Dark Vibes: D.H. Lawrence and Occult Electricity
- 176 Downloads
Due in part to the mystical aura pervading the cultural history of electricity from as early as the 1600s, electrical experimentation becomes an important generic feature of Gothic literature. By focusing on the supernatural dimensions of electricity in the contexts of spiritualism, hypnotism, and thought reading, this chapter explores the ways in which Lawrence extends the motif of the enemy within to demonic vibrations operating at the level of bodily materiality and in the realm of the imagination. As Lawrence’s characters become fatefully charmed by obscure powers from within, they discover this tantalizing yet destructive secret interior as the fundamental driving force of what it seems to subvert—in this case, the sexual desire that makes them appear to be distinctively modern and genuinely human.