วันเสาร์ที่ 7 เมษายน พ.ศ. 2555

Doris Lessing's Golden Notebook, 50 years on

Lessing's radical exploration of communism, the liberation of women, motherhood and depression has been hailed as the "feminist bible" and vilified as "castration". Four generations of writers reflect on what it meant to them

Diana Athill

course, reading

The Golden Notebook

soon as she left. Everyone does. But I took against him. I and most of my friends who were more or less the same age as Doris Lessing, was, like her, that the company was in a terrible mess and that socialism was the answer, so most of us flirted with the idea of ??joining the Communist Party. My own reason for not the end, it was that I knew I was too frivolous for the commitment required, and there was also a stroke of something more respectable in my motivation: I felt doubts the means justify the end, which made for an important part of communist thought. Those of us who have chosen not to join in the fun (mostly) did not have a hard time believing the testimony of Stalinist horrors soon to escape from Russia, because the evidence was stronger than the Communists devotions, which soon became impatient with a book full of detailed analysis of the dismay and anguish of party members when they faced the sad truth that had been accepted by all world for years. His situation was interesting, but not so interesting as that. Lessing's involvement with his comment made me think of the Holy Roman Emperor is an opera by Mozart, "too many notes." On this subject Lessing wrote "many words".

His other important issue, the situation of women, who appealed to me much more if it had not been for the complex structure in which she had chosen to end their tendency to exaggerate, and style. It seemed often become stiff, especially in the difficult dialogue between Anna and Molly. The mood switches that have occurred so often in these are not convincing and so obviously intended to illustrate the points I wanted to make Lessing. I liked your writing about his life before in Africa, which was relaxed and alive, and I went again when

The Golden Notebook


's who led to Africa but when he moved to London, became the awkward style. Tend to assert themselves, and I agree with Montaigne, that assertiveness leads to resistance. Although Lessing writes with emotion about the uncertainties and weaknesses of his female characters, there is a bit pompous solemnity - almost didactic - in the atmosphere in the

The Golden Notebook

as if the author does not seek the truth, but saying that she knows - always a dangerous thing for anyone to do

Or it seemed to me when I read it. Coming to herself, I find it easier to forgive the clumsiness of its structure, and stiffness - to admire the audacity of his ambition and be moved by his passion. It is certainly impressive, that threatens so important in the landscape of 20th century literature. But I can not say it was a reference book for me.

Margaret Drabble

The Golden Notebook

is a novel punching power and honesty of blisters. I first read about five years after its publication, when I was about 30 years and has had an enormous impact. I remember the excitement, terror and fear I've ever read, a semi-deranged is not unlike that of the narrator in Lessing, Anna, in her apartment in North London . He was a writer who said the unspeakable, the unthinkable thought, and without fear have left there, in all its raw emotional and intellectual chaos. He managed to make sense of their equipment, but the huge risk. Fortunately for me, I had already published three novels, and had three children to stay healthy. Otherwise I could never find my own voice. I could have the rails completely. is impossible to calculate everything you have taught me, and the warnings they gave me, but to start with motherhood: Lessing writes about the conflict between the mother and the life erotic liability which may keep a suicidal mother live in the middle of the break, the efforts (sometimes disastrous) to complete a career while raising a child. She never had time for aspiring writers who complain that pregnancies women to be silent or reduced their production: to work, it was preparing its opinion. She highlighted the problems faced by women writers as different from those faced by men, and although she vehemently rejected the label feminist, of course, read as a feminist. She spoke to us in the sexual confusion of the 1960s. As a feminist and a free woman, living a life of what was then striking promiscuity, its protagonist Anna Wulf shows a strange behavior of the traditional wife, who is even more surprising in the replay. On a page may be reported, but the surprising truth that "every woman who believes in his heart that if a man is not convinced she has the right to go to another. This is the first thing I thought stronger and regardless how could soften later in pity or convenience. "However, this same woman (albeit different writing in a notebook on his later life) is discovered to prepare a meal for the man she loves and know you are about to lose. Much care has been made to this definition describes a memorable piece of breaded veal cutlet with mushrooms in sour cream, a dish that never becomes morose eat. Throughout the novel it is women who do all the cooking and to make all cups of tea, even for men who had less than nothing. It's almost like a Kerouac novel. Yet both seemed liberating.

Liberator was actually all that frigidity discussion of menstruation and orgasm and. These guys were about to hit the magazines to help women, but had not quite, and we were surprised by this direct confrontation with the literary decorum. Anna excessive fear of their own body odor is alarming, not quite sure if it is intended to be neurotic, but at least by name. James Joyce called defecation, and Lessing called menstruation. Regarding orgasms - Well, we knew of Freud and Kinsey Report, as well as real life, but never seen written in this personal, descriptive, anecdotal, confessional way, aggressive. Again, the views of Lessing are both progressive and conservative. He gets sexually conservative views in the mouth of the Mother of sugar, the wise old Jungian analyst, but Anna seems to share, and there are many internal debates about whether a woman can have an orgasm with a man who loves if not that vaginal orgasm clitoral orgasm (which decides who is), and if a woman needs a "real man". I remember finding this concept of a "real man" of great concern at the time, and I still do. Anna, in its various manifestations, believes that most British are not real men. The few who are the real men are polygamous and infidels, but most men are not satisfactory - rude to their wives, unable to give pleasure, bullying, selfish, indifferent to their children, wanting to marry a young secretary. Even with a good heart comes too fast. No wonder that Lessing's work has been described as the breaking ball and "castrating", a word that is often raised. Women with experience had not written openly of its kind in the history of literature. It must have been terrible. The combination of polite silence was broken forever.

The insistence on the lack of real men is poured into a most disturbing homophobia that exposure of the heterosexual male vanity, and sexual insecurity. England is described as a country "full of men who are young children and homosexuals ... and half-gay, "and Americans were not much better. Ivor Guest and his partner Anna Ronnie are" frightened men who measure their emotions and heavy foods. " I noticed this censoriously 40 years ago, when homophobia was more prevalent than it is now, and seems even more offensive today. Lessing was not much interested in being fair and balanced. Anna / Lessing noted that the ratio of Ivor and Ronnie was illegal, and not a hint of speculation, which is why they behaved as they did. But she disagrees. She seems to have disapproved of lesbians, too, although brother-sister incest seems to be considered harmless. Lessing moral spectrum is full of surprises and challenges, and this is one reason why it is such an important writer. It takes very little for granted.

I did not leave much room for praise Lessing extremely innovative experience with the novel form, although this too deeply impressed me when I was young. It's not like anything else: it is in a different league from other experimental novels of the 1960s in the treatment of narrative, identity, tone, really. This is not the experience itself is in no way fun or modernist or postmodern, even if one of the passages I know by heart is where she writes: "Words play with words words, with hope that a combination .. even a combination of luck, say what I want ... Real experience can not describe ... I think, bitterly, as a row of asterisks, as an ancient Roman could be better. "


Lessing of truth, not ideologically experimental. Labels such as modernity meant nothing to her. When I was in China with her in 1993, we were introduced to our audience by a specialist teacher in China, whose field of study was Joyce. He describes himself as a scholar of modern times. "I do not call Joyce very modern," Doris whispered aside. She made her own place. He did not like categories. Not even recognize them.

Rachel defense

The Golden Notebook

is a radical work, whose character, however, is derived and is part of the literary tradition. Doris Lessing began writing a novel that was neither morally warped by politics and customs of their own reality, or had to deal with the deformation modernist techniques. But if

The Golden Notebook

is a traditional text

conscious, his ancestors are Stendhal, Tolstoy and Chekhov, not Jane Austen or George Eliot. The escape of the English novel has nothing in common with political realism and personal Lessing at all. Among the English novelists, as DH Lawrence is - despite being heavily - in the composition

The Golden Notebook

, and an aversion and rejection of Lawrence was inspired to be Lessing, too.

has a specific theme, this is the danger of the dissociation of the universal personal, subjective point of view that undermine - even undermine - the objectivity . Extraordinary achievement of the novel lies in its demonstration of subjectivity as basic as a life force, including confinement as Anna Wulf, discovered, causing the collapse of human identity. "Nothing is personal in the sense that it is only yourself. Writing itself is written on the other. "Early critics and readers of
The Golden Notebook

not see things that way at all. They saw a book written by a woman on a woman, and "customize" the novel meet the constraint against which he warns. Although the failure of Marxism is one of

The Golden Notebook
topics of great, Lessing admits that the intelligent reading of the text came first in most Marxist critics, who were able to "see things whole and in relation to others."

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