Monday, April 21, 2008

Doris Lessing in the Telegraph

Piece from a UK paper on Doris Lessing, winner of the Nobel prize for literature in 2007. (This link is to the Nobel website - they also have a quiz, which I will take later and post, if I do well. If I do poorly expect never to hear of it again).

Anyway, in her interview (or article - this is more of a Reporter-at-Large bit) Lessing sounds, frankly, bad ass. She doesn't seem to care that she won the Nobel and actually denounces the committee as self aggrandizing! Apparently the YouTube clip of her hearing the news that she won is famous. (I had never seen it but really did enjoy it this time).

Her thoughts on her book the Golden Notebook are particularly interesting - she calls it "the albatross" and says its messages beyond the one regarding women's presentations of their lives was drowned out by feminists claiming ownership over it as a novel about the female experience.

Honestly, I don't know what this says about me, but when I read the Golden Notebook it took me until about page 500 (it's about a 650 pg book) to even hear the feminist message. And I am constantly looking for feminist messages!

By this I mean to say that literature really takes on a life of its own after the author releases it into the world - now, Doris Lessing obviously hears the critics and the establishment talking about her book but she doesn't hear from all the lowly quasi-ignorant bookworms like me who read her book and see all sort of things in it, including but not limited to feminism.

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