[Doris Lessing (1919-2013), in Philip Glass’ kitchen, New York City, March 10, 1990 – Photograph by Allen Ginsberg c. The Estate of Allen Ginsberg]
Nobel-prizewinning author Doris Lessing, who died last week, aged 94, recalling, in her typically acerbic, typically no-nonsense way, “an amused get-together with Allen Ginsberg and some fellow Beats” –
“They turned up in London, a whole lot of them, and I went to meet them” [this would be 1965, perhaps?]. “I thought they were extremely likeable, but that isn’t how they wanted to be seen. I thought then, and think I was right, that they weren’t as frightening and as shocking as they wanted to be. They were mostly middle-class people trying to be annoying”
Very well, Doris.
We like the excuse of running this clip again. On being informed of her Nobel prize:
“I’m delighted to win them all. It’s a royal flush!”
Joanne Kyger (who’s birthday we celebrated earlier this week) recently put up for sale, via New York’s estimable Granary Books, a collection of materials relating to her long-time friendship with the writer (and fellow Bolinas-resident), Richard Brautigan. A prospectus (including numerous intriguing annotated photo-reproductions of some of the items) may be profitably viewed here.
The bulk of Joanne’s papers, incidentally, are in the capable custody of the UCSD (University of California, San Diego) Mandeville Special Collections Library.
(Doris Lessing’s papers are in the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center at the University of Texas at Austin).