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PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2007 3:03 pm 
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I have always held the believe that Science Fiction (Not SF, or Sci-Fi), was schizophrenic,

On one hand, many intelligent people venerate writers like EE Doc Smith, Edgar Rice Burroughs, Heinlein, J R.R Tolkien, J. K. Rowling...

Yet, the same genre produces writers of such literary importance as H G Wells, Bradbury, Ballard, Vonnegut, Le Guin, Dick, Delany...

Notice I did not include Lessing.

For me, this division became a kind of personal reference point!

What I mean is that there was a common sense view of the world ( common sense as a science fiction fan is of course not what the man on the clapham bus would appreciate! ) which protects me from the complexities of the issues which reared its ugly head in the 20th century.

Also, there was a scientific realist view of the world, which could be used to counteract the 21st century .

Lessing Nobel prize has scattered this cosy worldview.

I am not particularly a literary man, but it was alway apparent that Lessing's SF novels were different, even more so than Ballard.

Le Guin, Ballard, Delany had IDEAS! That is not to say that Lessing does not have ideas, but the way Le Guin for example writes her stories required the reader to engage with the IDEAS in her stories otherwise the entire enterprize collapsed! In other words you have to conciously believe that the world created by these writers were POSSIBLE, and RELEVANT.

Lessing fictions seemed to me utter nonsense! The point of her fictions was not to offer POSSIBLITIES but to offer HOPE.

This is only response I can give to my reading of her SF novels 10 years ago.

The only SF writers like Lessing would be Brian Aldiss and Keith Roberts.

My understanding has been that while Lessing was good at making me feel funny emotions, she was not very important due to her not being interested in the REALLY IMPORTANT STUFF.

Now, that Lessing has won a Nobel, I wonder what I have missed???

I also find it strange that she consider her SF work as her best???

Should I invest the time to read Lessing non SF Work?

I understand that this posting will be controversial to some, but I recognise the emotional power of her SF works, and wished to be educated in the intellectual side which I did not observe on first reading.

Finally, what chance of say Ballard or Le Guin winning a Nobel?


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2007 3:37 pm 
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Chuffed for her. Chuffed that the Nobel crust has cracked a bit, especially as they once sent a man especially to tell her that she would never win a Nobel prize because they didn't like her. lol.

bbc link

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2007 4:24 pm 
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Great news. I can't help with vicarious reading of Lessing - as I find it difficult enough to gauge my own affective temperature vis a vis any particular texts. But I've enjoyed all her work, sporadically, over the years, SF and literary alike. Also pleased when Philip Glass based one of his operas on a Lessing SF novel. And I once sat behind her at a SF convention where she was reading the Independent before the panel started.

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2007 4:44 pm 
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Icarus wrote:
Chuffed that the Nobel crust has cracked a bit, especially as they once sent a man especially to tell her that she would never win a Nobel prize because they didn't like her. lol.

Just goes to show - a good way to silence your critics is to outlive them. :D

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2007 4:57 pm 
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"although Ms Lessing at the beginning of her writing career had a few admirable qualities, I find her work for the past 15 years quite unreadable ... fourth-rate science fiction."

What do you think?


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 23, 2007 10:55 pm 
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Doris Lessing, on Blair, Bush, Iran, and 11th Sept...
http://www.guardian.co.uk/usa/story/0,,2197556,00.html

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 27, 2007 11:05 am 
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Have to agree with Lessing's own assessment of her work: her SF work is her best and is none the worse for stressing subjective, collective evocations of reality rather than visible material possibilities. I also love how grumpy and uncooperative she is! Hardly surprising when you read what these snobs write about her.


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