In Sex in the Head, Linda Ruth Williams uses psychoanalysis and recent feminist film theory to analyze a network of ideas which link looking with sexuality and difference, in the work of a writer who disavowed, yet covertly enjoyed, the pleasures and power of vision. The book is a departure from the long history of feminist readings of Lawrence, in that it discusses his engagement with theories of the gaze and its cultural forms - cinema, photography, painting and the visual dynamics and metaphors of literary texts - as a way of thinking through gender. It shows him arguing, on the one hand, against the evils of cinema and visual sex, while relishing, through the eyes of women, the moving spectacle of those male bodies which populate the pages of his books. It also questions what it is about the work of such an adamant cinephobe which has made it so thoroughly adaptable for film and television.
Linda Ruth Williams is Professor in Film Studies at the University of Southampton, UK.