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Interesting introduction by Doris Lessing focused upon 'realism'. It is very comforting to return to this lovely writer and shows the wisdom of the saying that a certain quality of reading is closely related to intimate conversation: the reader must return the act of generosity.
In all honesty I got through the short stories and then had to return this to the library. It was refreshing to read a competent adult themed writer with a real gift for language. That seems to be missing in much contemporary fiction that reads like a précis for a film script. I'll be returning to a Lessing novel soon.
I enjoyed the first 4 short stories. she has a great style and her stories have a purpose, to make you think, see, feel problems. Her GOLDEN NOTEBOOK is one of my best one hundred and I only read some of it. I think I ll read all of this reader-short stories, excerpts from her novels, non fiction.
Took me five years of on-off trying and failing to read her novels, but I have now finally started to quite enjoy Doris Lessing. The short stories more so than the novel excerpts, though I to had to skim-read some of the more clunking bits. She's not a master of naturalistic dialogue. I may give her novels another go in the future. The non-fiction excerpts were perhaps the most interesting.
I remember reading her in college; I just don't remember why. Assigned reading perhaps. Maybe I've been reading SF/F too long, but most of the stories weren't terribly compelling, except for maybe "Sunrise on the Veldt". I liked the non-fiction selections better.
Both of her parents were British: her father, who had been crippled in World War I, was a clerk in the Imperial Bank of Persia; her mother had been a nurse. In 1925, lured by the promise of getting rich through maize farming, the family moved to the British colony in Southern Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe). Like other women writers from southern African who did not graduate from high school (such as Oliv ...moreMore about Doris Lessing...
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“The human being is given by Nature little more energy than what is needed to maintain the species; to reproduce and to live out our (very short) spans. But if we want to be fit for the journey up and out of the limits of ordinary life, we have to learn not to waste energy. Which we do by busying ourselves too much with material things, and by using our minds in wasteful and damaging ways. You will have seen that I am describing concepts familiar to us from religions, put here in a different context, rescued from being 'sins' or sources of guilt, reintroduced, simply, as tools. It is not 'wicked' to eat and drink too much, not a 'sin' to be envious, but gluttony makes 'the Way' difficult; and thoughts of enmity keep the mind in a seethe, making subtler inputs impossible. And, besides, laws operate that we have not been taught about, whether we have had the benefits of religions or not. Thoughts of anger, jealousy, enmity, revenge, bring retribution. There is nothing theoretical about this: slowly you learn to see patterns where before you saw nothing, because you were over-emotional.”More quotes…