Journal Article

LAWRENCE AND BATAILLE: RECOVERING THE SACRED, RE–MEMBERING JESUS

Terry R. Wright

in Literature and Theology

Volume 13, issue 1, pages 46-75
Published in print March 1999 | ISSN: 0269-1205
Published online March 1999 | e-ISSN: 1477-4623 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/litthe/13.1.46
LAWRENCE AND BATAILLE: RECOVERING THE SACRED, RE–MEMBERING JESUS

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Lawrence and Bataille share a number of characteristics, including a passion for Nietzsche, for religious anthropology and for the occult. They abhor both conventional orthodoxy and modernity, seeing the sacred as the transgression of bourgeous values. They remain, like their mentor, fascinated with the figure of Jesus, whom their fiction re–invests with transgressive, sexual characteristics Bataille concentrates on the crucified Christ, Lawrence on the Risen Lord, most memorably in The Escaped Cock and Lady Chatterley's Lover, both of which present a fully human Jesus, endowed with a sexuality of which his more conventional followers were afraid. This aspect of Lawrence's late work, it is claimed, benefits from the theoretical framework Bataille can provide.

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Subjects: Literature ; Religion and Art, Literature, and Music

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