Passionate Portrayal of Things to Come: Doris Lessing’s recent fiction

  • Sydney Janet Kaplan


If it is dangerous to assess the work of a living author, it is especially so with Doris Lessing, who is twenty steps ahead of us whenever we try to place her in a critical framework or predict the direction of her work. Her own attitude towards her critics is highly ironic and she has questioned students about wasting their time dissecting only one book or even the works of a single author.1 As a critic then, I must face the fact that my current attempts to interpret Lessing may later appear foolish, but I also know that this body of work of hers is worth being foolish over. It intrigues me, worries me, infuriates me. How I hope her vision of the future will not come true! The clarity of her depiction of the dissolution of society, with its prediction of world-wide destruction and catastrophe makes many of her readers long to reject her prophesies, her rejection of the way most people live their lives.


False Memory Secret Message Ordinary Life Critical Framework Material Shortage 
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    D. Lessing, ‘On the Golden Notebook’, Partisan Review, XL (Spring, 1973) 14–30; The Golden Notebook, (London: Michael Joseph, 1962).Google Scholar
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Copyright information

© Thomas F. Staley 1982

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sydney Janet Kaplan

There are no affiliations available

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