By Doris Lessing
From the winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature, Doris Lessing, a brief tale a few woman's slow flow outdoor the bounds of society. An previous girl, with gipsy blood, starts to discover the conventions of society stifling – while her husband dies, and her young ones depart domestic, she embraces a marginal, unconventional life, observed by way of her trustworthy cat. 'An previous girl and Her Cat' brilliantly combines Doris Lessing's unforgiving exam of our society – and people it can't accommodate and ulitmately fails – with an excellent portrait of her favorite animal – the cat.
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Extra info for An Old Woman and Her Cat
W IL L IA M B L A K E As for time, as for distance, what is called the material fact of trans porting oneself from one place to another through space, it was certainly very easy for P. (as the Headmaster called him when, strong knuckles and trembling mustache, he reprimanded him) to reach his house. And yet, how difficult! And no, it was not that he was weak or sick. Aside from an imperceptible, hardly bothersome cranial deformation, he was a child like any other. It was the atmosphere in his house that he disliked, the appear ance— I will not call it gloomy, but neither was it pleasant— of the two rooms: their darkness and the fine dust that invaded every thing, even his nostrils, making him conscious of his breathing, an indefinable, constant bad smell that floated through every corner.
The man the man with the man with the heart the man with the heart of a leely. It was early wTen she got to the school, but she still felt dis couraged because not many people were in the seats. But she thought in our country people always come late and when would we ever get rid of that habit? On the small stage, behind the impro\ised curtain, the girls from the Fourth of July School w'ere quietly rehearsing the Barcarolle. The singing teacher was sound ing “ la” for them very seriously with a little silver whisde that played the single note.
The firm of Rosenbaum & Co. can attest to that, and I can show beautiful letters of recommendation, which they were kind enough to write for me, unworthy as I am of their kindness. 4 0 My wife died long ago. M y son never knew her. He was raised by my mother. And as far as dogs are concerned, I am sure, I can swear to the fact, that I never killed a single one except for Diogenes. I had to do it. N o dog is safe from rabies. W hy would he be the exception? At any moment he could have contracted the disease, which, as everyone knows, spreads so rapidly in a geometrical progression that it can quickly kill off entire populations.
An Old Woman and Her Cat by Doris Lessing