D. H. Lawrence: Self and Sexuality is a psychoanalytic study of D. H. Lawrence’s life and writings. James Cowan relies most notably the methods of Heinz Kohut, psychoanalytic “self psychology,” and employs as well the object relation theories of D. W. Winnicott and others. This work also examines sexual issues in Lawrence’s work from a literary and critical perspective, employing authoritative medical and psychoanalytic sources in human sexuality. Lawrence’s work, which was early read in traditional Freudian terms, has only recently been considered from other psychoanalytic perspectives. In this self psychological study, Cowan provides a new and path-breaking analysis of Lawrence.
Turning to several problematic issues of sexuality in Lawrence, the author first discusses a number of Lawrence’s sexual fallacies, and personal and cultural issues. Cowan also considers contrasting idealized and negative presentations of Mellors and Sir Clifford Chatterley in Lady Chatterley’s Lover, and the theme of the “loss of desire” sequence of poems in Pansies.