Nobel Prize Winner in Literature Doris Lessing passed away yesterday, but her legacy as one of the greatest British writers will live on. A thinker ahead of her time, Lessing’s space fiction, as stated by David Waterman in his book Identity in Doris Lessing’s Space Fiction, “treats the human subject as a political text, on which the dominant culture inscribes its mark, assigning to each the role that s/he is required to fill” and unflinchingly warns that “a society where groups of people form and then oppose one another is a society that is perpetually and hopelessly violent.”
Waterman further added that “in an interview with Margarete von Schwarzkopf, Doris Lessing reminds us (lest we forget) that it is exactly the ‘much longer story’ of humanity which must be our preoccupation, and our place within this whole: ‘[…] I have long recognized that the salvation of this world cannot lie in any political ideology. All ideologies are deceptive and serve only a few, not people in general’…People, after all, are / do matter. Material anchors ground everyday reality and identity, and Lessing’s space fiction does nothing if not insist that such hierarchies and group affiliations, which propose order and security at the price of isolation and conformity, must be abandoned if identity is to be understood on a universal basis, without credentials, without exclusion, and ultimately, without violence.”
No doubt Lessing’s writings which are an uncanny take on humanity and it survival will continue to resonate. RIP.
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