Doris Lessing


Doris Lessing Quotes

  • ''"I suppose with the French Revolution for a father and the Russian Revolution for a mother, you can very well dispense with a family," he observed.''
    Doris Lessing (b. 1919), British novelist. Mr. Maynard to Martha Quest, in A Proper Marriage, pt. 4, ch. 4, p. 345, Simon and Schuster (1952).
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  • ''If a fish is the movement of water embodied, given shape, then cat is a diagram and pattern of subtle air.''
    Doris Lessing (b. 1919), British novelist. Particularly Cats, ch. 2 (1967).
  • ''What is charm then? The free giving of a grace, the spending of something given by nature in her role of spendthrift ... something extra, superfluous, unnecessary, essentially a power thrown away.''
    Doris Lessing (b. 1919), British novelist. Particularly Cats, ch. 9 (1967).
  • ''Literature is analysis after the event.''
    Doris Lessing (b. 1919), British novelist. Quoted in "Afterwords," sect. 2, Children of Albion: Poetry of the Underground in Britain, ed. Michael Horovitz (1969).
  • ''What a phenomenon it has been—science fiction, space fiction—exploding out of nowhere, unexpectedly of course, as always happens when the human mind is being forced to expand; this time starwards, galaxy-wise, and who knows where next.''
    Doris Lessing (b. 1919), British novelist. Some remarks, Shikasta, p. x, Knopf (1971).
  • ''You can't be a Red if you're married to a civil servant.''
    Doris Lessing (b. 1919), British novelist. Stella to Martha Quest, in A Proper Marriage, ch. 1, p. 20, Simon and Schuster (1952).
  • ''The great secret that all old people share is that you really haven't changed in seventy or eighty years. Your body changes, but you don't change at all. And that, of course, causes great confusion.''
    Doris Lessing (b. 1919), British novelist. Sunday Times: Books (London, May 10, 1992).
  • ''It is terrible to destroy a person's picture of himself in the interests of truth or some other abstraction.''
    Doris Lessing (b. 1919), British novelist. The Grass Is Singing, ch. 2 (1950).
  • ''When old settlers say "One has to understand the country," what they mean is, "You have to get used to our ideas about the native." They are saying, in effect, "Learn our ideas, or otherwise get out; we don't want you."''
    Doris Lessing (b. 1919), British novelist. The Grass is Singing, ch. 1 (1950).
  • ''So that this beautiful realm of hers was held in her mind extended, or lengthened: it had been finite, bounded, known utterly and in every detail, self-enclosed ... but now it lapped and rippled out and upwards beyond there into hinterlands that were like unknown possibilities in her own mind.''
    Doris Lessing (b. 1919), British novelist. Al*Ith, in The Marriages Between Zones Three, Four, and Five, p. 61, Knopf (1980).

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