A simple grateful thought turned heavenwards is the most perfect prayer.

— Doris Lessing

The most sensational Doris Lessing quotes that are little-known but priceless

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


Every child has the capacity to be everything.


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.


Any human anywhere will blossom in a hundred unexpected talents and capacities simply by being given the opportunity to do so.


Trust no friend without faults, and love a woman, but no angel.


In university they don't tell you that the greater part of the law is learning to tolerate fools.


Very few people really care about freedom, about liberty, about the truth, very few. Very few people have guts, the kind of guts on which a real democracy has to depend. Without people with that sort of guts a free society dies or cannot be born.


That's what learning is. You suddenly understand something you understood all your life, but in a new way.


Do you know what people really want? Everyone, I mean.

Everybody in the world is thinking: I wish there was just one other person I could really talk to, who could really understand me, who'd be kind to me. That's what people really want, if they're telling the truth.


Argument does not teach children or the immature. Only time and experience does that.


That is what learning is. You suddenly understand something you've understood all your life, but in a new way.


It is terrible to destroy a person's picture of himself in the interests of truth or some other abstraction.


About Doris Lessing

Quotes 258 sayings
Nationality English
Profession Writer
Birthday October 16

It is the mark of great people to treat trifles as trifles and important matters as important.


There is only one real sin and that is to persuade oneself that the second best is anything but second best.


The smell of manure, of sun on foliage, of evaporating water, rose to my head;

two steps farther, and I could look down into the vegetable garden enclosed within its tall pale of reeds - rich chocolate earth studded emerald green, frothed with the white of cauliflowers, jeweled with the purple globes of eggplant and the scarlet wealth of tomatoes.


As you get older, you don't get wiser. You get irritable.


Envy has always hidden behind moral indignation.


Think wrongly, if you please, but in all cases think for yourself.


Parents should leave books lying around marked "forbidden" if they want their children to read.


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.


In the writing process, the more the story cooks, the better.

The brain works for you even when you are at rest. I find dreams particularly useful. I myself think a great deal before I go to sleep and the details sometimes unfold in the dream.


All political movements are like this - we are in the right, everyone else is in the wrong. The people on our own side who disagree with us are heretics, and they start becoming enemies. With it comes an absolute conviction of your own moral superiority. There's oversimplification in everything, and a terror of flexibility.


In the writing process, the more a story cooks, the better.


A public library is the most democratic thing in the world.

What can be found there has undone dictators and tyrants.


I stood looking down out of the window.

The street seemed miles down. Suddenly I felt as if I'd flung myself out of the window. I could see myself lying on the pavement. Then I seemed to be standing by the body on the pavement. I was two people. Blood and brains were scattered everywhere. I knelt down and began licking up the blood and brains


People are just cannibals unless they leave each other alone.


We spend our lives fighting to get people very slightly more stupid than ourselves to accept truths that the great men have always known.


What is a hero without love for mankind.


If you read, you can learn to think for yourself.


The freedom of women was achieved by two things: One, the Pill.

Two... by labour-saving devices like the washing machine. By science, not feminism.


I have a daughter and two grand-daughters and a great grandson in Africa, in Cape Town.


Borrowing is not much better than begging;

just as lending with interest is not much better than stealing.


Every spendthrift passion has its attendant courtiers.


we have not yet developed a system of education that is not a system of indoctrination.


So love is rest? The cosy corner? The little nook? Sometimes it ought to be. Sometimes it is.


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.


Political correctness is the natural continuum from the party line.

What we are seeing once again is a self-appointed group of vigilantes imposing their views on others. It is a heritage of communism, but they don't seem to see this.


There is no doubt fiction makes a better job of the truth.


I am a person who continually destroys the possibilities of a future because of the numbers of alternative viewpoints I can focus on the present.


All one's life as a young woman one is on show, a focus of attention, people notice you. You set yourself up to being noticed and admired. And then, not expecting it, you become middle-aged and anonymous.


You have to give up a great deal of life, your personal life, to be a writer.


The world is only tolerable because of the empty places in it.

..when the world's filled up, we'll have to get hold of a star. Any star. Venus, or Mars. Get hold of it and leave it empty. Man needs an empty space somewhere for his spirit to rest in.


Advice to young writers? Always the same advice: learn to trust our own judgment, learn inner independence, learn to trust that time will sort the good from the bad– including your own bad.


I treasure solitude. One doesn't have to have human contact.


You should write, first of all, to please yourself.

You shouldn't care a damn about anybody else at all. But writing can't be a way of life - the important part of writing is living. You have to live in such a way that your writing emerges from it.


Better Counsel comes overnight.


Art is the Mirror of our betrayed ideals.


What women will say to other women grumbling in their kitchens and complaining and gossiping or what they make clear in their masochism is often the last thing they will say aloud - a man may overhear. Women are the cowards they are because they have been semi-slaves for so long.


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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