Sunday, October 14, 2007

Why Doris Lessing sucks

Sorry, to say (well, not really) I've never been much of a Doris Lessing fan (find her rather boring), but I was felt pretty indifferent to the announcement of her Nobel prize win until I came across this rabid, misinformed, cold war era, anti-communist article she wrote in 1997, which makes me want to gag. "Hi, um, Doris? you're full of shit."

Nothing worse than an ex-commie, (David Horowitz? Whittaker Chambers?) except of course an ex-smoker. And Lessing is both!

(I can't make proper links with my new computer yet, so this'll have to do for now.)

1 comment:

andromache said...

It's true that ex-communists can become the most rabid reactionaries - Doris was one of the first to heap praises on afghan mojahedin in the 1980s - but do we judge books by the politics of their authors? I call that stalinist criticism. Lessing's work is uneven, but at her best she's very good indeed. 'The 4-gated city' is a real assault on post-war britain's official optimism and the cold war, with prophetic and fantastical touches. 'Briefing for a descent'(1971) is a re-telling of The Odyssey, with sufi preoccupations about madness and inner space. Doris was intertextual before the word was coined. She loses my attention when she decides that the message is more important than style, but even so she's written 4 of the best modern novels in English. Her absolute lack of ambition, self-reference and sucking up the the reader are refreshing, too.