Friday, August 18, 2017 Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 licence.

Doris Lessing


British writer, born Doris May Tayler.
Doris Lessing
There was a kind of shifting of the balances of my brain, of the way I had been thinking, the same kind of realignment as when, a few days before, words like democracy, liberty, freedom, had faded under pressure of a new sort of understanding of the real movement of the world towards dark, hardening power. I knew, but of course the word, written, cannot convey the quality of this knowing, that whatever already is has its logic and its force. I felt this, like a vision, in a new kind of knowing. And I knew that the cruelty and the spite and the I.I.I.I. of Saul and of Anna were part of the logic of war; and I knew how strong these emotions were, in a way that would never leave me, would become part of how I saw the world.
Lessing quotes
She might well wonder what took them so long. Doris Lessing is the ideal winner of the Nobel Prize. After all, the prize is about idealism, and was founded in the belief that writers can make the world a better place.
Lessing can depict the world as a terrible place, peopled by terrorists, in which the women can be as violent as the men, and war can describe the planet entirely.
But she never abandons the hope that the planet can be better, even if she has to imagine other planets to show how this is possible.
Lessing
Pearls mean tears.




Lessing Doris quotes
It was OK, us being Reds during the war, because we were all on the same side. But then the Cold War started. Almost overnight we became enemies of people who were close friends ó they crossed the street to avoid us.
Lessing Doris
None of you ask for anything ó except everything, but just for so long as you need it.
Doris Lessing quotes
Borrowing is not much better than begging; just as lending with interest is not much better than stealing.
Doris Lessing
The novel has become a function of the fragmented society, the fragmented consciousness. Human beings are so divided, are becoming more and more divided, and more subdivided in themselves, reflecting the world, that they reach out desperately, not knowing they do it, for information about other groups inside their own country, let alone about groups in other countries. It is a blind grasping out for their own wholeness, and the novel-report is a means toward it.
Lessing Doris quotes
My major aim was to shape a book which would make its own comment, a wordless statement: to talk through the way it was shaped.
As I have said, this was not noticed
Lessing
With a library you are free, not confined by temporary political climates. It is the most democratic of institutions because no one ó but no one at all ó can tell you what to read and when and how.
Lessing Doris
The point is, that the function of the novel seems to be changing; it has become an outpost of journalism; we read novels for information about areas of life we donít know ó Nigeria, South Africa, the American army, a coal-mining village, coteries in Chelsea, etc. We read to find out what is going on. One novel in five hundred or a thousand has the quality a novel should have to make it a novel ó the quality of philosophy.
Doris Lessing
What is a hero without love for mankind?




Doris Lessing quotes
What matters most is that we learn from living.
Doris Lessing
It isnít only the terror everywhere, and the fear of being conscious of it, that freezes people. Itís more than that. People know they are in a society dead or dying. They are refusing emotion because at the end of very emotion are property, money, power. They work and despise their work, and so freeze themselves. They love but know that itís a half- love or a twisted love, and so they freeze themselves.
Lessing quotes
It seems to me like this. It's not a terrible thing ó I mean, it may be terrible, but it's not damaging, it's not poisoning, to do without something one really wants. It's not bad to say: My work is not what I really want, I'm capable of doing something bigger. Or I'm a person who needs love, and I'm doing without it. What's terrible is to pretend that the second-rate is the first-rate. To pretend that you don't need love when you do; or you like your work when you know quite well you're capable of better.
Lessing Doris
Think wrongly, if you please, but in all cases think for yourself.
Lessing Doris quotes
The Golden Notebook for some reason surprised people but it was no more than you would hear women say in their kitchens every day in any country. ... I was really astounded that some people were shocked.
Doris Lessing
That is what learning is. You suddenly understand something you've understood all your life, but in a new way.
Doris Lessing quotes
Better Counsel comes overnight.
Doris Lessing
The current publishing scene is extremely good for the big, popular books. They sell them brilliantly, market them and all that. It is not good for the little books. And really valuable books have been allowed to go out of print. In the old days, the publishers knew that these difficult books, the books that appeal only to a minority, were very productive in the long run. Because they're probably the books that will be read in the next generation. It's heart-breaking how often I have to say when I'm giving talks, "This book is out of print. This book is out of print." It's a roll call of dead books.
Lessing Doris
Nonsense, it was all nonsense: this whole damned outfit, with its committees, its conferences, its eternal talk, talk, talk, was a great con trick; it was a mechanism to earn a few hundred men and women incredible sums of money.


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