Saturday, October 13, 2007

Doris Lessing Shrugged off Winning the Nobel Prize and Is Currently the Coolest Woman In My Universe

The highlight of my week has to be watching this video (via Bookslut) of Doris Lessing being pounced on by reporters as they tell her she just won the Nobel Prize for Literature. I love that she couldn't care less about it. It seems to be a profoundly grounded personality, and that -- instead of the Nobel Prize -- makes me want to read one of her books.

Or maybe, at 87 years of age, she has simply arrived at a realisation of what is important and what is not. That seems to me the epitome of maturity and wisdom. I would like to be like that one day, to see things with her kind of equanimity.

Of course, like any geek, I googled Doris Lessing and came up with her statement about why she does not consider herself a feminist author:

What the feminists want of me is something they haven't examined because it comes from religion. They want me to bear witness. What they would really like me to say is, 'Ha, sisters, I stand with you side by side in your struggle toward the golden dawn where all those beastly men are no more.' Do they really want people to make oversimplified statements about men and women? In fact, they do. I've come with great regret to this conclusion.

~ attributed to The New York Times, 25 July 1982

I'm also interested in her partiality to science fiction, where she was quoted with this declaration:

What they didn't realize was that in science fiction is some of the best social fiction of our time. I also admire the classic sort of science fiction, like Blood Music, by Greg Bear. He's a great writer.

Doris Lessing just sounds more interesting as I read on. Wonder how this personality comes through in her books? Going to go google on Doris Lessing's titles now. Has anyone read her?

6 comments:

Dorothy W. said...

I loved her reaction to the Nobel news too. I've never read her, but she sure does sound intriguing, doesn't she?

Dark Orpheus said...

Oh yes - she seems to have it all figured out. So self-assured. What a great woman.

stefanie said...

I loved her Nobel lack of reaction too. I tried to read The Golden Notebook long ago, but it was not the right time. I have plans to read The Fifth Child next weekend.

Nymeth said...

I have never read her, but judging by the things you posted she really sounds like someone I'd be interested in.

Dark Orpheus said...

Stefanie Good luck on The Fifth Child. Is it going to be any good?

Nymeth Hey, so are you going to read her too? Nothing could make me interested in her books until that video of her being all nonchalant about the Nobel Prize.

stefanie said...

I hope so. My husband read it a few years ago and still raves about.