This is the first volume in the series of novels Doris Lessing calls collectively Canopus in Argos: Archives. Presented as a compilation of documents, reports. Jul 22, Shikasta, the first in what would become five science fiction novels by Doris Lessing, begins with a journey in to the pre-history of the planet. Nov 18, Doris Lessing takes risks, but does not play games. One does not turn to her books for humor or wit or playfulness, nor will one find in them any.

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Shikasta by Doris Lessing | : Books

Despite this serious shortcomings, the book has some redeeming qualities: This is I really wanted to like this but it was just too dull. Somehow though, the combination had a tragic outcome. Johor’s journey is made through six “zones”, levels of spiritual existence each becoming more solidly material, until he arrives at Rohanda itself, which we come to suspect is in fact our own Earth.

After all, the power of speculative fiction lies in its ability to analyze cultural phenomena taken out of their politically bound context, hopefully resulting in unbiased and fresh conclusions. It was slow to get going, and once it got going was not necessarily heavy on plot as much as heavy on social commentary. Inlured by the promise of getting rich through maize farming, the family moved to the British colony in Southern Rhodesia now Zimbabwe. Looking for More Great Reads?

There is once again enough SOWF to go around. My favorite quotes from this book both come from the introduction: Or perhaps the lady Lessing too had visions. What happened was a disaster the word meaning a stellar misalignment. He is on the scene to decide who deserves to survive the Deluge a “useful means for separating the superior from the inferior” and to survive the Time of The Destruction by space ship of Cities, among them Sodom and Gomorrah.

Sirius hosts another more materialistically orientied space age civilization that will be thematized in the third volume. It’s just ve This is the third Doris Lessing book that I’ve read, and I feel now like I kind of have a handle on what her work is generally like.


My expectations were quite high, and as a result I was quite disappointed. Trust me, like any first-rate author, Lessing has a wide view, a big vision that is both light and dark, and she writes excellently. The Wise Fool and the Philosopher. The antagonist of all these cultures is the Puttiora system with its rogue planet Shammat trying to destroy all positive efforts and draining energy and wealth from Shikasta.

I cannot speak for her, I can only point out the amazing accuracy of her writings and especially in regard to the sheer number shikasha came to experience and finally understand what Lessing said over 30 years ago!

Summer voyages: Shikasta Re: Colonised Planet 5 by Doris Lessing

There were lots of scenes of people communicating using the SOWF substance-of-we-feelingwhich meant that they were “tuned in” to each other and that helped them be good people and not go over to the dark side. These five books transcend any easy cataloging. First, in Genesis The story these documents tell is this; When, as a result of prolonged radiation from an exploding star in Andar, the proto-human inhabitants of Shikasta first show the potential of developing into “a Grade A species,” Canopus moves to absorb it into its empire.

The writing style is way too wordy to me, the sentences too long where they don’t necessarily have to be. Thanks for telling us about the problem. In ShikastaLessing establishes that it is at least imaginatively possible that the sacred texts products of mythos thinkers preserve some scientific and historical truth that scientists and historians logos thinkers have not discovered. She is the author of more than thirty books—novels, stories, reportage, poems, and plays.

I’m curious to learn more about the different planets, civilizations and ideas. The best a Shikastan can do is struggle to thrive and support her brothers and sisters against all the odds, and wait for the return of Canopus. Witing in the Los Angeles Times. Johor, another emissary from Canopus, reported:.

Lessihg by Doris Lessing. Preview — Re by Doris Lessing. An attempt to be clever that fails in an impenetrable epistolary mess. That’s not to say that this is a terrible book. Lessing does take lwssing to emphasise the scientific basis of her speculation throughout the novel. There is no author voice.


Doris Lessing understood the materialism, the greed, the injustice, and the spiritual degeneration prevalent in the modern world to be the result of logos -only thinking. Without that substance-of-we-feeling, Shikastans gradually become as we now are: It received mixed reviews from critics. Mar 04, Paul Kieniewicz rated it really liked it Shelves: I read about half of it and skimmed the other half, reading some pages here and there.

The New York Review of Books. Lessing dedicated Shikasta to her father. Finally, I will comment on the picture painted here of human beings, through multiple sources and events. Long ago when giants lived on our planet, things were different. Return to Book Page. Deprived of Canopus’s resources and a steady stream of a shkkasta called SOWF substance-of-we-feelingthe Natives develop a shkiasta Disease” that puts the goals of the individual ahead of shukasta of the community.

Canopus in Argos 1. The book is presented in the form of a series of reports by Canopean emissaries to Shikasta who document the planet’s prehistoryits degeneration leading to the “Century of Destruction” the 20th centuryand the Apocalypse World War III.

From then on, until after the cataclysm perhaps 10, years later, everything goes downhill. The foreseeable resolve of the story into a kind of Happy I enjoyed this; science fiction rather in the direction of Stanislaw Lem. They are lying in wait, for the precise moment when their nature, the Shammat lessin can fasten its nasty force onto the substance of the Lock!

He also takes part in the trial of all Europeans for the crimes of colonialism. There’s lots in here, but not a lot which is great.