The affront of otherness in D. H. Lawrence's writings on travel

Bateman, William George (2022). The affront of otherness in D. H. Lawrence's writings on travel. University of Birmingham. Ph.D.

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This thesis addresses the affront of otherness in D. H. Lawrence’s writings on travel. It offers the first extended study of Lawrence’s writings in relation to the ontological and epistemological concerns of literary impressionism. It demonstrates how literary impressionism, as a way of engaging with the world, can illuminate the generative affront of otherness in these works. The thesis provides an effective and necessary framework for linking up existing critical approaches to the problem of otherness in Lawrence’s writings. It is structured around three methods for approaching otherness in Lawrence’s travel writings. The first method establishes how Lawrence’s responses to the affront of otherness can be usefully situated in relation to Ford Madox Ford’s ideas concerning the nature of the impression, and the theory and practice of impressionism. The second method addresses Lawrence’s Mexico and New Mexico writings. It illustrates how his open-ended responses to otherness reflect an underlying hopefulness through comparison with Ernst Bloch’s notion of the not-yet conscious. It shows how Lawrence anticipates, in rendering the impression of otherness, the possibility of determining a more intuitive understanding of the relationship between the self and the circumambient universe. The third method considers Lawrence’s Etruscan sketches and demonstrates how his attitudes towards historiography illuminate the imaginative and educative value he attaches to the encounter with otherness. In its synthesis of critical approaches, the thesis breaks new ground in two ways. Firstly, it uses the term ‘the affront of otherness’ to theorise how Lawrence’s writing productively mediates the relationship between self and other. Secondly, it demonstrates how the ontological and epistemological concerns of literary impressionism can aid us in tracing the developing nature of Lawrence’s ideas, and his sustained interest in the suggestive and educational power of otherness.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
Licence: All rights reserved
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Arts & Law
School or Department: School of English, Drama and Creative Studies, Department of English Literature
Funders: Arts and Humanities Research Council
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PR English literature


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