustrates some of the ways in which Lawrence's ideas were before their time as he sought to look beyond the 'umbrella' of his current age to truths that were still beyond it. From his insights he developed a philosophy of relative and contingent realities, in which diversity was a prime value. This concept was partly related to his understanding of an Einsteinian 'pluralistic universe' as well as to principles of Cubist art. But the title attempts to combine his 'windows' passage with an idea of computer windows to suggest variety in the essays. Each contributor works with Lawrence's mature art, from Women in Love through The Lost Girl, Aaron's Rod, and Kangaroo, and from Studies in Classic American Literature and Memoir of Maurice Magnus to Pansies and Sketches of Etruscan Places. Contributors are international scholars, including four editors of the Cambridge Lawrence Edition and representing five countries. The Cambridge sources embody the most recent textual scholarship, and critical references include theoreticians like Gilles Deleuze, Theodor Adorno, and Judith Butler. Criticism of Lawrence has too seldom emphasized the way he differentiated genuine thought from bogus thought, opposing not 'too much mind' but too little (as the character Birkin puts it in Women in Love). But essays in this volume highlight Lawrence as an adventurous thinker, considering his promotion of ecology (as we would say today); his pioneering engagement with gender issues and sexuality; his struggles with the censorship of his poetry; his anticipation of a new genre ('magic realism') and of new ways of criticism (including American literature); his attempt to intuit even animal life beyond anthropocentric values; and his acute awareness of his time, shadowed by World War One, as a watershed moment in Western history. Lawrence should not be seen in a monochromatic way, as if his viewpoint was fixed and at odds with contemporary ideas of contingency and open-mindedness. He knew that a culture can petrify into an imprisoning simulacrum of real life and that it (like an individual mindset) needs continual renewal. Lawrence's own search was often cast in geographic terms, and these essays represent numerous settings; but the underlying quest was for new consciousness, past the stereotypes of a given ethos. Beyond that barrier is the sun of the title and the way to new world views.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781611474046
  • Publisher: Fairleigh Dickinson University Press
  • Publication date: 2/1/2009
  • Pages: 249
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Earl G. Ingersoll is a distinguished professor and distinguished teaching professor of English at the State University of New York, College at Brockport. Virginia Hyde is professor of English literature at Washington State University.

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