Doris Lessing by Margaret Moan Rowe (auth.)

By Margaret Moan Rowe (auth.)

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Yet when examined closely the form of the novel yields a very tight structure, a control over fragmentation. ' 11 For all of Anna's comments about fragmentation and dislocation, ultimately the novel acknowledges the need to pursue integration, wholeness. Lessing's novel does not finally inscribe a post-modern view as that view is described by N. 12 In The Golden Notebook, Lessing presents sexual relationships as 'essential, unvarying com- 40 DORIS LESSING ponents of human experience'. Near the end of the novel, Anna Wulf describes her strongest need as ' "being with one man, love, all that.

Caroline, Martha's daughter, plays the role of double and riyal to her mother. On the one hand, Caroline secures the love and acceptance from Mrs Quest that Martha never realises in her relationship with her mother. On the other hand, Caroline embodies the potential which Martha at 21 feels she has squandered in marriage. Indeed, the hours alone with Caroline provide a strange stimulus to Martha'simagination as she begins to break through her own vagueness to an understanding of her situation: 'Two years ago, I was free as air.

Anna Wulf is not separate from ordinary life; she is immersed in it. Eleven years after the publication of The Golden Notebook, Iris Murdoch published her portrait of an artist, and a blocked one at that, in The Black Prince; her artist figure is the male Bradley Pearson. And while there are a number of startling similarities between the two portraits, the gender difference in the artist figures makes a dramatic difference in the range of experience described. 15 My agreement with Brownstein has to be explained with reference to Virginia Woolf.

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