17+ quotes from The Summer Before the Dark by Doris Lessing

Quotes from The Summer Before the Dark

Doris Lessing ·  236 pages

Rating: (1.7K votes)


“So very Russian," people around were murmuring. That they did meant this was an audience pretty low down on the scale of sophistication, otherwise they would be saying, "Just like us, isn't it?”
― Doris Lessing, quote from The Summer Before the Dark


“Mas como era extraordinária aquela sala cheia de gente — ou melhor, de animais -, a olhar na mesma direcção, para outros animais mascarados e treinados para representar num palco, para animais cobertos de tecido e bocados de peles, ornamentados com pedras e de rostos e garras pintados. Toda a gente acabara de comer um animal de qualquer espécie; as peles que se viam por toda a parte, apesar de a noite estar quente, provinham de animas que tinham vivido, brincado e fornicado em florestas e campos, e os pés de toda a gente estavam cobertos de pele de animais.”
― Doris Lessing, quote from The Summer Before the Dark


“For many thousands of years people had looked at expensive heads of hair and thought of how much food and warmth they represented, so obviously it was a thought of no use at all, so why bother to have it? But thoughts of this sort did go ticking on, useless or not.”
― Doris Lessing, quote from The Summer Before the Dark


“she had to fight for qualities that had not been even in her vocabulary. Patience. Self-discipline. Self-control. Self-abnegation. Chastity. Adaptability to others - this above all. This always.”
― Doris Lessing, quote from The Summer Before the Dark


“All those years were now seeming like a betrayal of what she really was. While her body, her needs, her emotions–all of herself–had been turning like a sunflower after one man, all that time she had been holding in her hands something else, the something precious, offering it in vain to her husband, to her children, to everyone she knew–but it had never been taken, had not been noticed. But this thing she had offered, without knowing she was doing it, which had been ignored by herself and by everyone else, was what was real in her.” (page 140)”
― Doris Lessing, quote from The Summer Before the Dark


“Комплексът за вина е почти определение на майчинството в нашата просветена епоха.”
― Doris Lessing, quote from The Summer Before the Dark


“I’m not going to be like my mother. You’re maniacs. You’re mad."

“Yes,” said Kate. “I know it. And so you won’t be. The best of luck to you. And what are you going to be instead?”
― Doris Lessing, quote from The Summer Before the Dark


“Younger woman says, “I’m not going to be like my mother. You’re maniacs. You’re mad.”

“Yes,” [older woman responds] “I know it. And so you won’t be. The best of luck to you. And what are you going to be instead?”
― Doris Lessing, quote from The Summer Before the Dark


“I’m not going to be like my mother. You’re maniacs. You’re mad.

“Yes,” said Kate. “I know it. And so you won’t be. The best of luck to you. And what are you going to be instead?”
― Doris Lessing, quote from The Summer Before the Dark


“Кейт броди цяла сутрин нагоре-надолу по дългата многолюдна улица и с всяка стъпка се убеждаваше все по-силно, че лицата и движенията на повечето жени на средна възраст са лица на затворнички и робини. [...] и стигна до заключението, че е психопат. Защото с маниакално постоянство от сутрин до вечер мислеше само за едно - за домакинството, за подреждането на това или онова в дома, за поддъжането на къщата, за последиците, ако постъпи така или ако не постъпи така. Подир това от себе си и собственото си поведение и думи наблюденията й се пренесоха въху жените на нейната възраст от приятелски семейства. Установи, че всички бяха получили солидна закалка в едно-едничко нещо, суетенето. [...] Ето докъде бе довело дългогодишното отглеждане на добродетелите: тя и нейните съвременнички се бяха превърнали в автомати, настроени да изпълняват една-единствена функция, а чистят, подреждат, оправят, предвиждат и поръчват, да се безпокоят, тревожат и организират. Да се суетят.”
― Doris Lessing, quote from The Summer Before the Dark


“Добродетелите се бяха превърнали в пороци, в досадни натяквания и тормоз над другите. Дългият процес на ерозия, вечната готовност да бъде на разположение на другите и безконечната грижа към най-дребните желания, нужди, събития, кризи бяха превърнали храброто младо създание в маниачка. Обсебена изцяло от незначителната страна на битието.”
― Doris Lessing, quote from The Summer Before the Dark


“she was wishing that whatever stage of her life she ws in now could be got through quickly, for it was seeming to her interminable. If life had to be looked at in terms of high moments or peaks, then nothing had "happened" to her for a long time; and she could look forward to nothing but a dwindling away from full household activities and getting old.”
― Doris Lessing, quote from The Summer Before the Dark


“А още не знаеше как иска да живее: това беше същността на неговата дилема. Както милиони други младежи - знае ли някой техния борй? - пръснати по белия свят [...], той не знаеше какво да прави със себе си. Става дума за младото поколение на охолните страни, на богатата третина от света. Младежта на изостаналия, неук, гладен свят няма избор. За да оцелее, тя трябва да открадне, да отвоюва, да отгладува съществуването си. Незнаенето как да устори живота си е привилегия на преситената младеж.”
― Doris Lessing, quote from The Summer Before the Dark


“Choose? When do I ever choose? Have I ever chosen?”
― Doris Lessing, quote from The Summer Before the Dark


“There's something here that I simply will not let myself look at.”
― Doris Lessing, quote from The Summer Before the Dark


“Looking back over nearly a quarter of a century, she saw that that had been the characteristic of her life -passivity, adaptability to others.”
― Doris Lessing, quote from The Summer Before the Dark


“The truth was, she was becoming more and more uncomfortably conscious not only that the things she said, and a good many of the things she thought, had been taken down off a rack and put on, but that what she really felt was something else again.”
― Doris Lessing, quote from The Summer Before the Dark


About the author

Doris Lessing
Born place: in Kermanshah, Iran
Born date October 22, 1919
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