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Walking in the shade of communism
on 12 October 2007
This second part of Doris Lessing's candid biography, which depicts her difficult beginnings in London, is a more bitter report than the first one. It is full of personal and ideological disappointments.
Like so many young intellectuals in Europe, she finds a shelter in the leftist Church (with capitalism as hell, Lenin, Stalin or Mao as Christ the Saviour, and Utopia as heaven) and becomes a believer in heart and soul. She still has difficulties to believe why she was so blind (even after a trip to Russia) and stayed so long with the communist movement. For her fellow companions she thinks that they stayed because they wanted to be part of an elite and a power club. The agonizing psychological struggle to become an apostate is very emotionally told.
What saved her was art, in which she has a limitless belief: it can overthrow world powers.
This is a moving, uninhibited and realistic work, exemplary for many idealistic but wilfully deceived young people in the nineteen fifties and sixties.
Not to be missed.