The IUP Journal of English Studies
Writing as Being: Phenomenology of Self-Narration in Doris Lessing's Fiction

Article Details
Pub. Date : September, 2021
Product Name : The IUP Journal of English Studies
Product Type : Article
Product Code : IJES40921
Author Name : Sanghamitra Sadhu
Availability : YES
Subject/Domain : Arts & Humanities
Download Format : PDF Format
No. of Pages : 13



The paper deliberates on the question of metaphysics of being and writing, the dynamics of textuality and psychic functions, and phenomenology of writing the self and its narrativization in Doris Lessing's fiction. It explores how the narrative self in Lessing's fiction opens up a new horizon, enabling us to come to terms with the complexity of the authorial self along with the possibility of attaining a fully realized notion of self in a world beset with many upheavals. Situating Lessing's fiction in a framework in which writing is defined through self-making and vice versa, the paper reads how writing about the self tangentially evokes writing about the other, and the concept of writing about the self stands on the margins of the individual and the collective. The paper aims to unravel Lessing's narrative, spanning over diverse locations and themes that evoke the paradigm of a dialogic self in which the dialogue between the self and the group, essentialism, and social bodies continues.


In the wake of critical theory, the theoretical formulation of writing embraces the ontological as well as the linguistic concerns with the focus being shifted to the author with critical implications on authority, authorship, and agency. The complexity of writing, whether functional or contextual, stems from the conflictual or the problematic nature of the self. Therefore, writing about the self or giving an account of oneself in a fictional narrative is an intricate issue; it evokes the ineluctable dyad of the self and the other. As a product of the complex sociocultural milieu, the author confronts the problem of dealing with the history of the self, while failing to sustain any singular identity that is always camouflaged under the narratorial or the fictional self. In the three-dimensional matrix of the textual space where three coordinates, i.e., the writing subject, the addressee, and the text, either forge an alliance or come to conflict-the author or more specifically the writing subject self-consciously attempts to justify her position. While writing about itself, the writing subject wants to ensure whether it maintains any counterpoise in relation to