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Doris Lessing quotes (29)

A simple grateful thought turned heavenwards is the most perfect prayer.
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Any human anywhere will blossom in a hundred unexpected talents and capacities simply by being given the opportunity to do so.
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Borrowing is not much better than begging; just as lending with interest is not much better than stealing.
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For the last third of life there remains only work. It alone is always stimulating, rejuvenating, exciting and satisfying.
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I don't know much about creative writing programs. But they're not telling the truth if they don't teach, one, that writing is hard work, and, two, that you have to give up a great deal of life, your personal life, to be a writer.
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If a fish is the movement of water embodied, given shape, then cat is a diagram and pattern of subtle air.
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In the writing process, the more a story cooks, the better.
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In university they don't tell you that the greater part of the law is learning to tolerate fools.
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It is terrible to destroy a person's picture of himself in the interests of truth or some other abstraction.
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It is the mark of great people to treat trifles as trifles and important matters as important.
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Literature is analysis after the event.
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Man, who is he? Too bad, to be the work of God: Too good for the work of chance!
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Pearls mean tears.
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Pleasure resorts are like film stars and royalty... embarrassed by the figures they cut in the fantasies of people who have never met them.
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Small things amuse small minds.
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Some people obtain fame, others deserve it.
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Space or science fiction has become a dialect for our time.
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That is what learning is. You suddenly understand something you've understood all your life, but in a new way.
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The great secret that all old people share is that you really haven't changed in seventy or eighty years. Your body changes, but you don't change at all. And that, of course, causes great confusion.
Doris Lessing   Category: Age

There are no laws for the novel. There never have been, nor can there ever be.
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There is only one real sin and that is to persuade oneself that the second best is anything but second best.
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Think wrongly, if you please, but in all cases think for yourself.
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This world is run by people who know how to do things. They know how things work. They are equipped. Up there, there's a layer of people who run everything. But we - we're just peasants. We don't understand what's going on, and we can't do anything.
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Trust no friend without faults, and love a woman, but no angel.
Doris Lessing   Category: Trust

We use our parents like recurring dreams, to be entered into when needed.
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What is a hero without love for mankind.
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What's terrible is to pretend that second-rate is first-rate. To pretend that you don't need love when you do; or you like your work when you know quite well you're capable of better.
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With a library you are free, not confined by temporary political climates. It is the most democratic of institutions because no one - but no one at all - can tell you what to read and when and how.
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You can't be a Red if you're married to a civil servant.
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