There s no plot for the reader to follow There are no characters for the reader to engage with There is no point to this narrative other than to show how stupid and corrupt humanity is Yeah, well, I already know that and this is not what I call entertainment.
This is my first book by Doris Lessing and I wouldn t necessary rule out another of her books the prose was fine I would just need to make sure that whatever else she wrote was not like this.
i first read Shikasta fifteen years ago, and found it fantastic but very difficult Rereading it now i felt differently, it was both a lot easier but also a lot less impressive.
A white woman who grew up in Zimbabwe back when it was Rhodesia become a nobel laureate in literature last year Amongst her reactions were something like what took you so long and my science fiction was my most important work Shikasta is the first book in Lessing s science fiction series, and it is very much a long, at times moving at times embarrassing examination of colonialism, oppression, and what Christians of which Lessing is not one would term the fall from grace This is not a zippy action tale, there is no clever word play or mind bending concepts, rather this book is Lessing s indictment of all of human history, and of human beings propensity to hurt and mistreat one another and the world we live in It climaxes with an actual trial in which the white race stands accused of all the crimes of euro imperialism, and ends with most of humanity being killed in some kind of war, the few survivors returning to a state of grace as Shammat Lessing s stand in for the Devil retreats from the planet.
There s lots in here, but not a lot which is great Some descriptions are quite evocative, the build up in which we are introduced to Shikasta that s the alien s name for Earth prior to the fall from grace, all this is very well done, though with a lot of loopy politics.
i feel bad giving this book three stars it really felt like several books within one volume, and the first third describing Shikasta s fall from paradise, so to speak and the last sixty pages basically from the Trial on were four five star material and i rarely give five stars unfortunately what came between, the case studies and Rachel Sherban s journal, were like one two star material.
This book is not one i would recommend to most people You have to have high tolerance for a kind of shameless self righteousness and earnestness normally associated with teenaged angst i consider myself to have much less problem with that stuff than most people, but still at times i felt embarrassed for Lessing.
On the other hand, it is an interesting period piece, both ahead of its time and also mired in how things looked thirty years ago In many ways the world is following pretty much the path Lessing prochesied, in some ways it seems even worst off.
PDF Re Colonised Planet , Shikasta By Doris Free Download Or read Online Re Colonised Planet , Shikasta Pdf EPUB Book The First Edition Of This Novel Was Published In , And Was Written By Doris Lessing The Book Was Published In Multiple Languages Including English Language, Consists Ofpages And Is Available In Hardcover Format The Main Characters Of This Science Fiction, Fiction Story Are , The Book Has Been Awarded With , And Re Colonised Planet , Shikasta By Doris Lessing Re Book Readreviews From The World S Largest Community For Readers This Is The First Volume In The Series Of Novels Doris Lessing Calls Collective Readreviews From The World S Largest Community For Shikasta Re, Colonised Planetbroch Doris LessingShikasta Re, Colonised Planet , Doris Lessing, Vintage Usa Des Milliers De Livres Avec La Livraison Chez Vous Enjour Ou En Magasin Avec % De Rduction Ou Tlchargez La Version Ebookshikasta Re, Colonised PlanetDorisNot Retrouvez Shikasta Re, Colonised Planetet Des Millions De Livres En Stock SurAchetez Neuf Ou D Occasionquotes From Re Colonised Planet , Shikasta By Doris Lessing, Quote From Re Colonised Planet , Shikasta This Is Because The Nature Of This Place Is A Strong Emotion Nostalgia Is Their Word For It Which Means A Longing For What Has Never Been, Or At Least Not In The Form And Shape ImaginedShikasta Re, Colonised PlanetPersonal, Re Colonised Planet , Shikasta Was Written Inby Doris Lessing, A Nobel Laureate In Literature Shikasta Is The Name Of The Central Planet In The Book And Shikasta Re Colonised Planetby Doris Lessing Shikasta Re Colonised Planetbook Readreviews From The World S Largest Community For Readers This Is The First Volume In The Series Of Novels Do Shikasta Wikipedia Re Colonised Planet , Shikasta Often Shortened To Shikasta Is Ascience Fiction Novel By Doris Lessing, And Is The First Book In Her Five Book Canopus In Argos Series It Was First Published In The United States In Octoberby Alfred A Knopf , And In The United Kingdom In Shikasta Re, Colonised PlanetVintage Shikasta Re, Colonised PlanetVintage International Doris Lessing OnFREE Shipping On Qualifying Offers This Is The First Volume In The Series Of Novels Doris Lessing Calls Collectively Canopus In Argos Archives Presented As A Compilation Of Documents Get Answers To Homework Questions BookRags Get Answers To Your Shikasta Re, Colonised PlanetPersonal, Psychological, Historical Questions From Professional Tutors At BookRags First read January 2005This book does three ambitious things.
1 It takes the Old Testament of the Bible as inspiration for its mythical geo historical content, but instead of an angry bearded guy in charge, it has a super advanced utopian collectivist space travelling civilization colonising Earth and then struggling to maintain a shadow of hope and stability through thousands of literally star crossed years when the unfortunate planet is fed on and influenced by another, evil space travelling civilization.
2 It attempts to realistically predict the Old Testament apocalypse playing out some time in the immediate future with the disintegration of most the structures of international organisation, collapse of Europe, rise of China, epidemics, famine, culmination in World War III, and the aftermath Lessing actually bothers to imagine the details3 It does these things while breaking and rebuilding the form of the novel The principle subtext to the plot, coarsely outlined above in points 1 and 2, is a nuanced but severe indictment of the crimes of European and especially English imperialism Its condemnation of wanton, wasteful, greedy, arrogant, careless behaviour, and the uncomfortable plea one that cannot be reasonably made by a White person, and is accordingly made very un reasonably here to the systematically oppressed peoples of the Earth not to slaughter White people in revenge, could have been the subject of a sanctimonious essay.
There is nothing of the essay about Shikasta There is no author voice The book presents itself as documents relating to visit by Johor and much of it is narrated by this Johor, emissary, envoy, agent of Canopus, the benevolent interstellar coloniser of Earth That he is an unreliable narrator is reiterated several times He often speaks of being affected by emanations and circumstances on Shikasta, and The Archivists who narrate the various extracts from Canopean official documents comment on Johor s judgement The Archivists are not reliable either For one thing, they are concerned with the broad sweep of events on a global scale, and for another Johor and other agents reports criticise them for their imperfect understanding of local conditions.
When Johor is incarnated, Christlike, as George, we know we can t rely on him as we know he will not remember being Johor, his life experience will affect him, and we have already seen one of his colleagues wander from the path planned for him by Canopus In fact, George might have been the best choice of narrator for the time of the Last Days , but Lessing abandons direct narration altogether at this point and instead has the last 200 pages worth of events unfold through a variety of documents, principally the diary of George s yes, of course unreliable younger sister.
Perhaps most importantly, we are not made to assume that Canopus represents Lessing Canopus is concerned that the White races escape extermination because they are genetically useful animals for the overall health of the species This eugeneticist stance, revealed only towards the end of the book, casts a slightly sinister shadow over Canopus return to power over Earth.
Finally, I will comment on the picture painted here of human beings, through multiple sources and events It is a dim one We are weak, foolish and highly suggestible animals, neither wise and kind enough to build our own geometrically pleasing anarchist utopia Johor calls power hierarchies the Degenerative Disease without the vital flow of substance of we feeling fellow feeling from Canopus, nor wicked and stupid enough to build our own hell the present state of humanity on Earth without the influence of an evil parasitic influence feeding on violence and waste.
It was as if I had been given the task of telling someone in perfect health that he would shortly become a moron, but that he must do his best to remember some useful facts, which were a b cso says Johor of the time when the ancient, utopian civilisation began to collapse The best a Shikastan can do is struggle to thrive and support her brothers and sisters against all the odds, and wait for the return of Canopus.
This premise of human dependency is problematic for me, but I think it contains its own negation since the book is actually written by a Shikastan Lessing asserts the unreliability of all her narrators, allowing a space for the weak human thesis to be a colonial misunderstanding of the colonised.
They say North America is full of troubles but I said I didn t want to listen any longer.
I have always admired Doris Lessing s vision as a novelist and a humanist The Golden Notebook was as was The Diaries of Jane Somers, about which I wrote at length, and very personally, here such an important book to me, and continues to be to this day, and I think its focus on our deep psychological and interpersonal rifts is still highly visionary, ominously prescient.
With that said, and perhaps because sci fi and space fiction as Lessing has termed the Canopus in Argos series are not my cup of tea, I haven t begun to touch these works of hers until now And in the hands of a lesser novelist, without Lessing s politics and her vision here, too, is when her Sufism begins to be apparent in her fiction , this might have been a much, much weaker novel than it was I ve upgraded my rating to 4 stars from 3 3.
5 on the simple grounds that this is, after all, Doris Lessing But I was riveted, especially by the early and later reportage sections It makes sense that these are archival, scattered sources, some reportage and some letters, some trial transcripts and some diaristic memoirs Lessing has in essence re envisioned the entire history of the earth in Shikasta the earliest, and most difficult, dense, laborious, sections deal with her space galaxy revision of the creationist tales from the Old Testament These are ingenious and transcend both time and space pun not intended However, some of the later sections with Shikasta, aka Earth, on the brink of World War 3 seem dated to us now in their historical, post Soviet references, but they were highly visionary and even uncouth when she published this series Many negative reviews seem to be misreading or not understanding this, and therefore taking this book out of context, which is unfair to a work that was truly groundbreaking for its time and still has relevance to our own.
Conceived as a single book which morphed into five volumes, I look forward to dipping into the other ones soon Some of Lessing s visions about our world and the inner workings of humanity how we function, how we lack qualities that would otherwise see us excel as a human race, and how other planets might have experimented on us, and, ultimately, failed are revolutionary for her time period she was one of the first bestselling female authors to turn to sci fi, and she was criticized for Shikasta upon its publication, for a variety of reasons, not least of which was genre My advice would be to not approach these books unless you are already well versed in Lessing s main humanist themes that much of her work broaches some successfully than others And if you re expecting sci fi of the intergalactic spaceship and alien sort, well this is also not for you Even though both do sort of exist in this novel But if you re curious about an alternate history about how the world was created, and how we went wrong especially in this day and age when we have gone so wrong then this is a fun, uneven, and somewhat pactchworked read to consider Just don t judge Lessing on this book, please in her defense, I think working in a new genre caused her to take on than she could chew in one dose, hence the subsequent books she didn t at first foresee And perhaps she gets better at writing space fiction in those maybe she even gets closer to the pulse of the sexual political strain that she touches on briefly here of our Shikastan crisis as we launch into a geopolitical world that she could not have predicted, and yet, given the founding mythology she creates in Shikasta makes a little sense, perhaps, to the disillusioned.
No pude terminarlo Cuando iba por el tercio del libro que se me hizo eterno decid abandonarlo No quise seguir perdiendo el tiempo en una lectura que no va conmigo porque, siendo honesta, el libro no es malo, su planteamiento es bastante interesante Propone que la evoluci n de la vida en los planetas es controlada por tres milenarios imperios gal cticos rivales, quienes, a trav s de peque as intervenciones, en equilibrio con los diferentes eventos astrales, van dirigiendo el destino de las especies Cada uno de los imperios tiene diferentes caracter sticas que, por supuesto, imprimen en los planetas y que en ocasiones, entran en conflicto desbaratando el plan que uno u otro pudiera tener A pesar de lo anterior, debo reconocer que la lectura se me hizo muy pesada y poco motivadora Los sucesos se van desarrollando con tanta pasividad, que se siente que no se avanza, casi podr a compararla con el concepto de evoluci n, tan usado en la novela los efectos de las intervenciones que realizan los imperios s lo se ven reflejados cientos, o incluso, miles de a os despu s Tampoco ayuda el hecho de que pr cticamente no hay di logos, ya que casi todo el libro est escrito simulando el informe del emisario de uno de los imperios.
Tampoco es un misterio que Shikasta es la Tierra de hecho, en la edici n que le est expl cito en su contratapa y en ese contexto, la lectura se transforma en un informe de la evoluci n de nuestro planeta a trav s de la mirada de los intervencionistas de otros planetas que luego, bien podr an ser los profetas que se nombran en los escritos de diferentes religiones Ese toque pseudo religioso tampoco me gust.
I read this book shortly after it was first published I ve since finished re reading it in its eBook form.
It was hard But then, Lessing s Briefing for a Descent into Hell was hard, and worth the trouble Shikasta was then, and remains, a book of huge scope It runs across all of human history, adding in pre history and moving forward beyond today and into the future.
As I read it I fancied I discovered echoes of The Four Gated City , the final book in Lessing s Children of Violence series I still found that in the second reading.
What I did take away from the book this time, however, is the thought that Lessing didn t, at the time, have much faith in us humans, in our societies True, the book ends with paradise being rediscovered, recreated but only through outside agency the Canopeans Of course, the book s contention is that our descent into the unhealthy societies we live in is also due to outside agency, outside influence that of Shammat.
Still, the feeling that we are unable to build societies that function well permeates the book I disagree with the premise, but I still, even after a second reading, regard the book as masterful.
I read this edition in 1979 Bought the hardcover, even Went on to buy the rest in hardcover, and devour them, enjoying the bravura performances that they werebut they re not good SF The genre s conventions are simply disregarded, if and this is by no means certain Lessing was even aware of them.
My rating is for my memory of the melancholic mournful musicality of the prose I m not going to claim that, forty years on, I retain a grasp the subtleties of the story told, and I don t have the book any But what s stuck with me is the fact that I didn t feel I was growing a uterus as I read, which is what Marion Zimmer Bradley s and Joanna Russ s books made me feeland what Lessing s own non genre books quite frequently made and make me feel.
I m not at all sure a re read of the book would be wise, but if the Kindle edition goes down to 1.
99 I ll try it At 5.
99, nope nix nein nyet nuh uh.
My favorite quotes from this book both come from the introduction Shikasta has as its starting point, like many others of the genre, the Old Testament It is our habit to dismiss the Old Testament altogether because Jehovah, or Jahve, does not think or behave like a social worker I do think that there is something very wrong with an attitude that puts a serious novel on one shelf and, let s say, First and Last Men on another And, indeed, the overall effect is rather as though Olaf Stapledon had rewritten the Bible with a little help from E.
E Doc Smith and Michael Moorcock We learn that the Earth s history is bound up with the shifting fortunes of a war between two galactic empires Canopus, the good guys, and Puttiora, the bad guys An accident occurred a few thousand years ago, since when the Puttiorans have been doing alarmingly well and the Canopeans have been fighting a desperate rearguard action It s a bit of a mess, though there are good passages every now and then I like the defensive way the Canopeans react to the Earthpeople s complaints about how they ve been abandoned by their heavenly leaders We ve regularly sent people to guide and comfort them Well, except for a brief period during the last fifteen hundred years But now they ve got their act together, and Emissary Johor incarnates as the mortal human George Sherban Much of what we find out about Sherban comes from his sister s account I didn t completely buy him as a Christ figure it s been done too often, and Lessing doesn t bring enough new ideas to the table but there are a couple of great moments One in particular, when she s watching Johor George working his guts out to try and save our miserable souls She quietly observesThere were days when he was so tired he wasn t beautiful any.
I don t know about you, but that sends shivers down my spine.
This book is so terrible that I added a new shelf refused to finish It has managed to supplant Red Mars by Kim Stanley Robinson as the worst book I ve had the misfortune to encounter and this includes Breaking Dawn The main problem with this book is that the writing is bad Doris Lessing won the Nobel Prize in literature for this series, so I had high hopes that at a minimum the prose would be good It s not Not even a little bit There have been precisely two moments in the 156 pages I read where the writing rose to the level of not bad The rest was tortuous monotony.
The second problem with this book is that it thinks it is being clever when it is really not being very clever at all The central conceit of this book is that all the stuff from the Bible is actually literally true, but misunderstood So, for example, the Giants mentioned in Genesis were actually a different breed of alien brought from another planet to act as mentors for the indigenous humans The long life spans from the geneology sections of the Bible Also true but humankind has been devolving horrifically due to a shortage of substance of we feeling which I did not make up and which is often referred to in the book as SOWF I didn t make that up either The Flood happened literally, although the rain lasted for nearly 2 months instead of 40 days, and although Noah escaped by going to a very high mountain instead of building a boat Soddom and Gomorrah Burned to cinders by space lasers.
What all this means is that so far the first 156 pages of the book have been an incredibly tedious reimagining of the history of Earth told by someone who doesn t realize that the shaggy God cliche is, in fact, a cliche Wikipedia A shaggy God story is a minor science fiction genre characterized by an attempt to explain Biblical concepts with science fiction tropes Now you might say, But this book was written in 1971 Surely it wasn t a cliche then In fact, the term was coined in 1965 and the cliche was a cliche long before that Now maybe Doris Lessing had never heard the term and was completely unfamiliar with the trope, but the most charitable thing you can possibly say is that she ignorantly recycled a very well trod genre cliche and then did a very poor, unimaginative, and boring job of it.
Which brings me to the last part of why I ve decided to set this book aside and turn over a new leaf in the book of my own life, a leaf that reads on the reverse side Nathaniel will now feel not shame but pride for refusing to finish truly awful books and rating them on Goodreads anyway The entire ideology Lessing apparently admires is ignorant and reprehensible.
I give her some credit for trying to be non partisan in her writing and for criticizing the left along with the right in her meandering and semi coherent polemic, but the fact is that it s possible to be non partisan and worse than partisan I didn t now this until now, so I guess that s one thing that I ve learned from this book Her entire ideology is some frightful all or nothing choice between total individualism, self interest and greed and absolutely losing oneself in the collective we remember that substance of we feeling The majestic Canopeans who play the role of God with thinly veiled patience, slumming it as mere deities for the sake of their troublesome human charges put the service of the Greater Good above all else, to the point where they choose where to live based on where they can do the greatest good irrespective of friendship or family This could be a morally fraught and emotionally charged aspect of their culture, were it not conveyed with such mind numbing lack of imagination Sorry, mom, I have to go to Square City where everything is made of squares because I just really have the essence of that Shape in me, and I m not in tune with the vibrations of this Circle City where everything is a Circle That s not an exact quote, but the city names and overall concept is It s not that you couldn t make something like this up it s just that if you cared about your readership you wouldn t.
Aside from being banal and ignorant of history, science, economics, and common sense her ideology is frankly evil She is outright in favor of eugenics, totalitarian rule, and mass slaughter in the name of ideological purity Because she envisions SOWF that s substance of we feeling , if you tried to forget as a kind of literal substance like Midi chlorians from Star Wars, but so much worse there s a blatant belief in austere population control and the world gets remarkably better off after a thermonuclear war reduces the world s population by 99%, so that the survivors have enough SOWF to be getting along with There s no apparent trace of irony to someone who spends endless pages castigating rampant materialism basing her entire ideology on having enough physical stuff to go around, and culling the excess population if necessary to keep it that way Look, some of her politics I find rather personally reprehensible I think even pro choice people would cringe at lauding someone who had three abortions, because the men did not seem to her to be originallyenough minted from the human stock to make their progeny worthwhile I mean, safe and legal is one thing, culling the genetically inferior is another But there s a reason I listed my political problems last First they are pretty universally bad Not many folks are really going to stand up and clap for the eugenics movement Secondly you have to wade through terrible writing and awful cliches just to get that far.
So that s why I ve written this long, extensive review So that you won t have to Because, and trust me on this, it s not worth it.