The Golden Notebook by Doris Lessing

The Golden Notebook By Doris Lessing-Free PDF

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Doris Lessing,The Golden Notebook,First published in 1962. FREE WOMEN 1 Anna meets her friend Molly in the summer of 1957 after a separation. THE NOTEBOOKS, FREE WOMEN 2 Two visits some telephone calls and a tragedy. THE NOTEBOOKS, FREE WOMEN 3 Tommy adjusts himself to being blind while the older people try to help him. THE NOTEBOOKS, FREE WOMEN 4 Anna and Molly influence Tommy for the better Marion leaves Richard Anna. does not feel herself,THE NOTEBOOKS,THE GOLDEN NOTEBOOK.
FREE WOMEN 5 Molly gets married and Anna has an affair. FREE WOMEN 1, Anna meets her friend Molly in the summer of 1957 after a separation. THE two women were alone in the London flat The point is said Anna as her friend came back. from the telephone on the landing the point is that as far as I can see everything s cracking. Molly was a woman much on the telephone When it rang she had just enquired Well. what s the gossip Now she said That s Richard and he s coming over It seems today s his only. free moment for the next month Or so he insists,Well I m not leaving said Anna. No you stay just where you are, Molly considered her own appearance she was wearing trousers and a sweater both. the worse for wear He ll have to take me as I come she concluded and sat down by the. window He wouldn t say what it s about another crisis with Marion I suppose. Didn t he write to you asked Anna cautious, Both he and Marion wrote ever such bonhomous letters Odd isn t it. This odd isn t it was the characteristic note of the intimate conversations they. designated gossip But having struck the note Molly swerved off with It s no use talking now. because he s coming right over he says, He ll probably go when he sees me here said Anna cheerfully but slightly aggressive.
Molly glanced at her keenly and said Oh but why, It had always been understood that Anna and Richard disliked each other and before. Anna had always left when Richard was expected Now Molly said Actually I think he rather. likes you in his heart of hearts The point is he s committed to liking me on principle he s such. a fool he s always got to either like or dislike someone so all the dislike he won t admit he has. for me gets pushed off on to you, It s a pleasure said Anna But do you know something I discovered while you were. away that for a lot of people you and I are practically interchangeable. You ve only just understood that said Molly triumphant as always when Anna came. up with as far as she was concerned facts that were self evident. In this relationship a balance had been struck early on Molly was altogether more. worldly wise than Anna who for her part had a superiority of talent. Anna held her own private views Now she smiled admitting that she had been very. When we re so different in every way said Molly it s odd I suppose because we both. live the same kind of life not getting married and so on That s all they see. Free women said Anna wryly She added with an anger new to Molly so that she. earned another quick scrutinising glance from her friend They still define us in terms of. relationships with men even the best of them, Well we do don t we said Molly rather tart Well it s awfully hard not to she. amended hastily because of the look of surprise Anna now gave her There was a short pause. during which the women did not look at each other but reflected that a year apart was a long. time even for an old friendship, Molly said at last sighing Free Do you know when I was away I was thinking about us. and I ve decided that we re a completely new type of woman We must be surely. There s nothing new under the sun said Anna in an attempt at a German accent Molly. irritated she spoke half a dozen languages well said There s nothing new under the sun in a. perfect reproduction of a shrewd old woman s voice German accented. Anna grimaced acknowledging failure She could not learn languages and was too self. conscious ever to become somebody else for a moment Molly had even looked like Mother. Sugar otherwise Mrs Marks to whom both had gone for psycho analysis The reservations both. had felt about the solemn and painful ritual were expressed by the pet name Mother Sugar. which as time passed became a name for much more than a person and indicated a whole way. of looking at life traditional rooted conservative in spite of its scandalous familiarity with. everything amoral In spite of that was how Anna and Molly discussing the ritual had felt it. recently Anna had been feeling more and more it was because of and this was one of the things. she was looking forward to discussing with her friend. But now Molly reacting as she had often done in the past to the slightest suggestion of. a criticism from Anna of Mother Sugar said quickly All the same she was wonderful and I was. in much too bad a shape to criticise, Mother Sugar used to say You re Electra or You re Antigone and that was the end.
as far as she was concerned said Anna, Well not quite the end said Molly wryly insisting on the painful probing hours both. Yes said Anna unexpectedly insisting so that Molly for the third time looked at her. curiously Yes Oh I m not saying she didn t do me all the good in the world I m sure I d never. have coped with what I ve had to cope with without her But all the same I remember quite. clearly one afternoon sitting there the big room and the discreet wall lights and the Buddha. and the pictures and the statues,Well said Molly now very critical. Anna in the face of this unspoken but clear determination not to discuss it said I ve. been thinking about it all during the last few months no I d like to talk about it with you After. all we both went through it and with the same person Well. Anna persisted I remember that afternoon knowing I d never go back It was all that. damned art all over the place, Molly drew in her breath sharp She said quickly I don t know what you mean As. Anna did not reply she said accusing And have you written anything since I ve been away. I keep telling you said Molly her voice shrill I ll never forgive you if you throw that. talent away I mean it I ve done it and I can t stand watching you I ve messed with painting and. dancing and acting and scribbling and now you re so talented Anna Why I simply don t. understand, How can I ever say why when you re always so bitter and accusing. Molly even had tears in her eyes which were fastened in the most painful reproach on. her friend She brought out with difficulty At the back of my mind I always thought well I ll get. married so it doesn t matter my wasting all the talents I was born with Until recently I was even. dreaming about having more children yes I know it s idiotic but it s true And now I m forty and. Tommy s grown up But the point is if you re not writing simply because you re thinking about. getting married, But we both want to get married said Anna making it humorous the tone restored.
reserve to the conversation she had understood with pain that she was not after all going to. be able to discuss certain subjects with Molly, Molly smiled drily gave her friend an acute bitter look and said All right but you ll be. sorry later, Sorry said Anna laughing out of surprise Molly why is it you ll never believe other. people have the disabilities you have, You were lucky enough to be given one talent and not four. Perhaps my one talent has had as much pressure on it as your four. I can t talk to you in this mood Shall I make you some tea while we re waiting for. I d rather have beer or something She added provocative I ve been thinking I might. very well take to drink later on, Molly said in the older sister s tone Anna had invited You shouldn t make jokes Anna. Not when you see what it does to people look at Marion I wonder if she s been drinking while I. I can tell you She has yes she came to see me several times. She came to see you, That s what I was leading up to when I said you and I seem to be interchangeable.
Molly tended to be possessive she showed resentment as Anna had known she would. as she said I suppose you re going to say Richard came to see you too Anna nodded and. Molly said briskly I ll get us some beer She returned from the kitchen with two long cold. beaded glasses and said Well you d better tell me all about it before Richard comes hadn t. Richard was Molly s husband or rather he had been her husband Molly was the. product of what she referred to as one of those twenties marriages Her mother and father. had both glittered but briefly in the intellectual and bohemian circles that had spun around the. great central lights of Huxley Lawrence Joyce etc Her childhood had been disastrous since. this marriage only lasted a few months She had married at the age of eighteen the son of a. friend of her father s She knew now she had married out of a need for security and even. respectability The boy Tommy was a product bf this marriage Richard at twenty had already. been on the way to becoming the very solid businessman he had since proved himself and. Molly and he had stood their incompatibility for not much more than a year He had then. married Marion and there were three boys Tommy had remained with Molly Richard and she. once the business of the divorce was over became friends again Later Marion became her. friend This then was the situation to which Molly often referred as It s all very odd isn t it. Richard came to see me about Tommy said Anna, Oh idiotic He asked me if I thought it was good for Tommy to spend so much time. brooding I said I thought it was good for everyone to brood if by that he meant thinking and. that since Tommy was twenty and grown up it was not for us to interfere anyway. Well it isn t good for him said Molly, He asked me if I thought it would be good for Tommy to go off on some trip or other to. Germany a business trip with him I told him to ask Tommy not me Of course Tommy said no. Of course Well I m sorry Tommy didn t go, But the real reason he came I think was because of Marion But Marion had just been. to see me and had a prior claim so to speak So I wouldn t discuss Marion at all I think it s likely. he s coming to discuss Marion with you, Molly was watching Anna closely How many times did Richard come. About five or six times, After a silence Molly let her anger spurt out with It s very odd he seems to expect me.
almost to control Marion Why me Or you Well perhaps you d better go after all It s going to. be difficult if all sorts of complications have been going on while my back was turned. Anna said firmly No Molly I didn t ask Richard to come and see me I didn t ask Marion. to come and see me After all it s not your fault or mine that we seem to play the same role for. people I said what you would have said at least I think so. There was a note of humorous even childish pleading in this But it was deliberate. Molly the older sister smiled and said Well all right She continued to observe Anna narrowly. and Anna was careful to appear unaware of it She did not want to tell Molly what had. happened between her and Richard now not until she could tell her the whole story of the last. miserable year,Is Marion drinking badly,Yes I think she is. And she told you all about it, Yes In detail And what s odd is I swear she talked as if I were you even making slips of. the tongue calling me Molly and so on, Well I don t know said Molly Who would ever have thought And you and I are. different as chalk and cheese, Perhaps not so different said Anna drily but Molly laughed in disbelief. She was a tallish woman and big boned but she appeared slight and even boyish This. was because of how she did her hair which was a rough streaky gold cut like a boy s and. because of her clothes for which she had a great natural talent She took pleasure in the various. guises she could use for instance being a hoyden in lean trousers and sweaters and then a. siren her large green eyes made up her cheekbones prominent wearing a dress which made. the most of her full breasts, This was one of the private games she played with life which Anna envied her yet in.
moments of self rebuke she would tell Anna she was ashamed of herself she so much enjoyed. the different roles It s as if I were really different don t you see I even feel a different person. And there s something spiteful in it that man you know I told you about him last week he saw. me the first time in my old slacks and my sloppy old jersey and then I rolled into the restaurant. nothing less than a femme fatale and he didn t know how to have me he couldn t say a word all. evening and I enjoyed it Well Anna,But you do enjoy it Anna would say laughing. But Anna was small thin dark brittle with large black always on guard eyes and a. fluffy haircut She was on the whole satisfied with herself but she was always the same She. envied Molly s capacity to project her own changes of mood Anna wore neat delicate clothes. which tended to be either prim or perhaps a little odd and relied upon her delicate White. hands and her small pointed white face to make an impression But she was shy unable to. assert herself and she was convinced easily overlooked. When the two women went out together Anna deliberately effaced herself and played. to the dramatic Molly When they were alone she tended to take the lead But this had by no. means been true at the beginning of their friendship Molly abrupt straightforward tactless. THE NOTEBOOKS FREE WOMEN 2 Two visits some telephone calls and a tragedy THE NOTEBOOKS FREE WOMEN 3 Tommy adjusts himself to being blind while the older people try to help him THE NOTEBOOKS FREE WOMEN 4 Anna and Molly influence Tommy for the better Marion leaves Richard Anna does not feel herself THE NOTEBOOKS THE GOLDEN NOTEBOOK

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