Saturday, May 4, 2013

Sorry, Grayce, I Still Haven't Read Any Doris Lessing

After all these years.

March 27, 1976
I've been reading more Doris Lessing. I'm pretty impressed by her & will be sorry to run out of her soon -- only 2 more books to go.

May 5, 1976
Have your read anything really exciting lately? (Fiction) I have enough philosophy non-fiction to keep me busy. Doris Lessing is still on the top of the charts as far as I'm concerned. I just finished her Golden Notebook. I'm running out of her & I'm sorry. Maybe I shouldn't go on these binges, but I just can't wait.

May 13, 1976
Actually, I'm not bored by your letters because I'm very interested in you & what you are doing. I don't suppose we'll ever know each other so completely that we'll be bored...(because I believe that every single person is so complex as never to be fully known by another.) It's probably much better that way - -I'm not sure that delving into another person's depths is such a good idea -- especially since I'll never get to the bottom of my own. (Doris Lessing seems to have done this -- or so it seems in her Children of Violence series where the main character, Martha Quest, is herself.) While I'm on the subject of Doris Lessing -- does she interest you at all? I've recommended her to a friend of mine, an actress, & she says that she's gotten a lot from her. I would like to have a masculine viewpoint. We have been exposed to so few GOOD women writers, you know? & Lessing is one of the most insightful (maybe the most insightful) that I've come across. I'd just like to know if I like her because she's good & insightful, or because I identify with that she puts forth. Would you mind very much if I asked you to read some of her? The Children of Violence is a 5-book series -- maybe you don't want to start with that? The Golden Notebook is not her best in terms of style, but is very interesting & gives an idea of what she thinks.

June 24, 1976
P.S. If you do read any Lessing, read The Four-Gated City instead of Golden Notebook because it is more explicit about her ideas, I think. (It's the fifth book of a 5-book series, but it can be read without the others, I guess.

At which point Grayce throws in the towel.


Photo at left:  Grayce and Bev, with Forbes Avenue in Pittsburgh PA in the background, circa March 1974.  Five months later, the three of us graduated from the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Library and Information Sciences (GSLIS), since renamed.  (Spent a lot of time here.)

Photo at right:  Grayce's framing results in an "off-with-his head" pose.  Behind me, near the intersection of Forbes and South Bellefield, is the administrative headquarters of the Pittsburgh School District.  The Cathedral of Learning is looming to my left.

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