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ELT 49 : 1 2006 vincing and nuanced discussion of Eliot's reception, a discussion which accounts for both the radical, early Eliot, and Eliot's later reputation as the big force of conservatism. Finally, Nancy Gish's argument on "dissociation " provides a great companion to Tim Dean on impersonality (the latter of which is corresponded to wonderfully by Altieri's piece on emotions ). The essays in this collection, then, work remarkably well as a single book—this is a book you want to read through, not just in bits. LEONARD DIEPEVEEN ________________ Dalhousie University The Cambridge Lawrence D. H. Lawrence. Psychoanalysis and the Unconscious and Fantasia of the Unconscious. Bruce Steele, ed. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2004. liv + 299 pp. $95.00 WHAT MAKES these two works important and worth reissuing together in this new scholarly edition is that they offer a radically different understanding of the unconscious to the psychoanalytical one, an understanding that we can either view as providing an alternative to, or as complementing, the Freudian version. As Bruce Steele notes in his helpful introduction, when Sons and Lovers was published in May 1913, it was enthusiastically read by a "small band of English psychoanalysts" as confirming "the Freudian theories of the Oedipus complex and the incest motive." But Lawrence viewed this as a serious mistake. As Lawrence saw it (again in Steele's words), "Sons and Lovers was not about the incestuous desires of sons but about mother-dominance and its unhappy consequences." By the end of the second decade of the twentieth century, it was widely assumed (at least among a significant portion of the intelligentsia ) that the only conception of the unconscious worth taking seriously was the psychoanalytical. And the latter, unlike Lawrence's interpretation , was being offered in the name of science. But as Steele says, if the Freudians claimed that "Sons and Lovers had illustrated and confirmed their theory—without the benefit of it—then Lawrence felt fully justified in thinking that his alternative to their psychology had every right to be heard without the benefit of professional or clinical experience ." In the event, however, Psychoanalysis and the Unconscious did not, in 1921, receive a fair hearing, as we can see from the first two-thirds (here published for the first time) of the foreword to its successor, Fantasia of the Unconscious (1922). In this foreword Lawrence quotes from and answers some of the critics of the first book. These eleven "new" 106 Book reviews pages constitute the only major difference between this text and the versions of Psychoanalysis and Fantasia already available. But they form a valuable addition, not least by making us aware of the mixture of misunderstanding, hostility and condescension that greeted Psychoanalysis , and thus help us to understand some, at least, of the awkwardness and different kinds of self-indulgence that make Fantasia a lesser work than its predecessor. This is not to say that Fantasia doesn't contain, along with Lawrence at his most objectionable, some wonderful things. And as for the objectionable things—the outrageous suggestion that most people would be better off left illiterate; the recommendation of "a system of culminating aristocracy, society tapering like a pyramid to the supreme leader"; and those moments when Lawrence argues for a reinstatement of the old gender stereotypes— the best that can be said is that they are (I believe) completely extraneous to the theory of the unconscious that constitutes the originality of both works. According to Lawrence, the "Freudian unconscious is the cellar in which the mind keeps its own bastard spawn." But he believes there is another unconscious, which it is tempting to call the bodily unconscious since it is in fact spread throughout the body and is "pristine and anterior to mentality." It is from this unconscious that "all our genuine impulse arises"—"genuine impulse" as opposed, for example, to the incestuous kind, which he sees as a case of the mind transferring "the idea of incest into the affective-passional psyche" (my italics). Lawrence 's unconscious is "where our life bubbles up in us, prior to any mentality." It is "the well-head, the fountain of real motivity." Except that this is a...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1559-2715
Print ISSN
0013-8339
Pages
pp. 106-109
Launched on MUSE
2010-05-21
Open Access
No
Archive Status
Will Be Archived 2021
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