Martha Quest (Her Children of violence, v. 1)

by Doris May Lessing | Literature & Fiction | This book has not been rated.
ISBN: 0586021159 Global Overview for this book
Registered by Panzeranzi of Göteborg, Västergötland Sweden on 2/25/2006
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3 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by Panzeranzi from Göteborg, Västergötland Sweden on Saturday, February 25, 2006
"The generation that was born of one world war and came of age in another - these are the children of violence whose abrasive relationships with their elders, with one another, and with society as a whole are here brilliantly understood and depicted.

The center character of Children of Violence is Martha Quest, a young woman of intelligence and passion, in open-nerved tough with herself of her fearful times. Raised in a narrow, provincial community in Central Africa, child of colonial parents committed to the old way, she has turned for direction and sustenance to literature, as previous generations turned to religion. But the moral standards that she has pieced together from her classic and modern writer-heroes are at odds with the life around her. Seeing her profoundest ideals denied by the people closest to her, she continually asks, How can they? (treat the Africans that way, act with such dishonesty toward one another, pretend to regard their defeats as victories, be content to drift with every ill wind from mindless youth to dreary old age). Continually outraged, she probes, argues, struggles to make them understand what they are doing. When she fails miserably, there is a final crisis; she leaves home.

But freedom provides its own shocks and confusions; in rapid succession - almost without volition - involvement with the smart young set, a ritual round of drinking and parties, a suitable courtship, a proper marriage, an immediate pregnancy, a young husband off to war, and the sudden realization that she is no more autonomous than her parents. The old question re-occurs but with an important change. How can I? And, jolted by this sudden insight, Martha begins a scrupulous scrutiny of self and society, of motherhood and love, of the city with its racial tensions, of power and politics.

Martha Quest is a true daughter of her century - the quarreling century in which the conflict between the generations reflects the conflict between old systems and new, between ascendant and ascending nations and races. Marthas personal history mirrors the convulsions and aspirations of our time: the successful rebellion, freedom and its tragic failures, and finally, despair transmuted into a relentless determination to understand life, and through this understanding discover a way to live."

Book one in Lessing's novel-sequence Children of Violence

Released 1 yr ago (4/21/2017 UTC) at Bookcrossing Convention Oslo 2017 in St. Hanshaugen bydel, Oslo fylke Norway


On the book buffet

Journal Entry 3 by wingHaugtussawing at Stavanger, Rogaland fylke Norway on Friday, April 21, 2017
I love Lessing's writing, and I have not read this one before.

Journal Entry 4 by wingHaugtussawing at Stavanger, Rogaland fylke Norway on Wednesday, May 23, 2018
Doris Lessing is one of my favourite authors, and I've therefore read quite a few books by her.
Martha Quest. Well, ...
The first part of the book is set on the farm where Martha lives with her parents. As many of Lessing's books, the British farmers are not very successful, even so, they are still full of airs. Martha struggles to find her way of life on the farm, with the natives, the Afrikaans, and the Jews. I rather liked this part.
The latter part of the book finds Martha in town. Where her struggle is of another kind. This part of the book did not appeal to me as much, as I do find it hard to sympathize with egocentric youth.
However, I'm glad I picked the book up from the buffet table. Thank you for sharing.

Journal Entry 5 by wingHaugtussawing at Stavanger, Rogaland fylke Norway on Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Released 5 mos ago (11/14/2018 UTC) at Stavanger, Rogaland fylke Norway


A kitten - enjoy!

Journal Entry 6 by babelfisk at Jönköping, Småland Sweden on Monday, November 19, 2018
One of Betty's kittens arrived to me today. Thanks!
(Betty is a challenge on the Scandinavian forum.)

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