Friday, 26 February 2016

Quoting Doris Lessing

"The great secret that all old people share is that you really haven't changed in seventy or eighty years. Your body changes, but you don't change at all. And that, of course, causes great confusion."
Doris Lessing

Doris May Lessing (1919-2013), born Doris May Tayler in Kermanshah, Iran, was a British novelist, poet, playwright, librettist, biographer and short story writer who was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 2007 - the eleventh woman and the oldest person (88 years and 52 days) to receive the Nobel Prize in Literature. In awarding the prize, the Swedish Academy described her as "that epicist of the female experience, who with scepticism, fire and visionary power has subjected a divided civilisation to scrutiny" (via).
In "The Golden Notebook" (1962), Lessing describes Anna Wulf's strive for honesty freedom from "the chaos, emotional numbness, and hypocriscy afflicting her generation", she "tries to live with the freedom of a man". Lessing was attacked for being "unfeminine" in the weay she depicts female anger and aggression. Her response: "Apparently what many women were thinking, feeling, experiencing came as a great surprise." "These attitudes in male writers were taken for granted, accepted as sound philosophical bases, as quite normal, certainly not as woman-hating, aggressive, or neurotic." (via)

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photograph of Doris Lessing by Inge Morath (1993), (c) The Inge Morath Foundation Magnum Photos via