The first column about the novel outlines its structure, the multiple narratives told in separate notebooks.
She finally writes the golden notebook, where she is reconciled to her different stories of herself. "It's been necessary to split myself up, but from now on I shall be using one only."
(This novel affected me deeply, yet I've been unable to write about it. I recognize in myself multiple paths, tangled. They initially seem to veer off in opposite directions, but I can't follow all of them to their logical conclusion, so they come to overlay each other and fold back in. Over the years, I've lost the ability to compartmentalize — I no longer switch hats with ease, but wear them all at the same time. In some ways I think of this blog as my golden notebook, the integration of my fragmentary self.)
John Mullan is discussing The Golden Notebook with Doris Lessing today — how badly do I wish I could be there! — and will be podcast.
Everyone is invited to discuss the novel online. Maybe I'll finally piece together some of my thoughts.