This is because the nature of this place is a strong emotion - "nostalgia" is their word for it - which means a longing for what has never been, or at least not in the form and shape imagined.

Doris Lessing

Doris Lessing

Profession: Novelist
Nationality: British

Some suggestions for you :

Whatever you're meant to do, do it now. The conditions are always impossible.

Yes, cannibals. People are just cannibals unless they leave each other alone.

The point is, it seems to me that my mind is a mass of totally contradictory attitudes about everything.' ‘Everyone's mind is a mass of contradictory attitudes. Why should it matter?' ‘It should matter to us, surely?

I've won all the prizes in Europe, every bloody one. I'm delighted to win them all, the whole lot.

If a fish is the movement of water embodied, given shape, then cat is a diagram and pattern of subtle air.

The tale must be rehearsed–and we may amuse ourselves imagining how these must have been, often, acrimonious, or at least in dispute. Whose version of events is going to be committed to memory by the Memories?

But all the pressures go the other way, towards learning only what is immediately useful, what is functional. More and more the demand is for people to be educated to function in an almost certainly temporary stage of technology. Educated for the short term.

There were occasional cold moments when she thought that she must somehow, even now, check herself on the fatal slope towards marriage, somewhere at the back of her mind was the belief that she would never get married, there would be time to change her mind later. And then the thought of what would happen if she did chilled her.

Perhaps it is not such a bad marriage after all? There are innumerable marriages where two people, both twisted and wrong in their depths, are well matched, making each other miserable in the way they need, in the way the pattern of their life demands.

I can't say I'm overwhelmed with surprise. I'm 88 years old and they can't give the Nobel to someone who's dead, so I think they were probably thinking they'd probably better give it to me now before I've popped off.

Long afterwards, I remember thinking that in all those years of endless analytical discussion only once did we come anywhere near the truth (far enough off as it was) and that was when Paul spoke in a spirit of angry parody.

When you're young you think that you're going to sail into a lovely lake of quietude and peace. This is profoundly untrue.

However, there are certain rites in the talk of matrons, and Martha, having listened to such talk for a large part of her life, should have learned that there was nothing insulting, or even personal, intended. She was merely expected to play the part ‘young girl' against their own familiar roles.

I don't think I really saw people except as appendages to my needs. It's only now, looking back, that I understand, but at the time I lived in a brilliantly lit haze, shifting and flickering according to my changing desires. Of course, that is only a description of being young.