Lessing's legacy explored through her personal archive

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Abstract

Lessing fiercely resisted interpretation and categorisation by academics and yet she chose to bequeath her vast archive of personal diaries and correspondence to an academic institution. This paper will profile Lessing’s vast personal archive at UEA. It will discuss the curatorial approach taken to the Doris Lessing 100 centenary exhibition. Given the sheer scale of archive material and the breadth of Lessing’s interests and activities throughout the twentieth century, this effort demanded the input of a range literary scholars and historians. The embargo of a large tranche of archive material necessitated delicate negotiations with the Literary Trustees. Given the exhibition was in a visual arts space, the added demand of contextualising Lessing’s life and letters with visual material and objects posed significant challenges and a departure from typical curatorial practices. Finally, the paper will discuss, at a high level, the still embargoed collection of material to be released to scholars at a later date.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)56-61
Number of pages6
JournalCritical Quarterly
Volume65
Issue number3
Early online date23 Aug 2023
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2023

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