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Literary Primitivism$
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Ben Etherington

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781503602366

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: May 2018

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9781503602366.001.0001

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D. H. Lawrence’s Narrative Primitivism

D. H. Lawrence’s Narrative Primitivism

(p.107) Chapter 6 D. H. Lawrence’s Narrative Primitivism
Literary Primitivism

Ben Etherington

Stanford University Press

Chapter 6 presents a detailed consideration of the style and narrative structure of D. H. Lawrence’s major primitivist work, Women in Love. It begins with Wyndham Lewis’s attack on Lawrence’s primitivism in Paleface, a book that undertakes an ironic defense of white supremacism, before considering how Women in Love pursues its own kind of “blancitude.” Finding that Lawrence’s prose “techniques of immediacy” are not sufficient in themselves to bring about primitivism’s end, it traces the narrative logic that pushes Lawrence’s characters to seek spaces beyond the perimeter of imperial civilization. The chapter closes with a discussion of Lawrence’s attempt to narrate a primitivist insurrection in his late work The Plumed Serpent.

Keywords:   D. H. Lawrence, primitivism, race, knowledge, Women in Love, The Plumed Serpent, Wyndham Lewis, Paleface, techniques of immediacy, blancitude

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