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By J. Wallace

This primary sustained examine of Lawrence and technological know-how exhibits how "posthuman" conceptions of a cloth kinship among people, animals and machines can rework our figuring out of Lawrence's paintings and its complicated dating with clinical epistemologies. via exact readings of evolutionary philosophy, and of the "new Bergsonism" of Deleuze and others, the ebook reappraises Lawrence by way of an "antihumanist (or posthumanist) humanism" (Hardt and Negri).

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Extra resources for D.H. Lawrence, Science and the Posthuman

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And physiology which became known, notoriously, as his ‘solar plexus philosophy’, and which he himself described as an attempt to write ‘pure science’. In the same drafts, he wrote that ‘there is no immaterial existence, no spirit’. We recall that, according to Ghiselin, the ‘uttermost mystery’ for Lawrence was the question of how the human animal came to say ‘I am I’. H. Huxley designated as the ‘question of questions’ for mankind and therefore, by implication, for science as he saw it: ‘the ascertainment of the place which Man occupies in nature and of his relations to the universe of things’ (MPN 52).

For his intelligence told him that ‘objectivity’ . . 29 It is not my intention here to elaborate detailed critiques of Leavis’s resistance to critical theory and of the mystificatory elements in his own, postromantic theorizing of literature. In fact, key elements of the critique of science he attributes to Lawrence will figure prominently in my own account of a posthuman Lawrence as this book proceeds: the undermining of ‘objectivity’, consonant with relativity physics and the placing of the observer within the field of enquiry; the status of science as ideological ‘commonsense’; the ‘deadly’ threat, identified by current ecological critique, posed by an ideology of ‘conquest’ over life as matter to be subjugated.

Lawrence, Science and the Posthuman, Jeff Wallace 2 1. ‘Born scientific’ As they worked in the fields, from beyond the now familiar embankment came the rhythmic run of the winding engines, startling at first, but afterwards a narcotic to the brain. Then the shrill whistle of the trains re-echoed through the heart, with fearsome pleasure, announcing the far-off come near and imminent (TR 12–13). In Lawrence’s novel The Rainbow (1915), the Brangwens of the mid-nineteenth century experience industrial technology in the body: the winding engines of the pit become ‘a narcotic to the brain’, the whistle of the trains re-echoes ‘through the heart’.

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