Doris Lessing’s Beautiful Impossible Blueprints
In ‘The Small Personal Voice’, an essay first published in 1957, Doris Lessing argues that the responsible artist should be ‘an architect of the soul’, a humanist working to strengthen good against evil.1 She is, and she has. Born in Persia, raised in colonial Rhodesia, her father embittered and mutilated by the First World War, Doris Lessing came to postwar England and found it wanting. Child of violence and of violent change, she creates unsettingly innocent observers, their perceptions sharpened by unfamiliarity and exile.2 Lessing maps our most urgent concerns: the collapse of empires and idealisms, the shadow of war and the Bomb, urban disaster and environmental ruin. The blueprints that she tests as remedies for these ills include madness, mysticism, apocalypse, Utopia and organic architecture; tests and discards, for she is always moving on.
KeywordsSugar Europe Coherence Beach Boulder
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- 12.Jenny Taylor makes this point at greater length in her Introduction to Notebooks/Memoirs/Archives: Reading and Rereading Doris Lessing (London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1982) pp. 1–42.Google Scholar
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