Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Doris Lessing$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Susan Watkins

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780719074813

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: July 2012

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9780719074813.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM MANCHESTER SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.manchester.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Manchester University Press, 2017. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in MSO for personal use (for details see http://www.manchester.universitypressscholarship.com/page/privacy-policy).date: 16 December 2017

Writing in a minor key: Doris Lessing’s late-twentieth-century fiction

Writing in a minor key: Doris Lessing’s late-twentieth-century fiction

Chapter:
(p.119) 5 Writing in a minor key: Doris Lessing’s late-twentieth-century fiction
Source:
Doris Lessing
Author(s):

Susan Watkins

Publisher:
Manchester University Press
DOI:10.7228/manchester/9780719074813.003.0005

Doris Lessing's late twentieth-century fiction has often provoked and discomfited. Some readers of The Fifth Child (1988), its sequel Ben, in the World (2000) and Lessing's 1999 novel Mara and Dann were disturbed by her appropriation of racially marked stereotypes of the animal, the primitive and the atavistic. Such imagery has controversial implications in relation to ideas about ‘race’ and nation. Moreover, Lessing deploys what might be termed the ‘minor’ genres of urban gothic, picaresque and disaster narrative in her late twentieth-century work in unfamiliar and disturbing ways. In analysing Lessing's late twentieth-century ‘fabular’ fictions in relation to ideas about genre and ‘race’, Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari's discussion of ‘minor’ literature proves instructive. Deleuze and Guattari define minor literature as exhibiting three main characteristics: ‘the deterritorialisation of language, the connection of the individual to a political immediacy, and the collective assemblage of enunciation’. Thus, minor literature has a partial relation to nationality both linguistically and generically. Lessing's resistance to territoriality is the overriding concern of her 1987 collection of four short essays, Prisons we Choose to Live Inside.

Keywords:   Doris Lessing, Fifth Child, Mara and Dann, animal, race, genre, Gilles Deleuze, Felix Guattari, minor literature, deterritorialisation

Manchester Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.