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Schmidl, F. (1964). Oedipus in Nottingham: D. H. Lawrence: By Daniel A. Weiss. Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1962. 128 pp.. Psychoanal Q., 33:286-288.

(1964). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 33:286-288

Oedipus in Nottingham: D. H. Lawrence: By Daniel A. Weiss. Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1962. 128 pp.

Review by:
Fritz Schmidl

This book, written by a literary critic, is a psychoanalytic inquiry into the work of D. H. Lawrence. In a brief introductory chapter Weiss expresses his conviction that psychoanalytic thinking has value in interpretation of works of literature, yet cautions against 'reduction of literature to a limited number of preliterary elements'. 'At its best, then', he believes, 'psychological criticism should constitute a bureau of tragic or comic weights and measures, testing in the work of art for the organic, psychologically valid material'.

The chapters, The Father in the Blood, and The Mother in the Mind, present mainly an analysis of Sons and Lovers, an analysis fascinating not so much by its demonstration of Oedipal material in the novel (which is obvious), but by its sensitive elaboration of details and juxtaposition of passages from the novel with analogous passages from psychoanalytic literature.

In the chapter, The Great Circle, Weiss demonstrates that 'the less fully resolved relationship between the father and son in Sons and Lovers is the relationship upon whose psychic residue Lawrence was to draw for the rest of his life'. This part of the book is especially valuable. Discussing the sequence of Lawrence's writings after Sons and Lovers, Weiss describes the gradual changes in the novelist's presentation of an unsophisticated, sexually potent father figure. It is of great interest to see how the rather negative figure of the father (Walter Morel) in Sons and Lovers is replaced by the idealized figure of the gamekeeper in Lady Chatterley's Lover.

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