Towards a Feminist Phenomenology of Blood Consciousness: Saturated Phenomena in D. H. Lawrence's Women in Love

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Sushree Routray


The experience of being in the world can provide a new feminist praxis attuned to women’s lived experiences in society. Feminist Phenomenology believes in the idea that gender influences one's knowledge of the world. Sexual and gendered embodiment is as crucial as the formalistic accounts of experience. D.H. Lawrence's underlying belief insists on the impossibility of getting a holistic understanding of the world through the Cartesian approach. His idea of "Blood consciousness" discards the dualism between mind and body. The embodied body makes a statement in literature by its desire to disclose being. Being in the world is not always rational. Body as embodied consciousness can form a basis for knowledge. Jean-Luc Marion introduced the concept of saturated phenomena. These are phenomena that offer intuition that exceeds our intention towards that event. Literature can recognise these saturated phenomena where the events exceed the purpose of Being. Lawrence's novels are bursting with saturated phenomena. Blood Consciousness deals with excess. Women in Love (1995) critiques the androcentrism of phenome­nology by engaging with women's world experience.  The novel challenges the mind and body dualism by expressing the inseparability of physical experience in gaining a concrete understanding of the world. The corporal centred epistemology of Lawren­ce allows him to be a writer who understands phenomenology.

Published: Nov 14, 2022

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Literature facing the challenges of the Anthropocene