Friday, November 19, 2010

Aimless Reading: The L's, Part 7 (D.H. Lawrence)


Women in Love
Originally uploaded by Michael_Kelleher
Lawrence, D.H.
Women in Love


Purchased at the Fordham University Book Store for a course on Modern British Fiction, as I recall. It was taught by a professor named Phil Sicker, who I studied with several times, most importantly in his class on Ulysses.

I don't remember much about reading this book but I remember him discussing it. Two images spring to mind. The first is of Prof. Sicker describing a homo-erotically charged scene between two men wrestling playfully on the floor of a drawing room (I have no idea if this is an accurate depiction of the book). He used the word "clench" several times in a way that made it sound sexually explicit. ("Is there another way to use it," I wonder aloud to myself?)

The other is of him describing Lawrence's theory of the solar plexus as center of sexual energy in the body. I remember we all laughed -- I think he intended us to laugh so he could lead into his next point, which was that he had personally felt a charge in the area of the solar plexus in the heat of sexual abandon and that Lawrence may have been on to something. He arched his body and thrust his arms outward to depict the raw power of this sexual charge.

I remember his wife gave birth to a son around that time and they called him "Tycho," I believe after the Danish astronomer.

from Women in Love

Here's a link to the wrestling scene:

http://www.online-literature.com/dh_lawrence/women_in_love/20/

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Michael,
I just saw this blog because my son Tycho, now 20, found it and called it to my attention. Your depiction of my lecture - and my lecture style -- is entirely accurate. Thanks for the memories!
Phil Sicker

Michael Kelleher, New Haven, CT said...

Dear Phil,

Time does fly, doesn't it? Thanks for posting. Your classes meant a great deal to me. I hope you and your family are well!

Best,

Mike