Quote of the Week: Doris Lessing

I suspect one could put together a whole book of notable quotes uttered by the winner of the 2007 Nobel Prize in Literature, Doris Lessing.

Since the publication of her debut novel, The Grass is Singing, in 1950, Lessing has logged a lot of miles, written a lot of books. One of the things she said today when she was told that she’d been awarded the prize was:
I can’t say I'm overwhelmed with surprise. I’m 88 years old and they can’t give the Nobel to someone who’s dead, so I think they were probably thinking they’d probably better give it to me now before I’ve popped off.
Although that's a fun quote, it’s not my quote of the week.

When asked how she felt about the award, she said: “Oh Christ ... I couldn’t care less.” Followed closely by, “I’ve won all the prizes in Europe, every bloody one, so I’m delighted to win them all, the whole lot, OK? It’s a royal flush.”

And while you gotta love that, it’s still not my quote of the week. For that, you have to go to her Myspace page (no, really) where she says:

“Think wrongly, if you please, but in all cases think for yourself.”

And that’s the quote of the week. Maybe the year.

Hat tip to Ed Champion for pointing me at Lessing’s Myspace page. I’m quite, quite sure I wouldn’t have found it myself.


It is a good quote! It was also about time she was awarded the Nobel. For all that she has her faults in her writing, she was too major and serious a writer to continue to be ignored.

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