Doris Lessing’s Nobel Prize in Literature
By Bernie Quigley for The Free Market News Network on 10/12/2007
Not since Harry Potter has literary critic Harold Bloom been sent so close to the edge, calling the award of the 2007 Noble Prize to Doris Lessing, “ . . . pure political correctness.” But the literature award to Doris Lessing is an important landmark.
Since war’s end, two books by literary figures have virtually changed the political landscape and the way we live today. The one is Arthur Koestler’s Darkness at Noon published in 1940. Koestler was an early communist and supporter of Joseph Stalin. But his later writing revealed to the West the delusional world of Marx and the widespread slaughter of millions it brought on in
Contemporary social conscience and cultural studies may be as Bloom might claim; weakling, suburbanized and tenurized nihilism; insidious work akin to that of the coat carriers and fellow travelers who Koestler indicted. But Lessing does not in any way belong to that crowd. She is one of the very last lions of the old school: Writers like Koestler, Jack Reed, Andre Malraux, the committed journalists at McClure’s Magazine like Ida Tarbell and Lincoln Steffens and their colleagues of the Lincoln Brigade in the Spanish Civil War. They were original thinkers who shook the world and men and women of enormous courage, ability and character who were neither daunted by the odds nor afraid to die for what they believed. And very often they did.