This Day in Death

11.17.13: Author Doris Lessing – DEAD!

Filed under: Dead —James @ 9:40 pm November 19, 2013

DORIS_LESSINGThere are already a lot of Nobel Prize jokes later in this post, so I’m not gonna dwell on the fact that that tacky box looks like Flavor Flav’s grill turned sideways. Restraint!

Novelist and social justice advocate Doris Lessing died Sunday, which will bother you a lot less if you’re racist and/or illiterate. So go ahead and take a long lunch, Alabama.

If you’ve ever been in some of the rougher hoods of ghettos like San Diego or Charlotte, NC, you’ve undoubtedly overheard some of the local gangbangers/book clubs refer to Lessing as a “peerless observer of the world she inhabits” and an “OG bitch who didn’t give a straight fuck.” Don’t mess with those guys unless you’re prepared to be shivved with the corner of a first edition copy of Wurthering Heights, is all I’m saying.

Among the bridges Lessing burned:

…the writer briskly rejected the label most frequently attached to her: feminist icon — particularly when applied to her 1962 novel, The Golden Notebook.

“Oh, it’s just stupid; I’ve seen it so often,” she said. “I mean, there’s nothing feminist about The Golden Notebook. The second line is: ‘As far as I can see, everything is cracking up.’ That is what The Golden Notebook is about!”

Lessing once refused to allow the Queen to declare her a dame of the British Empire, because — in the author’s words — “There is no British Empire.”



After learning she had won [the Nobel Prize], she said she was “very glad” but recalled that in the 1960s she had been told the Nobel Prize committee did not like her and she would never win one.

“So now they’ve decided they’re going to give it to me. So why? I mean, why do they like me any better now than they did then?” she said. [BBC]

Lessing also referred to her winning the award as a “disaster” for her writing. I know how that goes, which is why I keep prematurely sending letters to the Nobel committee declining to be considered for one. For me, the whole ceremony really lost its luster when they gave Larry the Cable Guy the Prize for “Gittin’ ‘Er Done.” Why the hell was Prilosec allowed to create their own Nobel category in the first place?

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