Menu
Skip Navigation Links.

Quotes From Famous Authors

A •  B •  C •  D •  E •  F •  G •  H •  I •  J •  K •  L •  M •  N •  O •  P •  Q •  R •  S •  T •  U •  V •  W •  Y •  Z • 

Doris May Lessing Facts

Doris May Lessing was a British-Zimbabwean (Rhodesian) novelist. She was born to British parents in Iran, where she lived until 1925. Her family then moved to Southern Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe), where she remained until moving in 1949 to London, England. Lessing was awarded the 2007 Nobel Prize in Literature. In awarding the prize, the Swedish Academy described her as "that epicist of the female experience, who with scepticism, fire and visionary power has subjected a divided civilisation to scrutiny". (1919-2013)

Quotes by Doris May Lessing

A foolhardy lot, we accepted it all, as we always do, never asked: "What is going to happen to us now, with this invention of print?" In the same way, we never thought to ask, "How will our lives, our way of thinking, be changed by the internet, which has seduced a whole generation?"
Doris Lessing

Afterwards we look back, amazed. Did I really do that? Believe that? Fall for that bit of propaganda? Think that all our enemies were evil? That all our own nation's acts were good? How could I have tolerated that state of mind, day after day, month after month - perpetually stimulated, perpetually whipped up into emotions that my mind was meanwhile quietly and desperately protesting against?
Doris Lessing

Anyone who reads history at all knows that the passionate and powerful convictions of one century usually seem absurd, extraordinary, to the next.
Doris Lessing /Prisons We Choose to Live Inside/

Art is the Mirror of our betrayed ideals.
Doris Lessing /The Golden Notebook/

As everybody knows, money is getting very short in Britain, university departments are closing, all kinds of studies are being cut. This type of a science has been badly affected, often the first to be cut -- yet I have just read that in various universities, departments studying psychology, social science and so forth have been reprieved, because of their usefulness to industry. In other words, they are proving their value where it counts.
Doris Lessing /Prisons We Choose to Live Inside/

As in the political sphere, the child is taught that he is free, a democrat, with a free will and a free mind, lives in a free country, makes his own decisions. At the same time he is a prisoner of the assumptions and dogmas of his time, which he does not question, because he has never been told they exist. By the time a young person has reached the age when he has to choose (we still take it for granted that a choice is inevitable) between the arts and the sciences, he often chooses the arts because he feels that here is humanity, freedom, choice. He does not know that he is already moulded by a system: he does not know that the choice itself is the result of a false dichotomy rooted in the heart of our culture.
Doris Lessing

Children should be taught about history not as is usually the case now, that this is the record of long past events, which one ought to know about for some reason or other. But that this is a story from which one may learn not only what has happened, but what may, and probably will, happen again.
Doris Lessing

Ideally, what should be said to every child, repeatedly, throughout his or her school life is something like this: 'You are in the process of being indoctrinated. We have not yet evolved a system of education that is not a system of indoctrination. We are sorry, but it is the best we can do. What you are being taught here is an amalgam of current prejudice and the choices of this particular culture. The slightest look at history will show how impermanent these must be. You are being taught by people who have been able to accommodate themselves to a regime of thought laid down by their predecessors. It is a self-perpetuating system. Those of you who are more robust and individual than others will be encouraged to leave and find ways of educating yourself — educating your own judgements. Those that stay must remember, always, and all the time, that they are being moulded and patterned to fit into the narrow and particular needs of this particular society.
Doris Lessing /The Golden Notebook/

Imagine us saying to children: "In the last fifty or so years, the human race has become aware of a great deal of information about its mechanisms; how it behaves, how it must behave under certain circumstances. If this is to be useful, you must learn to contemplate these rules calmly, dispassionately, disinterestedly, without emotion. It is information that will set people free from blind loyalties, obedience to slogans, rhetoric, leaders, group emotions."
Doris Lessing

In university they don't tell you that the greater part of the law is learning to tolerate fools.
Doris Lessing

It is interesting to speculate: what country, what nation, when, and where, would have undertaken a programme to teach its children to be people to resist rhetoric, to examine the mechanisms that govern them?
Doris Lessing

It is terrible to destroy a person's picture of himself in the interests of truth or some other abstraction.
Doris Lessing

Literature and history, these two great branches of human learning, records of human behaviour, human thought, are less and less valued by the young, and by educators, too. Yet from them one may learn how to be a citizen and a human being. We may learn how to look at ourselves and at the society we live in, in that calm, cool, critical and sceptical way which is the only possible stance for a civilized human being, or so have said all the philosophers and the sages.
Doris Lessing

Often the mass emotions are those which seem the noblest, best and most beautiful. And yet, inside a year, five years, a decade, five decades, people will be asking, "How could you have believed that?" because events will have taken place that will have banished the said mass emotions to the dustbin of history.
Doris Lessing /Prisons We Choose to Live Inside/

Often the mass emotions are those which seem the noblest, best and most beautiful. And yet, inside a year, five years, a decade, five decades, people will be asking, “How could they have believed that?” because events will have taken place that will have banished the said mass emotions to the dustbin of history.
Doris Lessing /Prisons We Choose to Live Inside/

Political correctness is the natural continuum from the party line. What we are seeing once again is a self-appointed group of vigilantes imposing their views on others. It is a heritage of communism, but they don't seem to see this.
Doris Lessing

Poor economies breed tyrannies.
Doris Lessing /Prisons We Choose to Live Inside/

Remember that the book which bores you when you are twenty or thirty will open doors for you when you are forty or fifty-and vise versa. Don’t read a book out of its right time for you.
Doris Lessing

That is what learning is. You suddenly understand something you've understood all your life, but in a new way.
Doris Lessing

The demand that stories must be “about” something is from Communist thinking and, further back, from religious thinking, with its desire for self-improvement books as simple-minded as the messages on samplers.
Doris Lessing

The phrase “political correctness” was born as Communism was collapsing... It troubles me that political correctness does not seem to know what its exemplars and predecessors are; it troubles me more that it may know and does not care. Does political correctness have a good side? Yes, it does, for it makes us re-examine attitudes, and that is always useful. The trouble is that, with all popular movements, the lunatic fringe so quickly ceases to be a fringe; the tail begins to wag the dog. For every woman or man who is quietly and sensibly using the idea to examine our assumptions, there are 20 rabble-rousers whose real motive is desire for power over others, no less rabble-rousers because they see themselves as anti-racists or feminists or whatever.
Doris Lessing

There is no doubt fiction makes a better job of the truth.
Doris Lessing

This world is run by people who know how to do things. They know how things work. They are *equipped.* Up there, there's a layer of people who run everything. But we -- we're just peasants. We don't understand what's going on, and we can't do anything. ...You, running about playing at revolutions, playing little games, thinking you're important. You're just peasants, you'll never *do* anything.
Doris Lessing /The Good Terrorist/

Trust no friend without faults, and love a woman, but no angel.
Doris Lessing

Very few people really care about freedom, about liberty, about the truth, very few. Very few people have guts, the kind of guts on which a real democracy has to depend. Without people with that sort of guts a free society dies or cannot be born.
Doris Lessing /The Golden Notebook/

We are all of us, to some degree or another, brainwashed by the society we live in. We are able to see this when we travel to another country, and are able to catch a glimpse of our own country with foreign eyes..
Doris Lessing

Sponsored Links