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"Alone in a landscape": Lessing's African stories remembered

Walder, Dennis (2008). "Alone in a landscape": Lessing's African stories remembered. Journal of Commonwealth Literature, 43(2) pp. 99–115.

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In many colonial and post-colonial writers there is a dialectic between different forms of nostalgia that avoids the bad faith assumed by those (like Fredric Jameson) who denounce nostalgia as a de-historicising trend. From Doris Lessing's first 'African Stories' onwards, she suggests that the mythic Africa of her childhood, is at once a place of pain and suffering, and yet also th source of something that transcends, as it helps to put inot perspective, the human condition. As Mara and Dann shows, a nostalgia for the future appeasrs in her later work, as part of a sometimes fruitless search for new perspectives upon her past evident in The Grass is Singing and the Martha Quest series, as it is in The Golden Notebook and, most poignantly, 'The Old Chief Mshlanga'.

Item Type: Journal Article
Copyright Holders: 2008 Sage
ISSN: 0021-9894
Keywords: nostalgia; mythic; postcolonial; the absolute; Doris Lessing; African Stories; old Chief Mshlanga
Academic Unit/Department: Arts > English
Item ID: 18049
Depositing User: Dennis Walder
Date Deposited: 28 Sep 2009 13:40
Last Modified: 07 Dec 2010 15:20
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