Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Old Notes

I was going through some old notes for Doris Lessing's The Golden Notebook when I came across this recycled phrase on my notepad that never found its way into my paper: “Why can’t we say something like this—we are people, because of the accident of how we were situated in history, who were so powerfully part—but only in our imaginations, and that’s the point—with the great dream, that now we have to admit that the great dream has faded and the truth is something else—that we’ll never be any use” (51). This line comes from Anna who is debating with Molly over issues such as gender equality and the fall of the Communist Party in the late 1950s. The book, of course, deals heavily with these issues, and yet, so many of its queries and commentary on 1950s British society could apply to so many other countries and times. How effective is a philosophy like socialism when it counteracts its positive impact by its very underpinnings and workings? This is something Anna has to come to terms with throughout novel as she evaluates how effective her work has been for the CP.

I like this quote a lot though, even though it never found its way into my paper. I guess one reason why was because this quote didn't really impact the second-wave feminist reading of the text that I was going for. However, I think one reason I copied it out was because I was reading this novel during the election season last year. I always think about my own reason for existence and the effective-ness my life has had on people around me. And it seems that at least in this renunciation made by Anna to Molly that they both have to admit their own redundancy, something that people struggle with all that time I think. How much of our life is accident or chance and how much "written"/fated? And is that what truly distinguishes humans from so many other species and even intra-species--that we are nothing more than accidents who think more of themselves. Just some thoughts to ponder...

5 comments:

saragraph said...

i like this. fitting for this/my/our moment.

Anonymous said...

What do you think of Whisper House?

Laminated Fragments said...

I think it (Whisper House) is pretty good. Plan on seeing a blog about it by the end of the month. I am trying to listen to it as much as I can. There is all this great stuff on his website too about the origins of the CD and stories associated with it. I would like to have more time to look at this and what not. I did/will kind of note that it is very slow. There are mostly slower "ballads" than more rhythmic speedier songs.

Sam said...

Even if all life was just redundancy- surely you would be the redundancy of brilliance (and I mean that in both senses of the definition. Your intelligence bounces off of the people around you and so does the warmth of your bright spirit.) I love you! Just needed to say that to you today. xoxo Sam

Laminated Fragments said...

Thanks Sam. Love you, too!