This world is run by people who know how to do things. They know how things work. They are equipped. Up there, there’s a layer of people who run everything. But we – we’re just peasants. We don’t understand what’s going on, and we can’t do anything.

Doris Lessing

Space or science fiction has become a dialect for our time.

Doris Lessing

That is what learning is. You suddenly understand something you’ve understood all your life, but in a new way.

Doris Lessing

The great secret that all old people share is that you really haven’t changed in seventy or eighty years. Your body changes, but you don’t change at all. And that, of course, causes great confusion.

Doris Lessing

There are no laws for the novel. There never have been, nor can there ever be.

Doris Lessing

Read more quotes from these Nobel Laureates in Literature:

Doris LessingAlice MunroKazuo IshiguroJean Paul Sartre
Mario Vargas LlosaBob DylanPearl S. Buck Albert Camus
J. M. CoetzeeOrhan PamukV.S. Naipaul Seamus Heaney
Ernest HemingwayNadine GordimerG√ľnter GrassKenzaburo Oe
Harold PinterDario FoJose SaramagoWislawa Szymborska
Wole SoyinkaOctavio PazAndre GideGabriel Garcia Marquez
Patrick WhitePablo NerudaSamuel BeckettShmuel Y. Agnon
Bertrand RussellNaguib MahfouzJoseph BrodskyJohn Steinbeck
Salvatore Quasimodo Aleksandr SolzhenitsynThomas MannHermann Hesse

There is only one real sin and that is to persuade oneself that the second best is anything but second best.

Doris Lessing

Think wrongly, if you please, but in all cases think for yourself.

Doris Lessing

Trust no friend without faults, and love a woman, but no angel.

Doris Lessing

We use our parents like recurring dreams, to be entered into when needed.

Doris Lessing

What is a hero without love for mankind.

Doris Lessing

What’s terrible is to pretend that second-rate is first-rate. To pretend that you don’t need love when you do; or you like your work when you know quite well you’re capable of better.

Doris Lessing

Some people obtain fame, others deserve it.

Doris Lessing

You can’t be a Red if you’re married to a civil servant.

Doris Lessing

Literature is analysis after the event.

Doris Lessing

With a library you are free, not confined by temporary political climates. It is the most democratic of institutions because no one – but no one at all – can tell you what to read and when and how.

Doris Lessing

If a fish is the movement of water embodied, given shape, then cat is a diagram and pattern of subtle air.

Doris Lessing

A simple grateful thought turned heavenwards is the most perfect prayer.

Doris Lessing

Any human anywhere will blossom in a hundred unexpected talents and capacities simply by being given the opportunity to do so.

Doris Lessing

Borrowing is not much better than begging; just as lending with interest is not much better than stealing.

Doris Lessing

Pearls mean tears.

Doris Lessing

I don’t know much about creative writing programs. But they’re not telling the truth if they don’t teach, one, that writing is hard work, and, two, that you have to give up a great deal of life, your personal life, to be a writer.

Doris Lessing

Small things amuse small minds.

Doris Lessing

In the writing process, the more a story cooks, the better.

Doris Lessing

In university they don’t tell you that the greater part of the law is learning to tolerate fools.

Doris Lessing

It is terrible to destroy a person’s picture of himself in the interests of truth or some other abstraction.

Doris Lessing

It is the mark of great people to treat trifles as trifles and important matters as important.

Doris Lessing

Man, who is he? Too bad, to be the work of God: Too good for the work of chance!

Doris Lessing

Pleasure resorts are like film stars and royalty… embarrassed by the figures they cut in the fantasies of people who have never met them.

Doris Lessing

For the last third of life there remains only work. It alone is always stimulating, rejuvenating, exciting and satisfying.

Doris Lessing