2006 年 2006 巻 16 号 p. 16-31
Aldous Huxley once pointed out‘the compulsion to change and movement’ in D. H. Lawrence. This compulsion made him respond quickly to the impact of the contemporary paradigm shift in the world of science and philosophy, that is, the impact of relativity theory and existentialist philosophy. In the early 1920s, he was under the influence of Einstein's Theory of Relativity and Russian existentialist Leo Shestov's refusal of European idealism. This paper will discuss how the reading and understanding of these contemporary thinkers influenced Lawrence's writings in the period of his exile from England. Then it will talk about how effectively Lawrence made use of their revolutionary thoughts in order to problematize the idea of the novel in Kangaroo.
Section one of the essay will explore Lawrence's poem‘Relativity’and a letter to S. S. Koteliansky which verify the influence of relativity theory and Leo Shestov's anti-idealism on Lawrence in the early 1920s. Then, by juxtaposing Lawrence's Kangaroo and Shestov's collection of philosophical essays All Things are Possible, section two will show how Kangaroo tries to describe the mutability of human thought and mood, the same motivation found in Shestov's book on human existence. Lastly, section three will highlight the fact that Lawrence's chief concern in writing this novel is to metamorphose an ‘emotional’ novel' into ‘philosophical’ one. He thinks that the new novel should deal not with static, established characters, but with the changing, unstable relationship between emotion and thought in human beings. Lawrence does not simply describe the changing human thoughts and feelings of R. L. Somers, the protagonist in the novel, but also describes his own changing thoughts and feelings. As modern physics blurs the boundary between the observer and the observed, Lawrence problematically blurs the boundary between the author and the protagonist in the novel. He does not separate the hero's philosophical speculation and his own as author in the act of writing, forming an integrated, but confusing entity in the narrative.