Read The Sentimental Agents by Doris Lessing Free Online
Book Title: The Sentimental Agents|
The author of the book: Doris Lessing
Date of issue: March 12th 1983
ISBN 13: 9780394529684
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 6.42 MB
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Reader ratings: 6.6
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Documents Relating to The Sentimental Agents in the Volyen Empire is an sf novel by Nobel Prize in Literature-winner Doris Lessing. It concludes her five-book Canopus in Argos series & comprises a set of documents that describe the final days of the Volyen Empire, located at the edge of our galaxy & under the influence of three other galactic empires, the benevolent Canopus, the tyrannical Sirius & the malicious Shammat of Puttiora.
The Sentimental Agents is a social satire written in the tradition of Jonathan Swift & George Orwell focusing on the debasement of language in political rhetoric. In this fictional universe it's propaganda that keeps fragile empires afloat. When language becomes too distorted, some succumb to a condition called "undulant rhetoric" & are placed in a Hospital for Rhetorical Diseases.
Because of its focus on characterization & social/cultural issues, & no emphasis on technological details, this book is soft sf, or "space fiction" as Lessing calls her Canopus in Argos series. While The Sentimental Agents can be read as a stand-alone book, she does continue with the history of the Sirian Empire, picking up from where she left off in The Sirian Experiments ('80), 3rd book in the series.
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Read information about the authorBoth of her parents were British: her father, who had been crippled in World War I, was a clerk in the Imperial Bank of Persia; her mother had been a nurse. In 1925, lured by the promise of getting rich through maize farming, the family moved to the British colony in Southern Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe). Like other women writers from southern African who did not graduate from high school (such as Olive Schreiner and Nadine Gordimer), Lessing made herself into a self-educated intellectual.
In 1937 she moved to Salisbury, where she worked as a telephone operator for a year. At nineteen, she married Frank Wisdom, and later had two children. A few years later, feeling trapped in a persona that she feared would destroy her, she left her family, remaining in Salisbury. Soon she was drawn to the like-minded members of the Left Book Club, a group of Communists "who read everything, and who did not think it remarkable to read." Gottfried Lessing was a central member of the group; shortly after she joined, they married and had a son.
During the postwar years, Lessing became increasingly disillusioned with the Communist movement, which she left altogether in 1954. By 1949, Lessing had moved to London with her young son. That year, she also published her first novel, The Grass Is Singing, and began her career as a professional writer.
In June 1995 she received an Honorary Degree from Harvard University. Also in 1995, she visited South Africa to see her daughter and grandchildren, and to promote her autobiography. It was her first visit since being forcibly removed in 1956 for her political views. Ironically, she is welcomed now as a writer acclaimed for the very topics for which she was banished 40 years ago.
In 2001 she was awarded the Prince of Asturias Prize in Literature, one of Spain's most important distinctions, for her brilliant literary works in defense of freedom and Third World causes. She also received the David Cohen British Literature Prize.
She was on the shortlist for the first Man Booker International Prize in 2005. In 2007 she was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature.
(Extracted from the pamphlet: A Reader's Guide to The Golden Notebook & Under My Skin, HarperPerennial, 1995. Full text available on www.dorislessing.org).
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