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The Destruction Phase of Lady Chatterley’s Lover

  • Charles Michael Burack

Abstract

In late October 1926, two weeks after telling Frieda he would “never write another novel,” Lawrence began writing Lady Chatterley’s Lover.1 He finished the third and final version in January 1928. His letters from that period indicate he powerfully identified with the novel and considered it as precious and frail as his self. Fearing public outcry and government censorship, he initially had no desire to publish the manuscript. Only after considering private publication did he resolve to rewrite and publish the work. While some critics have considered the novel one of the worst of his major fictions, he thought it a consummation of his creative efforts:

It’s what the world would call very improper. But you know it’s not really improper—I always labour at the same thing, to make the sex relation valid and precious, instead of shameful. And this novel is the furthest I’ve gone. To me it is beautiful and tender and frail as the naked self is, and I shrink very much even from having it typed. Probably the typist would interfere.2

In contrast to this positive self-assessment, even so extreme an advocate as E R. Leavis considers the novel overly “deliberate” and “calculated.”3 And Michael Squires, who has studied the novel’s composition, deems it “schematic” (168).

Keywords

Mental Life Destruction Phase Destructive Phase Dualistic Thinking Castration Anxiety 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Chapter One The Destruction Phase of Lady Chatterley’s Lover

  1. 3.
    E R. Leavis, D. H. Lawrence: Novelist (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1955) 74.Google Scholar
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    See Joan D. Peters, “The Living and the Dead: Lawrence’s Theory of the Novel and the Structure of Lady Chatterley’s Lover,” D. H. Lawrence Review 20.1 (Spring 1988) 5–20. Her analysis mostly underscores differences in concreteness in the metaphors in the two halves.Google Scholar
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© Charles Michael Burack 2005

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  • Charles Michael Burack

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