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Psychoanalysis and the Unconscious and Fantasia of the Unconscious Paperback – January 4, 2006


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Editorial Reviews

Review

"This is a fine new edition of two important books and one can only hope that it will encourage a more widespread discussion of them than we have had so far." - English Literature in Transition, Garry Watson, University of Alberta --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Book Description

Written in Lawrence's most productive period, the two essays Psychoanalysis and the Unconscious (1921) and Fantasia of the Unconscious (1922) propose an alternative to what Lawrence perceived as the Freudian psychoanalytic theory of the unconscious and the incest motive. In doing so they also develop his ideas about the upbringing and education of children, about marriage, and about social and even political action. They form an illuminating guide to his philosophy in general, and the thinking behind his other published works. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Dover Publications (January 4, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0486443736
  • ISBN-13: 978-0486443737
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 5.2 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #416,005 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By jdr on April 18, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Do not go into this expecting to get something out of it, political, scientific, or otherwise.

This book is a poem, immense, winding, dazzling, exasperating. Like Poe's "Eureka!", this book is subversive. It dangles the pretty psycho-physics or plexuses and ganglions only to keep your monkey mind distracted, so that he may trick your body, your blood, and your soul into seeing the beauty that the mind kills with its egoism and idealism.

The digressions are the clue to the whole: "We still have in us the power to discriminate between our own idealism, our own self-conscious will, and that other reality, our own true spontaneous self. Certainly we are so overloaded and diseased with ideas that we can't get well in a minute. But we can set our faces stubbornly against the disease, once we recognize it."

"It is the hour of the stranger. Let the stranger now enter the soul."

"To be alone with one's own soul. Not to be alone without my own soul, mind you. But to be alone with one's own soul! This, and the joy of it, is the real goal of love. My own soul, and myself. Not my ego, my conceit of myself. But my very soul. To be at one in my own self. Not to be questing any more. Not to be yearning, seeking, hoping, desiring, aspiring. But to pause, and be alone."

To be alone. To face the facts of reality and your own eternal ignorance. This is what Lawrence suggests you do. Be curious at your own risk.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By lingster on November 13, 2012
Format: Paperback
To the one star reviewer:

Fascism is the implementation of an idea. If you read this book or indeed any of Lawrence's writings with some attention it would be fairly obvious to you that what Lawrence is offering could not be more unrelated to fascism or any political system.

The first thing to get straight is that, taking it on his own terms, Lawrence is talking about a new form of knowledge that was more or less lost to the civilization of his day, but which is actually showing glimmers here and there today. For Lawrence nothing less than a radical mutation in our experience, a deep transformation not just in the way we 'think' about things but in the very way we move and have our being, the very way we percieve space and register time, can lead the human race out of its present crisis of deadness. And the discoverers of this new knowledge would be guided by revelation, absolute intuition. These would be the leaders of the new society, people who would be intuitively alive in the blood, in the bodily consciousness, not idiotic Fuhrers imposing their violent prejudices on the world. As Richard Aldington said, take it or leave it. But please don't get up with all that moral and intellectual criticism, as if your criticism was anywhere near the point.

Keats once said, "All axioms in philosophy are not axioms until they are proven in the blood". No one has had any problem with that. But in that statement is contained the crux of, to use a rather degrading word, Lawrence's 'method' in the Fantasia of the Unconscious.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By reading man on March 6, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Lawrence may have claim to be a great novelist (though I don't know whether his greatest claim is SON AND LOVERS or WOMEN IN LOVE, but I personally prefer the former), but as a "thinker", he's on the level of Henry Miller (one of his most ardent followers), Tolstoy at his worst, and a misogynist he outdoes Montherlant.

Why he held an entire generation of "serious" readers captive through his "philosophy" is an enigma to me.

Walt Whitman, a homosexual, is more to be trusted than Lawrence, a soi-disant capital-H heter, when it comes to "cosmic consciousness" and more mundane matters like love between individuals.

Why F.R. Leavis thought Lawrence was the most gifted writer of the 20th century is the apex of the perverse.

But do read SONS AND LOVERS if you want a Lawrence more than worth the effort.
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4 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Luc REYNAERT on May 4, 2010
Format: Paperback
Bertrand Russell called D.H. Lawrence a pure fascist. Why he did that, we can read in these abstruse, completely unscientific texts, which unveil the darker side of the author.

Unscientific
His `scientific' propositions can be childishly innocent, like `the great field of dynamic consciousness established between the four poles of the dynamic psyche, the solar plexus, the lumbar ganglion, the cardiac plexus and the thoracic ganglion', or `coition is the bringing together of the surcharged electric blood of the male with the polarized electric blood of the female'.

A very damaging fascist evangel
But, his romantic anti-rationalism and anti-science stance leads him to very damaging recommendations: `Ideas are the most dangerous germs mankind has ever been injected with. They are introduced in schools and by means of newspapers. Therefore, the great mass of humanity should never learn to read and write - never.'
For him, `understanding is the devil. We don't want to educate children so that they may understand. Understanding is a fallacy and a vice in most people.'
`I would rather listen to an (Afro-American) witch-doctor than to science.'

His perfect society
Society should be `built on a relationship of men towards men in a spirit of unfathomable trust and responsibilities, service and leadership, obedience and pure authority. Men have got to choose their leaders, and obey them to the death. And it must be a system of culminating aristocracy, a society tapering like a pyramid to the supreme leader.'
`It is the business of very few to understand and for the mass it is their business to believe and not to bother. When the leaders assume responsibilities, the populace (!) can again become free and happy and spontaneous.
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