In the previous chapter, I began to trace out connections between the posthuman cyborg and Lawrence’s conception of ‘non-human human being’. In each of these versions of the human, the mechanical is delicately poised with the creaturely. A rationalist and materialist tradition, informing what Lawrence saw as the ‘adventure’ of thought, made it possible for him to align our moments of mechanism with organicist notions of instinct and intuition, conditions which make for the sensual ‘riches’ of human life. Such a sensuality disdains the Cartesian notion of a separate intellect, seeing intelligence instead as a whole condition of embodiment. In the theory of the solar plexus or ‘pristine’ unconscious, in the cultural alterity of Italians and Mexicans, in the lives of the British industrial working class, and in the striving of the Brangwens for integrity and fulfilment, Lawrence figured a challenge to dominant, liberal-humanist definitions of the human. A ‘transvalued’ discourse of mechanism can in Nietzsche an terms be seen as a significant resource for Lawrence in his confrontation of humanist taboos.


Vitalist Argument Oedipus Complex Cypress Tree Ritual Execution Materialist Tradition 
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© Jeff Wallace 2005

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  • Jeff Wallace

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