D.H. Lawrence and the Paradoxes of Psychic Life
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Explores the multiple, often contradictory identifications and fantasies that distinguish Lawrence's fiction, casting fresh light on his relationship with women.
Contributing to the debate about D. H. Lawrence's relationship with and fictional portrayal of women, this book discusses how the dynamic tensions of his art dramatically reenact the competing forces of psychic and relational life. In her examination of Sons and Lovers, The Rainbow, Women in Love, and various short stories, Schapiro discusses how Lawrence's best works reveal a continual struggle to recognize and be recognized by the other as an independent subject. Drawing on Jessica Benjamin's psychoanalytic theory of intersubjectivity, she also demonstrates how a breakdown of balanced subject-subject relations in his texts gives rise to defensive polarities of gender and of domination and submission.
Barbara Ann Schapiro is Professor of English at Rhode Island College. She is also the author of Literature and the Relational Self; The Romantic Mother: Narcissistic Patterns in Romantic Poetry; and is the coeditor, with Lynne Layton, of Narcissism and the Text: Studies in Literature and the Psychology of Self.
"Barbara Schapiro has written the best psychoanalytic interpretation of D. H. Lawrence that has yet been produced. The most impressive features of this book are its interpersonal focus and its inclusive understanding of Lawrence's struggle to reconcile deep-rooted conflict with mutual recognition of self and other. Schapiro brings contemporary psychoanalysis closer to Lawrence's recurrent patterns of representation than any critic has before. At her book's core is a new and important re-reading of the mother-son relation in Lawrence's life and work." — Murray M. Schwartz, Emerson College
"It is refreshing to read an authoritative book written by someone who knows what she's talking about. Lawrence has been, from the publication of Sons and Lovers on, viewed by some critics from a psychoanalytic perspective. Schapiro's book is the first to explore Lawrence's work in depth from the perspective of relational theorists. I see it as an important contribution in large part because it reflects post-Freudian developments that are central to psychoanalysis itself today and applies them authoritatively. " — James C. Cowan, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill