The sweetest dream : Lessing, Zimbabwe and Catholicism

Show simple item record Chennells, Anthony 2016-05-03T07:54:09Z 2016-01
dc.description.abstract In her later work, Lessing refers frequently, if in passing, to Roman Catholicism, often as part of her growing interest in spirituality, which began while she was writing The Golden Notebook. Some of these references are in the accounts of her travels in Zimbabwe, but they are also to be found in her autobiographies, reviews and occasional journalism. Because of their frequency, she cannot be regarded as entirely indifferent to the church. A valid line of enquiry into Lessing’s work asks whether her dislike for the church, formed during her traumatic four years as a young child in the Salisbury convent, remained her dominant impression, or whether in later life she found in Catholicism, particularly in Zimbabwe, an institution that invited more complex responses. An answer is provided in The Sweetest Dream, her last long novel that deals directly with Africa. The novel is partly set in Zimlia, a country that clearly suggests Zimbabwe. It avoids representing Catholicism and traditional spirituality as antagonistic; the complex plotting at its end rejects a confident division between the sacred and the secular, and suggests that, although Catholicism is on the whole a force for good, its powers in Zimlia are limited, confronted as the church is by the literal epidemic of AIDS and the power of traditional spirituality. One possible reading suggests that this latter power prevails. en_ZA
dc.description.department English en_ZA
dc.description.embargo 2018-01-31
dc.description.librarian hb2016 en_ZA
dc.description.uri en_ZA
dc.identifier.citation Anthony Chennells (2016) The Sweetest Dream: Lessing,Zimbabwe and Catholicism, Journal of Southern African Studies, 42:1, 111-125, DOI:10.1080/03057070.2016.1121717. en_ZA
dc.identifier.issn 0305-7070 (print)
dc.identifier.issn 1465-3893 (online)
dc.identifier.other 10.1080/03057070.2016.1121717
dc.language.iso en en_ZA
dc.publisher Routledge en_ZA
dc.rights © 2016 The Editorial Board of the Journal of Southern African Studies Taylor and Francis. This is an electronic version of an article published in Journal of Southern African Studies, vol. 42, no.1, pp. 111-125, 2016. doi :10.1080/03057070.2016.1121717. Journal of Southern African Studies is available online at : http://www.tandfonline.comloi/cjss20. en_ZA
dc.subject Sweetest dream en_ZA
dc.subject Zimbabwe en_ZA
dc.subject Catholicism en_ZA
dc.subject Doris Lessing en_ZA
dc.title The sweetest dream : Lessing, Zimbabwe and Catholicism en_ZA
dc.type Postprint Article en_ZA

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