Doris Lessing

Sufi Equilibrium and the Form of the Novel

  • Shadia S. Fahim

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-x
  2. Shadia S. Fahim
    Pages 1-18
  3. Shadia S. Fahim
    Pages 19-50
  4. Shadia S. Fahim
    Pages 51-84
  5. Shadia S. Fahim
    Pages 85-135
  6. Shadia S. Fahim
    Pages 136-234
  7. Shadia S. Fahim
    Pages 235-239
  8. Back Matter
    Pages 240-279

About this book


The purpose of this study is to examine the rationale of Doris Lessing's development from Classical Realism to mysticism and forms of science fiction and to consider the unifying motifs that appear throughout her novels in her consistent search for Sufi Equilibrium. The four novels selected in this study represent significant stages in Lessing's work. Chapter one focuses on The Grass is Singing, which represents the author's early traditionally realistic writing, to show how far the preoccupations of Lessing's later novels find expression in this early work. Chapter two studies The Golden Notebook, which marks a turning point in formal structure in Lessing's canon and is selected as evidence of her interest in Sufism at that early stage. Chapter three concentrates on the study of The Memoirs of a Survivor, which has elicited a comparatively limited amount of criticism but which proves to be a major achievement when brought into line with Sufi methods of writing. Chapter four considers Lessing's science fiction series, 'Canopus in Argos', tracing sources from Oriental literature - a key which unlocks many areas of obscurity.


English literature fiction novel realism

Authors and affiliations

  • Shadia S. Fahim
    • 1
  1. 1.Ain-Shams UniversityCairoEgypt

Bibliographic information