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      Erotic Class Masquerade: Sex and Working-Class Dialect in D.H. Lawrence’s Lady Chatterley’s Lover

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          Abstract

          This article examines the inter-class relationship between Lady Connie Chatterley and gamekeeper Oliver Mellors in D.H. Lawrence’s Lady Chatterley’s Lover (1928) and the novel’s startling, but tantalizing triangulation of sex, class, and language. By analysing occasions of sexual and linguistic role playing through the lens of Bakhtin’s theory of the carnival, this article demonstrates how class-based hierarchies are (temporarily) upended through eroticized and performative inversions of classed labour and language, a narrative practice I call erotic class masquerade. In examining the novel’s allegedly obscene provocative content, overt discussions of sex, use of profanity, and the representation of working-class dialect, this article reconsiders these features as avant-garde aesthetic innovations. This reading ultimately proposes that the novel’s imagining of class subjectivity extends far beyond economic and hierarchical distinctions and delves deep into the realms of the aesthetic and the sexual. By re-reading this infamous novel with new attention to these narrative practices, I suggest that Lady Chatterley’s Lover be re-evaluated for its simultaneous contributions to avant-garde and working-class studies.

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          Most cited references 4

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          ‘Lady Chatterley’s Gamekeeper.’

           J. MEYERS (2017)
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            ‘“Lady Chatterley’s Lover” on Trial.’

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              ‘Language and Experience in Lady Chatterley’s Lover.’

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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                Journal
                2056-6700
                Open Library of Humanities
                Open Library of Humanities
                2056-6700
                30 April 2020
                2020
                : 6
                : 1
                Affiliations
                [1 ]Brandeis University Waltham, Massachusetts, US
                Article
                10.16995/olh.456
                Copyright: © 2020 The Author(s)

                This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC-BY 4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. See http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.

                Categories
                The working-class avant-garde

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