Doris Lessing wins the Nobel Prize for Literature!

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caliban
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Doris Lessing wins the Nobel Prize for Literature!

Postby caliban » Thu Oct 11, 2007 3:09 pm

Her "Canopus in Argos" series used a lot of SF tropes, and in interviews she has defended SF both in its classic form and for its social vision. (see http://www.dorislessing.org/boston.html )

HB: You're also open to science fiction, and write about how parochial literary fiction is by comparison.

DL: Well, some of it. In England we have, as you probably know, the perennial English novel -- extremely good, wonderful,sensitive novels. And they come out every year and are suffocating as far as I'm concerned with their tight little horizons.

HB: You got savaged when you started writing your series of science fiction novels. John Leonard, in the New York Times,wrote about The Making of the Representative for Planet 8, that, "One of the many sins for which the 20th century will be heldaccountable is that it has discouraged Mrs. Lessing....She now propagandizes on behalf of our insignificance in the cosmicrazzmatazz." He felt you had ceased to care.

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


I have only read one of them--I forget which--very different, wild and challenging stuff.

Unfortunately the SF ghetto mentality often sneers at her kind of literary SF, but we should be open to all kinds of voices.
"Results! Why, man, I have gotten a lot of results. I know several thousand things that won't work." --Thomas A. Edison

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Postby Windwalker » Thu Oct 11, 2007 3:26 pm

She richly deserves the prize. Her mid-period novels and short stories are unparalleled. Also, besides Canopus in Argos she wrote the five Martha Quest (Children of Violence) books, which start as entirely realistic and shade into SF at the end.
For I come from an ardent race
That has subsisted on defiance and visions.

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Postby intrigued_scribe » Sat Oct 13, 2007 10:34 pm

I'm not familiar with Doris Lessing's work, but I may have to track down some of it; it sounds like highly gripping, exceptional stuff.

Heather


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