Saturday, October 13, 2007

How Doris Lessing Learned She'd Won the Nobel

It was just a nuisance she encountered as she arrived home from grocery shopping. "Oh Christ. . . Are you photographing us? . . . I'm sure you'd like some uplifting remarks of some kind. . . I'm trying to think of something really suitable to say . . . Look, I've won all the prizes in Europe, every bloody one, so I'm delighted to win them all. Now it's the whole lot, okay? It's a royal flush."

And another of many reasons to admire her:

All writers are asked this question by interviewers: “Do you think a writer should...?” “Ought writers to...?” The question always has to do with a political stance, and note that the assumption behind the words is that all writers should do the same thing, whatever it is. The phrases “Should a writer...?” “Ought writers to...?” have a long history that seems unknown to the people who so casually use them. Another is “commitment,” so much in vogue not long ago. Is so and so a committed writer?

A successor to “commitment” is “raising consciousness.” This is double-edged. The people whose consciousness is being raised may be given information they most desperately lack and need, may be given moral support they need. But the process nearly always means that the pupil gets only the propaganda the instructor approves of. “Raising consciousness,” like “commitment,” like “political correctness,” is a continuation of that old bully, the party line.

Noticed by Norm.


Blogger OregonGuy said...

Thanks! I needed that!

You're usually such an upbeat writer. I look forward to your posts.

1:28 PM  
Blogger Dirk Buchholz said...

The older one get the more one realizes most of the bullshit in life is just that,bullshit.Prizes are all so subjective anyhow.But that big fat check that come with the prize, well now that could be quit useful

3:31 PM  

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