Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Reading Doris Lessing : Part II

This entry starts from where this one ends.I'm nearly halfway through 'The Golden Notebook' and I'm pleasantly surprised by the simplicity of Ms. Lessing's style.I've grown more accustomed to some of the themes explored in the book, although I find a central theme rather elusive at this point.

A recurring theme in the book is that of the British Communist Party,it's modus operandi and the protagonist's strife with the party in general.I find her(Anna's) candid admissions about the party rather amusing;especially the general 'defensive and apologetic' air that ails all party members.The communists are far from being romanticized in this book,irrespective of whatever affiliation the author may have had with them.

Another theme is the way women relate to men,both physically and emotionally.Female stereotypes may exist,grow old and then vanish, but they all subconsciously yearn for the same thing;the comfort and security of domestic bliss.

Then there is the theme of writer's block and another one that I like to call writer's pride.I am a little disappointed with the treatment of writer's block.Perhaps all those witty Woody Allen flicks are to blame for my preconceived notions of it.On one hand Anna is reluctant to have her bestselling novel adapted for the small screen(one can't blame her,the offers are ridiculous) and on the other hand she seems to be recoiling in an endless cycle of self doubt.She prefers instead to log memories of her years in Africa and her sessions with a psychotherapist.

Anna maintains a separate notebook for her personal experiences(with men,her daughter and her friend Molly).I found it interesting that she writes it in a Kafkaesque manner;all the while referring to herself in the third person and giving everyone an assumed name(Note:Kafka's diaries have a fictitious quality just like Anna's journal).

I will post the next update when I have read a little more.

1 comment:

Ankita said...

I am reading her 'The Good Terrorist' and it's quite 'un-put-down-able'.