Tuesday, November 14, 2006

About Doris Lessing

The Adventures of Doris Lessing, including her condescension and contradictions, ostensibly a review of two of her books but referring to very many and with some biographical detail, as told by John Leonard in The New York Review of Books, who sums up:

Except that so often she is the only grownup in the room. For a dervish, Lessing's not exactly light on her feet. Lofty and heavy, dogged and relentless, stubborn and punitive, she wears you down. It's as if she knows so much, and so much better, that we have to carry her around — as Dann carried the snow dog to safety — all the way to Stockholm for a Nobel Prize long overdue. She has written tens of thousands of pages, many of them slapdash, millions of words, none of them mushy, one masterwork, The Golden Notebook, and may be the twentieth century's least ingratiating great novelist, whose fatalism is often difficult to distinguish from complacency, and who is harder on women than on men: there is "a basic female ruthlessness," she has said, "female unregenerate, and it comes from a much older time than Christianity or any other softener of savage moralities. It is my right."

Much to think about in this essay, and many, many more books by Doris Lessing for me to read....

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