Doris Lessing: Sufi Equilibrium and the Form of the Novel

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St. Martin's Press, 1994 - Literary Criticism - 279 pages
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This book charts the rationale of Doris Lessing's development in the context of Sufi as well as Western theories - a cultural hyhrid which proves useful in explaining many areas of misunderstanding in her canon. By tracing myriad sources from Oriental literature, this study uncovers many areas that have not yet been explored and unlocks the significance of the 'Mandala symbols' which are instructive in understanding Doris Lessing's later writings. The sections on Memoirs of a Survivor and Shikasta are particularly interesting as they provide unprecedented sources especially in relation to Oriental literature and its connection with the modern theory of the novel. The interaction between Eastern and Western approaches is thus illuminating in understanding Lessing's oeuvre and sheds light on many aspects of her writings. It provides a key to her extraordinary vision - one that incorporates more than one level and transcends cultural limitations.

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