give it a bang

For a few months now, both Rory and I have read Doris Lessing almost exclusively. We believe we know her quite well—her writing is very autobiographical, and on top of that she has written an autobiography taking up several volumes. Rory is currently reading ‘A Proper Marriage,’ book two in a series of autobiographical novels, and I’m reading ‘Under My Skin,’ part one of the autobiography (not to be confused with the autobiographical novels). So far, the titles are the only thing I don’t love about Doris Lessing’s books. This isn’t even a real gripe because I think Doris herself knew that her titles were bad, and she didn’t think it mattered. E.g. In her autobiography she mentions the title, ‘A Ripple from the Storm’ (part three of the autobiographical novels) which she ‘had thought quite witty, but nobody noticed.’ Rory, as far as I know, has no complaints about Doris. If he does, he probably won’t say. I can’t imagine him speaking ill of the woman who has become our shared God Parent. Quite often, when we need grown-up advice, we’ll wonder aloud what Doris would think. If we really want to feel sure about something, we’ll declare that Doris would agree. We really love and appreciate Doris, and we try to make her proud. I’ve even sacrificed the title of this blog-post in her honour, choosing the favourite expression of Binkie Maynard in ‘Martha Quest,’ the first in the autobiographical novel series, itself titled,  ‘The Children of Violence.’ If you don’t like my title, please read Martha Quest and see if you don’t start saying, ‘Give it a bang!’ at every opportunity.

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