The Fractured Organic: Lawrence's Aesthetics

Fernihough Anne

in D. H. Lawrence

Published in print July 1993 | ISBN: 9780198112358
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191670770 | DOI:
The Fractured Organic: Lawrence's Aesthetics

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  • Literary Studies (20th Century onwards)


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This chapter examines Lawrence's concept of aesthetics, allegory, and symbol. The organic metaphor is a particularly complex and confusing one because it aspires to transcend its own metaphoric status, suggesting that melding of language and the natural world that Paul de Man saw to be the characteristic strategy of ideology. To say that a poem is a rose seems to be very different from saying that a poem is organic, and yet on one level they are equivalent statements. Christopher Norris and de Man state their arguments, but it is easy to see how D. H. Lawrence can turn such an argument on its head, arguing that it is in fact rational or scientific discourse, with its pretensions to disinterestedness, which employs what people would today call ‘the ideology of the natural’, which forgets its own rhetorical or metaphorical status and claims to be talking about the world as it is.

Keywords: organic metaphor; language; natural world; ideology; D. H. Lawrence; scientific discourse; aesthetics; allegory; symbol; Paul de Man

Chapter.  12971 words. 

Subjects: Literary Studies (20th Century onwards)

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