“The shimmer is inside really”. D. H. Lawrence’s Resurrection Myth and Wilfred’s Bion’s Transformations in “O”

  • Emily Griffiths


I analyse D. H. Lawrence’s hostility to the application of Freudian theory to literature in his critical writings alongside the aesthetic theories he develops in his novels Sons and Lovers, Lady Chatterley’s Lover and The Man Who Died which are centred around the Christian mystery of the resurrection. Lawrence develops a life-affirming, reader-response theory of art with parallels to psychoanalysis and Christian theology. Employing the psychoanalytic theories of Melanie Klein and Wilfred Bion, specifically Klein’s writings on projective identification, the paranoid-schizoid and reparative positionalities and Bion’s epistemophilic concept of a transcendent position, “O”, I review second-wave feminist criticisms of Lawrence to posit that Lawrence develops gender epistemologically as a reparative model of communication. In response to Paul Ricœur’s notion of the hermeneutics of suspicion, I consider Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick’s Kleinian article on ‘paranoid reading’ to conclude that Lawrence aimed to represent a reparative relationship between art and criticism, reader and text. Freudian and feminist criticism often performs a “paranoid reading” of his works, an “error” Lawrence was sensitive to. Kleinian-Bionian psychoanalytic methodology aids in restoring Lawrence’s oeuvre to the spirit in which he intended it to be read whilst exposing the psychopathological foundations of his enterprise.


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How to Cite
Griffiths, E. (2021). “The shimmer is inside really”. D. H. Lawrence’s Resurrection Myth and Wilfred’s Bion’s Transformations in “O”. Critical Hermeneutics, 4(2), 137-162. https://doi.org/10.13125/CH/4661