Saturday, February 2, 2008

Lessons from Lessing

I have to say that I've been inspired by the Nobel Prize for Doris Lessing. Not to win the Nobel Prize—although, of course, I'm always disappointed when the announcements come out and my name is not on the list in any category...I mean, I understand that the competition is fierce in literature and there's always the "they've-been-deserving-for-so-long-shouldn't-we-give-them-the-award-now?" syndrome. But really: I'm never nominated in any category and I felt like I had a shot in molecular biology this year.... And don't get me started on the MacArthurs!

But seriously, I read Lessing's short story To Room Nineteen when I was in high school and I was really intrigued by her writing. And that impulse used to spur me to action: I'd go out and get a bunch of the author's writings and devour them (I say used to because these days, even though I love reading and getting new books, my current stack of "I'll Get to Them Eventually" books outweighs any spur of the moment urges). For some reason, though, I never did that with Lessing. And I remember when I first moved to NYC, I lived in Queens and started buying books by The Great Authors I Never Read: Hemingway, Fitzgerald, Sinclair Lewis, Ayn Rand (loved the writing of The Fountainhead—hated the philosophy... but that's another blog...). I remember a few times thinking about Doris Lessing, but I never actually got anything.

So my inspiration is to add another book to my stack. I don't know which one it will be, but I'm going to drop by St. Marks' Books some day this week (trying not to use mega-stores these days) and see what they have. I'll keep you posted on my progress....

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