By Doris Lessing

From the winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature, Doris Lessing, a quick tale a few woman's sluggish waft outdoor the boundaries of society. An outdated lady, with gipsy blood, starts to discover the conventions of society stifling – whilst her husband dies, and her youngsters go away domestic, she embraces a marginal, unconventional life, followed through her devoted cat. 'An outdated girl and Her Cat' brilliantly combines Doris Lessing's unforgiving exam of our society – and people it can't accommodate and ulitmately fails – with a superb portrait of her favorite animal – the cat.

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Extra info for An Old Woman and Her Cat

Example text

Even if you didn’t want to you had to be on the side of the wolf whose words were easy to interpret: Yes, every­ thing was just fine, wasn’t it? There I was all tame eating whatever they felt like throwing to me and licking everybody’s hand like a lamb while men in their houses gave themselves over to envy and lust and anger and made war on each other and the weak lost and the bad triumphed. She said the words “ weak” and “ bad” in such differing tones that no one could possibly doubt she was on the side of the weak.

The fact is that men, presidents or not, are full of their own dumb ideas. Besides, I wouldn’t run around giving recitals any old place like a lunatic, just at official functions or benefits. ” There was nothing wrong with it. She finished her bath. She went into her bedroom. While she was combing her hair, she saw in the mirror the shelves behind her. They were filled with books in disarray. Novels. Poetry. She thought about some of them and how much she liked them. Anthologies of the thousand best poems 1 8 in the world, no one had surpassed those giants and reciters of poetry— she had marked the most beautiful ones with little strips of paper.

It must be nerves. ” Suddenly she saw herself in the mirror, raised her arms, and tried out her voice: 2 2 The maaan with the heaaart of a leely soooul of a cheerub, celeeestial tooungue the humble and sweeeet Fraaancis of Asiiisi zwith a roooughan fieeercean imal. ” It was a good idea to lengthen the accented syllables. But she didn’t always know which ones they were unless they had a written accent mark. In “ soul of a cherub, celestial tongue” there was no way to know. W’ell, the important thing was feeling because without feeling knowing all the rules didn’t matter.

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