Saturday, February 9, 2008


I just finished the book I had to read for school: Doris Lessing's The Grass is Singing. It's a fascinating book, partly because of what it portrays and what it says. It's the story of a human fate in Southafrica, I can't set a clear date since I have no sense of years and dates, but it's written 1950 and they talk about a war. The main character Mary is a rather naive girl, a prisoner of her childhood, carefree as long as the environment is carefree. Once it is no longer, it becomes a book that digs deep into her life and mind. It also shows a clear and bitter view of the relationship between black and white in the country, between what was right and wrong to the people of then and there. It looks into silent rules of society, subconscious mindsets that spreads or excludes without people ever really thinking about it. Simply the way white farmers must think to treat the black natives the way they did; and to protect the world they have built, they must continue to think so, without any alternatives. And in that kind of world, when one of the "superior" community finally falls so far down that the line between black and white comes down strictly to color, bad things happen, even if no one takes action simply because of it; it follows the rules of group behavior.

Speaking of the book rather than the content, I like the way Lessing has left a lot to the reader. There are times when she explains down to tiniest detail why someone would do as they do, but even in these exquisite explanations, she delivers some extra information in the form of interpretation. We are left to fill in the blanks ourselves, most of the time subconsciously. It gives a deeper understanding of psychology, as close to practice as theory could get. All in all, it is a good, interesting, and entertaining book, though oddly not as captivating as the other adjectives would suggest, perhaps because it covers the concept of "why" rather than try to keep the suspense, since the book, litterally, begins with the end. Either way, it is worth its time.

On a completely different subject: The Gray, my cat, is currently wearing headphones.

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