Posthuman D.H. Lawrence?

  • Jeff Wallace


In ‘Why the Novel Matters’ (1925), an essay on the special kind of ‘knowledge’ possessed by the novelist, Lawrence chips irreverently away at the foundational status of the Cartesian mind-body dualism. Why should he look at his hand, as it writes, and conclude that it is ‘a mere nothing compared to the mind that directs it’? The hand ‘flickers’ with a life of its own, and comes to learn and know things through touch. It slips along, jumps to dot an i, gets cold or bored — in fact, has its own ‘rudiments’ of thought. ‘Why should I imagine that there is a me which is more me than my hand is?’ (P 533)


Evolutionary Logic Moral Scheme Foundational Status Body Dualism Mental Consciousness 
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  1. 1.
    Keith Ansell-Pearson, ‘Bergson and Creative Evolution/Involution: Exposing the Transcendental Illusion of Organismic Life’, in John Mullarkey (ed.), The New Bergson (Manchester and New York: Manchester University Press, 1999), p. 147.Google Scholar
  2. 3.
    Cited in Adrian Desmond and James Moore, Darwin (London: Michael Joseph, 1991), p. xviii.Google Scholar
  3. 12.
    Amit Chaudhuri, D.H. Lawrence and ‘Difference’: Postcoloniality and the Poetry of the Present (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2003), p. 128.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 17.
    Jean-François Lyotard, The Inhuman: Reflections on Time, trans. Geoffrey Bennington and Rachel Bowlby (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1991), p. 45.Google Scholar
  5. 18.
    Ansell-Pearson, ‘Bergson and Creative Evolution/Involution’, pp. 161, 159. The quotation is from Richard Dawkins, The Extended Phenotype (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1983).Google Scholar
  6. 22.
    Daniel Dennett, Kinds of Minds: Towards an Understanding of Consciousness (London: Phoenix, 1996), p. 30.Google Scholar
  7. 24.
    Raymond Williams, Problems in Materialism and Culture (London: Verso, 1997), p. 100.Google Scholar

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© Jeff Wallace 2005

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  • Jeff Wallace

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