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We both grew up in the NYC area and get there as often as we can. We both start smiling when we get the car parked and start to walk around Manhattan. In CT, we have a house we love on a nice wooded lot and enjoy the relative peace and quiet of our home, but for museums and theatres and restaurants, what compares to NY? But I do have to mention that as theatre junkies, we also spend a week each summer in Niagara-on-the-Lake in Ontario, where the quality of the productions matches and sometimes surpasses almost anything you can see on Broadway.
Your books have great covers. Do you have any input into the designs? Thanks, I love them too. I have had minimal input: For Death by Committee , I got to tell them what my favorite was among three possible covers, but the sales manager had the final say. Fortunately, he agreed with me. And Sterling House has a very talented artistic staff. How does your family feel about you being both a scientist and a mystery writer? Do they help with P. I think my family and friends are tickled by the way I re-invent myself every couple of decades. How can readers find out more about you and your books?
Visit my website and read about my YA books too: Now you've got me humming showtunes! Thursday, October 19, My Writing Doppelganger. I have long known there are other Julia Buckleys. There are two Julia Buckleys in England, and I believe they are both writers. One of them has a popular blog about her book-in-process, but it is her fun blog that has brought her attention.
She has mentioned me recently www. However, she referred to me as the "creepy" Julia Buckley, because my book cover is rather sinister looking. Now I think we are best friends. If anyone else named Julia Buckley would like to add her name to the list, do comment here. If you are not blessed with this wonderful moniker, you may comment anyway.
Art from the Abergavenny Historical Society. Posted by Julia Buckley at Thursday, October 19, 3 comments: Thanks for chatting on the blog. Your mystery novel, The Dirt-Brown Derby , has earned some praise from some big names: Have you met all of these icons? Thank you for letting me participate on your wonderful blog.
I hate getting blurbs, but it seems part of the business now. Bill Crider, Bill Pronzini, and Ed Gorman knew my writing essays on the pulp writers for Mystery File and Noir Originals , two ezines specializing in crime fiction retrospectives. I met Ed Dee at a book festival and I saw John Lescroart on a panel at the same festival the following year. Charlie Stella had liked my work from an ezine that he guest-edited. My cool editor Al Guthrie knows Ken Bruen. Hey, name-dropping can be fun. No, I understood the horsey set, at least from the outside looking in. I grew up and lived for many years in Warrenton, the county seat of Fauquier County that sits right next door to Middleburg, Virginia.
This is where the affluent horse squires live on their immense estates. My dad, a lineman for the power company, also had stories to tell whenever they worked at the estates. One autumn I was a campaign worker for a political race held up in the horse country. This certainly creates a unique society. How can you not love driving around and grooving on all of that still rural countryside? Okay, first things first: How many people have sung that Glenn Campbell song to your dad: How did you happen upon the idea for the novel?
As I said in Dirt-Brown , the horse riding accident was suggested by the tragic death of a local girl, Shelly Malone, who was allegedly trampled to death by her horse. But I did no research, as I wanted Dirt-Brown to use its own original plotline. This year you will publish a second novel called The Blue Cheer.
So, Frank clashes with an atheist hate cult called The Blue Cheer, which has terrorist designs. For one thing, The Blue Cheer has gotten its hands on some old Stinger weapons. I wrote technical manuals on Stingers for eighteen years, so writing that part was a little easier. How do you come up with your titles? I remember chewing on a steak at the time. I recalled a headbanger rock band from the sixties called Blue Cheer.
Recently, I saw a church songbook using the title. I try to juggle my fiction with my non-fiction projects. Recently I restarted my pro book review activities after a long hiatus. It sure feels like it on most days. Like with everybody, time management becomes important. What do you like to read? I guess that list is long enough. If you could cast your own book with current movie stars, who would play your main characters? My only published protagonist, PI Frank Johnson, would be a tough call for me.
What part of the country do you live in? Do you find you tend to set your books where you live, or elsewhere? The weird rock formations and colors there make it look like a science fiction landscape. Okay, hang on--You live near the Pentagon and you used to write manuals about The Stinger. Are you a weapons expert? I worked for a private aerospace company who made the Stinger rockets. I just happen to live near the Pentagon. I've never worked for the CIA. Ha, that might make for an interesting bio. What are your goals for the coming year? Quiet Anchorage, set in a small town, is making its way through the reading rounds at a mystery publisher.
A science fiction title, The Quetzal Motel , is also due out in I relish the variety of working in several different genres. Maybe some of that will rub off on me. Well, I had a web site until the webmaster blew away all the code on a Linux server. Meanwhile, an author link for Dirt-Brown exists at: The Blue Cheer out from Wildside Press will receive a national distribution to the chain bookstores. Thanks for chatting, Ed! And thanks for letting share a few words with you, Julia.
Posted by Julia Buckley at Wednesday, October 18, 2 comments: Monday, October 16, An Autumn Reflection. They wander not nor wring their hands nor weep, discrown'd belated dreams! And yet I see a parallel, especially to the idea of trying to master the chopsticks. Trying to get those slippery noodles between those two pieces of wood--well, that's trying to wrestle your plot into shape. And then there's the other struggle--that long string of noodles that you can't bite off without looking rude.
I see that as a lovely analogy for revision. Where to cut it off? There's a lot of pressure here; people are watching, after all. And of course they say that when you eat stir-fry food you end up being hungry again in what seems like just a few minutes. When I struggle through a mystery I think, okay, that's IT. I have to keep writing. Does my noodle comparison work? But in all honesty I just wanted to post this picture of Graham and his first attempt at chopsticks. And by the way, he was a natural. Posted by Julia Buckley at Sunday, October 15, 7 comments: Congratulations on the debut of your book, Death Angel.
At your signing you posted today, you were giving out chocolate truffles and Guardian Angel pins. Did you take out a loan to do your promotion? Thank the Lord for Ebay and Costco. I try to keep my marketing efforts at an affordable level. How has the promotion been going? I used to prefer all booksignings and appearances to be behind a very large potted plant. How did you come up with the idea for Death Angel?
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And before you answer that, how did you happen to start writing mysteries? I was raised on mysteries. Started with Nancy Drew and went right to Agatha Christie. I actually came up with the idea for Death Angel about fifteen years ago. There are certain benefits to aging. I think she called it dark because the premise is frightening. A child is dead and the parents are suspected.
In a perfect world we would say this could never happen. Unfortunately there are cases in the headlines where this is what happens. You are also a humor columnist, freelance editor, and public speaker. Geez, Martha, do you cater your own events, too? What sorts of things do you speak about? Civilians are always fascinated by the process of writing. I tell a little bit about how a book is created and the way it gets published. People ask us how we get our ideas because they are curious about the process.
What was a low point in your career? I started out by writing romances because there is no better group for learning the craft of writing than the Romance Writers of America. Their craft workshops are the best. No one can give you the talent of writing but they can teach you the mechanics. So I wrote romances until the itch to get back to mysteries got strong enough and I had the confidence to just quit and try a thriller. The low point was being two years without publishing and getting rejections from agents and never getting a chance to get a book in front of an editor.
What are you writing now? What sorts of books do you like to read? Do you have a writing icon? Thrillers and mysteries are my preferred reading. Too many icons to single out anyone in particular. I belong to the Florida chapter of MWA and we have dozens of great writers who I can rub shoulders with: You wrote that it took you over a year to find an agent for you work. How did you go about trying to find one? How did you end up having dinner in New York with Michael Korda?
Those who saw the book wanted major revisions but their vision was not my vision.
Talk about an icon. He told me to send the book. In my stupidity, I thought he called everyone. We talked about the book for about twenty minutes. Who knew I had a career? Martha, you're an inspiration. Can I take you and Michael Korda to lunch? You seem like a very determined person. Is that my imagination? I was raised to believe if you wanted something you needed to go after it.
The trick is to stick with it. How do you like Vero Beach, Florida? How is it different from the Midwest, where you lived most of your life? I loathe winter and will be happy to see snow only on TV. It's October 12, and it snowed today in Chicago. I'll bet you miss it NOW. Are you touring for Death Angel? Most of the rest of the signings will be around Florida after this so I can get back to writing. How can readers find out more about you and your writing? To get a better idea of who I am, you should read my humor columns. My thrillers are all about what frightens me and how I deal with those fears.
What aspect of your career makes you the proudest? Psychologically you tap into your own emotions when you write and dig to find out what you value in your life. These are reflected in your writing. I try to make each book technically and emotionally better. Writers should never stop learning because who you are as a person and a technician seeps into your writing. Thanks so much for talking with me. Posted by Julia Buckley at Thursday, October 12, 2 comments: Why the Tarot connection? Is it a fascination of yours? I always loved the Tarot. Oh, sure, I did astrology and I Ching and all those Sixties groovy explorations.
But the Tarot stuck. I love the imagery, and the mysteriousness of the whole thing. Also I have a long and convoluted theory about how a particular spread of the cards is reflecting the chaotic patterns of the universe as they emerge every moment, but I'll spare you the pseudo physics. Should I make life decisions based on my Tarot reading from your site? Or could Warren Ritter be wrong? Some folks have written my amazing stories about the readings they got on my site. You won the St. How did you happen to enter?
I was reading everything I could about mysteries and ran across this contest surfing. I entered it knowing it was a stupid waste of paper. I was sure the only way to succeed was to get an agent. So six months and 47 rejected query letters later I was ready to give up. I'd almost forgotten about the contest. On Monday of a particularly bad week I swore I was going to give up if nothing happened that week. On Tuesday I got the call that I won. Your novel, Eight of Swords , introduces the aforementioned Warren Ritter. How did you go about creating Warren?
Did he just appear in your psyche one day? No, I set about creating him very intentionally. I was determined to get published, after my great literary novel had been rejected by everyone. So I decided on mysteries, since they were the most stable genre. I loved Berkeley, California, so it was a perfect setting. But the only mysteries set there are about cops. Cops and Berkeley just didn't mix.
So I made him a street vendor, and ex-revolutionary, and a manic depressive. Now he fit right in to the Berkeley scene. Heck, with credentials like that he could be elected mayor. How does your therapy background inform your fictional work? I always look deeply into a particular psychopathology in every book: What is a life coach?
I work with healthy, motivated people who want to attain specific personal goals in their lives. Together we craft a plan for doing that, and week-by-week I help them implement that plan. Gazing into the mirror, the narrator sees. If Rubenstein and Tiger directly address the nature of the mirrored gaze in their essays, the mirror is implicitly figured in a number of other essays.
Again, the evolution in the mirrored image reveals the trajectory of developing self-identity proposed by Wilber. The retrospective journey explored in this study in which a female character is led by inner or outer forces to examine earlier episodes and aspects of her life bears much in common with what geriatric specialist Robert N. This female midlife renaissance may be due in part to increased concentra- tion of testosterone in their blood ibid. These developmental stories of women of a certain age often begin with the woman at midlife experiencing a depression, unexplained malaise, or the falling apart of her world see examples of this pattern in chapters 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, and 9 as she must face the loss of a familiar stage of self-identity and encounter the fear and uncertainty that accompany the venture into unknown territory.
However, midlife and beyond narratives of spiritual becoming need not deny the body. Women, Bod- ies, Generations xiv. In general, the conception of spiritual adventuring celebrated in this volume honors what Wilber calls the immanent and the transcen- dent dimensions of spirit—its embrace of the natural world, relation- ships, community, and sensual fulfillment, as well as its aspirations for eternal existence and closeness to the divine. The spirituality celebrated in works discussed in this collection embraces both other- worldly ascent of the spirit see especially chapters 1, 2, and 3 and this-worldly descent found in a number of chapters.
Both need to be acknowledged and integrated to show the richness and breadth of the river of spirit as it flows through human life. Lit- erary Autobiographies of Aging helps us find the relationship between the immanent and the transcendent figured in unexpected places. This desire may also be tied to powerful experiences of imma- nence in the embrace of the natural world or the celebration of the joys of work and love.
The essays in this volume cover works written by women writers in the last three decades. I might add that Lessing, in particular, has more often anticipated and shaped new cultural trends than been influenced by them. We saw this in the s with her feminist classic The Golden Notebook , which helped awaken a generation of women read- ers to the sound of adult women talking seriously about life, love, and politics. Several studies have defined new genres or mapped out new areas of interest that this present volume complements or supplements.
In From the Hearth to the Open Road: The present volume develops this area in great depth. Studies in Creativity , edited by Anne M. Wyatt-Brown and Janice Rossen. These concerns throw light on the last pages that Iris Chase writes in her memoir in The Blind Assassin, as discussed in chapters 4 and 5 in this collection.
English Postcolonial and Contemporary British Novels , which look at identity formation in women of middle age and later, are also helpful to this collection. Singer in chapter 9 also notes the commingling of these genres, reminding us of the important role played by film in the popularity of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood stories. Pairing theoretical and literary works in creative ways, Chivers offers refreshing new insights into such staples of old age as grandmother- hood, the nursing home, and elderly female friendships—institutions important to several of the works discussed in this volume see chap- ters 4, 5, 7, 8, 9, and More than half the chapters in this volume focus on the works of Doris Lessing and Margaret Atwood because both of these writers have, in recent years, explored with exceptional originality and depth the retrospective spiritual journeys of women of a certain age.
Lessing, who at eighty-eight has produced a new novel The Cleft , is a model for the continuing creativity, experimental courage, and fidelity to her own vision of the older woman writer. In most cases the movement forward is accompanied by a long look back that allows them to revisit, reevaluate, and reintegrate the past into their mature sense of self. Atwood foregrounds this exterior realm of behavior and place while mischievously interweaving cultural texts and contexts, such as horror stories, comic books, pop stars, mythic figures, science fiction, and quilts, seaming together the borders of the inner and outer, the individual and collective.
The last section of the book widens the examination of spiritual adventuring by women protagonists to include works by other contem- porary women writers, including postcolonial and aboriginal women. Ingersoll shows how not only are Iris and Laura bred for sacrifice but also, it seems, so are the men who die in the war. In contrast, in The Robber Bride, the three vulnerable protagonists complete the quest, confronting the power tactics of Zenia and their own inadequacies that she mir- rors through her stories.
Nowhere are cultural scripts more amusingly challenged than in No Fixed Address: An Amorous Journey and The Widows. Singer also extends her examina- tion beyond the confines of the two novels to encompass not only the film version of the Ya-Ya novel but also the intense female friend- ships formed through involvement of readers in Ya-Ya chat rooms and the regular online column by the author as other vehicles for reader growth. While hardships are recounted, there is no rancor. Here the retrospective conarrative of Mala and Tyler not only transforms the present consciousness of the voyager but also reshapes her memo- ries of the past.
Often their spiral-like journeys back through self-assessment and self-discovery lead to new self-acceptance, sometimes even to a new level of consciousness. A few dare to embrace the transpersonal on their way to being more fully human. Each of the writers contributing to this collection has likewise explored with integrity and thoughtful appre- ciation the various adventures undertaken by the midlife or beyond women characters, responding with sensitivity and openness to the difficulties and obstacles, as well as to the successes and breakthroughs that confront the women characters on their journeys along the life spiral.
Over and over, we are privileged to discover not the decline into age but the evolution of individuals throughout the life course. The Psychology for Human Development and the Quest for Meaning, Wilber covers the first six stages of spiritual development. It maps the evolution of individual and collective, subjective and objective consciousness.
Within the domain of indi- vidual subjective consciousness, it encompasses the nine rungs of the ladder of self-awareness, the corresponding examination of the climber at each rung, and, finally, a look at the worldview of the self at each stage, including a different self- identity, self-need, and moral sense. Wilber identifies four quad- rants associated with each sphere through all the waves of the Great Nest. These quadrants represent both individual and collective development viewed from the inside subjectively and the outside objectively. I am only examining the evolution of self-identity.
Sandra Singer uses this image in chapter 9. The phrase comes from the title of a collection of short pieces by Canadian women writers. Waxman also discusses the study of the fe- male Bildungsroman, The Voyage In: Gullette argues for an understanding of age that counteracts the decline narrative with an understanding of the evolution of identity throughout the life course Aged by Culture — Fictions of Female Development. UP of New England, Morning in the Burned House.
An Interpretation of Reminiscence in the Aged. Journal of the Study of Interpersonal Processes 26 From Old Woman to Older Women: Ohio State UP, The Reproduction of Mothering: Psychoanalysis and the So- ciology of Gender. U of California P, Life Lived Like a Story: U of Nebraska P, Introduction 23 Gilligan, Carol. In a Different Voice: U of Chicago P, Safe at Last in the Middle Years: Men and Women in Later Life. Polly Young-Eisendrath and Terence Dawson, 89— The Last Gift of Time: The Diaries of Jane Somers.
Memoirs of a Survivor. Panther Books Granada , Praisesong for the Widow. Cereus Blooms at Night. Rege, Josna and Ruth Saxton, eds. Special issue of Doris Lessing Studies English Postcolonial and Contemporary British Novels. Red Deer Press, From the Hearth to the Open Road: To Live in the Center of the Moment: Literary Autobiographies of Ag- ing. U of Virginia P, Atlantic Monthly Press, Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood.
A Brief History of Everything. Consciousness, Spirit, Psychology, Therapy. Freud and Other Fictions, 53— Aging and Gender in Litera- ture: But as the last two titles demonstrate, the dominant narrative paradigms are either decline into invisibility or—as in the case of the withering witch—eruption into excessive visibility. What I propose to explore in this essay is the fictional representa- tion of unanticipated interior journeys undertaken by three middle- aged matrons: Doris Lessing face the diminution of forthcoming old age alone—two having been widowed and the third divorced—on the surface, the life circumstances of these three women could not be more different.
Handsome, sensible, cool, collected, the two widows find themselves voyaging retrospec- tively—and eruptively—back to psychic landscapes buried, closed off, neglected, forgotten. Having committed sins of omission rather than commission, the third—now solitary in a small, shabby flat in a seedy borough of London—comes to regret the passive disengagement that marked her Suffolk life as conventional wife to a schoolmaster and mother of three now estranged daughters.
All three voyage physically, geographically, psychologically, and— in the case of Avey Johnson—spiritually. Their journeys are prompted in part by older mentors, each one a female figure. For Sarah Durham it is the spell of Julie Vairon, the long-dead writer and musician whose romantic story—three lovers loved and lost, a child dead, a reclusive life ended by suicide—is the source for a collaborative drama Durham and others create. How could such a thing have happened? Geographically isolated from the United States, these Sea Islands sustained over the years sturdy African cultural traditions carried originally by transported slaves, the heritage that Great-Aunt Cuney will again kindle in the middle-aged Avey.
For Candida Wilton it is the elderly Mrs. Ruined temples, desert sands, dead languages, foreign tongues. Both The Seven Sisters, a middle-aged female recasting of Aeneas, and Praisesong for the Widow, a middle-aged female recasting of Odys- seus, engage in a contemporary recasting of voyaging marked by three stages of the exterior and interior journey: As readers of love, again remember, the sixty-five-year-old Sarah Durham has been widowed for years, her grown children well past the need of her care, her mother remote and undemanding; thus are the traditional scripts for female protagonists set aside.
So what script remains? Doris Lessing of decline: Surely by now she ought to have at least the odd grey hair? She did not often look in the mirror: Why should she be? Not bad, she supposed. She looked a handsome middle-aged matron. A hairdresser had improved her hair-do: These Green Parrot colleagues become interested in a recently rediscovered feminist, Julie Vairon a late nineteenth-century Martinique quadroon , whose haunting music and coolly intelligent journals become the basis for a play Durham writes to then be produced and performed.
Stephen Ellington-Smith, a wealthy patron of the arts, confesses he has been desperately in love with the long-dead woman. As Phyllis Sternberg Perrakis so succinctly summarizes: That psychic voyage is abetted by the Julie Vairon tale, which acts as the inverse template for the conclusion, but not closure, of a contemporary tale about women released from the poison that is love denied. Thus does this sleeper awake, knowing her unquenchable craving for love had such an early—and benighted—source. As in love, again, cru- cial to the recovery of unacknowledged memories is the operation of dreaming.
For the three pre- vious days, despite the companionship of her two female cruise-going friends, she had been distressed by a disturbing dream. In the troubled dream-waters, her Great-Aunt Cuney first beckoned her to come, then fought physically to force her to return to Tatem Island. This is where in the past Avey had spent summers as a girl engaged in ritualized walks to Ibo Landing with her great-aunt. Shopping in her favorite department store, she would notice a black woman of above average height with a full-figured yet compact body coming toward her amid the floor-length mirrors.
The well- cut suit. Jay becomes Jerome Johnson, and the protagonist has stopped being Ava- tara readers will learn later in the novel to morph into Avey Johnson: Those were the early, intimate days in Brooklyn—before their ascendant move to the valiantly named North White Plains. For, of course, Avey Johnson does not take a flight home to White Plains but instead will water-journey to what she will discover to have always been her first cultural home. The text at this point is laced through with references to the weeping, odorous infant, the opening of previously shut doors, as she brings to the surface long- suppressed memories and not without narrative reason.
Grandmother Avatara passed the Ibo landing legend down through Great-Aunt Cuney, and she, in turn, to her niece, Avey. And Avey will come to reinhabit the many meanings of Avatara, during the course of the next two remarkable days. Before repossessing her Avatara naming, that is, clothing herself in the mantle bequeathed her by her great-aunt, Avey must undergo sev- eral stages of purging, prompted first by a chance encounter with Leb- ert Joseph, an ageless, androgynous figure who, like the fabular Ibos, is able to envision beyond the material. In a boat trip en route to the out-island, Avey becomes uncontrollably sick, the liquefied waste spilling from mouth and anus—symbolically marking the expulsion of the past three, indeed false, decades of her life.
For those ascendant decades were filled with, metaphorically as well as physically, overly rich, indigestible foodstuffs. Described as singing in half-spoken, half-sung words, Rosalie coaxes the older woman through shame and disgrace. Female hands massage the widow, just as that widow had once stroked her babies, in her full flush of youth and expectation.
And when she turned to the limbs. Avey Johnson finds herself remembering that back on Halsey Street this was the way she had stretched the limbs of her infants, preparing, strengthening, and shaping for the future their souls as much as their bodies. The dense episode invokes the process by which Avey comes to be born anew, ready to take on meanings that transcend her own person and that of her family, ready to realize the meaning of the mystery told her by her Great-Aunt Cuney, ready to become an avatar of that mystery. On Carriacou at nine the next morning, Avey Johnson joins in the communal rituals of the excursion: The epiphanic moment of renewal for this awakened sleeper is not a moment of isolation but rather a moment of engagement with the ancestral collective past: Doris Lessing Carriacou, over to Harlem and Brooklyn and back to ancestral Ibo slaves, journeying by water back to Africa.
Substantial commonalities in the depiction of middle-aged female spiritual progress can be detected, sharing as each fiction does such tropes for the reclamation of psychic regions as the mirror; the weep- ing, odorous infant; opening and shutting doors. As a close friend observes of their shared state: So what are we, after all? Solitary by choice, Candida has surprised family and friends by leaving the yellow fields and large skies of the Suffolk countryside.
Perversely, perhaps, she has installed herself in a small flat off Ladbroke Grove, a dark, dirty, menacing area under a grey gloomy London can- opy. It should represent a lack of hope, and yet I think that, somewhere, hope may yet be with me. If I immerse myself in [this nothingness], perhaps it will turn into something terrible, into some- thing transformed. I cast myself upon its waste of waters.
It is not for myself alone that I do this. I hope I may discover some more general purpose as I write. Considering the past, she wonders whether she was always a pariah, without knowing it: A destiny stacked, laid, unalterably dealt? Up to this time, Candida has lived most of her life unreflectively, accepting passively—even inertly—whatever has passed her way.
Nights are given over to computer solitaire and retelling the sad story of her mar- riage, her ungrateful daughters, her old Suffolk friends: They co-opted me, and I failed to prevent them from doing so. A review of her marriage reveals the remote, sexually inaccessible, and unsup- portive wife Candida now remembers herself to have been for many of its last years. It takes its green blood from a strange host.
It protects against witchcraft and the Evil Eye. It is green in the cold midwinter. Its berries are yellow-white. When its sap dries, its dry leaves turn bright gold in death. The doves of Venus perched upon the mistletoe. It is the Golden Bough that leads us safely to the Underworld. As Candida well remembers, Virgil has the Sibyl warn Aeneas as he prepares to embark on his descent: The way downward is easy from Avernus.
Myth has it that, on their death, seven sisters were placed in the heavens by Atlas, their father, to form a constellation of stars; its rising in May marks benevolent spring showers, while its set- ting in November provides the autumnal stars of seed time. Here we learn of a ferryboat named Arethusa, after the nymph who was changed into a fountain; a Tunisian hotel named Diana, goddess of moon and hunt; and—more curious still—the station stop and locality outside London on the Stansted Airport Express line named in actuality Seven Sisters.
Indeed, it, too, has a palimpsestic provenance. Situated on Page Green, Tottenham, the seven sisters were originally a circle of seven elms that—in —were said to be about five hundred years old. These trees were replanted in by seven Hibbert sisters, and then seven Lombardy poplars were planted in by the seven Bas- tian sisters. Legend and perhaps history hold that the site was an early grove, its name, Page Green, deriving from Pagans Green. The loca- tions of the seven trees denote a place where victims were burnt at the stake. Candida taps out that she longs to visit Naples and the Phlegrean Fields, the birdless realms of Avernus, and the dark pit of Acheron before she dies: Lugentes Campi, the Mourning Plains.
Recall- ing with a old chum from school days how once they studied together the sublime passage where the Cumae Sibyl tells Aeneas he must pluck the Golden Bough if he wishes to visit—then return from—the under- world, Candida reminds her friend that Aeneas was asking the proph- etess about his destiny. Doris Lessing at twelve, which is not without significance given that the protagonist is seeking a destiny that hitherto has remained stubbornly hidden, a destiny for which she may have been fated.
Legendary Aeneas followed his destiny. Partly it is her visit to Mrs. Jerrold, the ancient classical scholar from the defunct Virgil reading group. Not for nothing is Mrs. She sees her walk past the cemetery, with its broken wall and its cracked graves and its tilted funerary monuments. Jerrold offers Candida simple but sage advice: True to her sibylline prediction of destiny, Mrs.
Ardently active now, this once reactive woman has escaped a dark destiny of death by water. Mica glitters; thyme, lavender, and juniper scent the air; bees hover and butterflies move acquisitively amidst clambering purple and yellow flowers; a lizard basks upon a fallen marble torso; the episode resonates with richly conveyed synesthesia. She is heavier than she was in her youth and in her young womanhood and in her middle age, and yet she is also lighter, for she feels herself to be nearer to the dryness of the sun and to the purifying of the fire.
The fluids are drying out of her skin and her limbs and her entrails. She is turning into a dry husk, a weightless vessel. As resonantly as this benediction rings, it is but seeming resolu- tion. Doris Lessing Part Three—comes to discover that Candida has hardly been candid. She knows more than she lets on. Or does she know? Jerrold, my mother never went to Cumae.
She never walked alone up the Via Sacra and heard the immemorial bees. None of them ever reached the Sibyl. Why should she invent a trip to Cumae? Except that Ellen does not write. The narrative here oscillates between first- and third-per- son narrators, with the now habitual third-person italicized short editorial summaries preceding diary entries. For we know that the protagonist discovers what actually happened in her marriage, for example, and the nature of her relation to her daughter by her very act of masquer- ading as Ellen and in this guise lambasting herself with flaws, foibles, and lies.
In my view, the narrative strategy of The Seven Sisters, with its formal practices of partial concealment, delayed disclosure, embedded riddle, oblique clue, signifying gap, baffling crux, oscillating point of view, and intertexual engagement, has as its intention the positioning of the reader to follow innuendo, actively ferret out significance, and so become implicated as participant.
Transported by the overpowering joy of its triumphant presentation of the fall of Troy, she is filled with expectation. Cam- bridge UP, Rut- gers UP, The Witch of Exmoor. Goethe, Johann Wolfgang von. Auden and Eliza- beth Mayer. Cultural Combat and the Politics of Midlife. UP of Virginia, Briefing for a Descent into Hell. Walking in the Shade. Volume 2 of My Autobiography, — Inner Growth and love, again. Phyllis Sternberg Perrakis, 83— Studies in the Politics of Recent American Literature, ed. Bowling Green U Popular P, As We Are Now. Stevens Hears the Mermaids Singing. In The Norton Shake- speare.
Stephen Greenblatt et al. Twelfth Night, or What You Will. In Greenblatt et al. Harcourt Brace Jo- vanovich, While her two volumes of conventional autobiography are filled with useful accounts and insights into her life course, her fiction provides an even more powerful resource, particularly for her midlife and later years. Memoirs of a Survivor and Shikasta , written in her mid-fifties and her sixtieth year, respectively, reveal a great leap in her spiritual evolution.
The first book, an autobiographical novel, maps her personal spiritual transformation, while the second, perhaps her most complex and wide-ranging work, is a monument to her achieved spiritual vision. In Shikasta she universalizes her own spiri- tual journey and extends it to all humankind.
I will argue below that in Shikasta Lessing finds her mature spiritual voice and vision. Doris Lessing employ spatial metaphors on totally different scales. In Memoirs Less- ing uses the metaphor of the house to convey the different modes and potentials of individual consciousness. In the outer-space fiction of Shikasta, Lessing uses the spatial metaphor of other worlds literally, other planets and star systems to portray beings with different levels of spiritual development.
Both the individual and collective spiritual journeys, however, are presented through the retrospective reflection of mature narrators and their interaction with younger counterparts. In both Memoirs and Shikasta Lessing reveals the fruits of her own retrospective examination of her life as well as her long study of the means by which the individual becomes attuned to her inner spiritual potential and then lives out that attunement in relationship to others and to the divine.
Lessing herself provides the best gloss for Memoirs in Under My Skin, volume 1 of her more recent, conventional autobiography. She comments that Memoirs is about a middle-aged person observing a young self grow up. Here we seem to be in the domain of what Jung called the personal unconscious where arche- typal images like the Mother and the Father are clothed with individual experiences and emotions Young-Eisendrath and Dawson The first sighting of this figure represents a brief intimation of inner depths and capacities not previously imagined or realized by the Survivor.
Her growing sensitivity to the unseen presence of this figure in her forays into the unconscious realm delineates the stages and seasons of her inner growth. Along the way she must wrestle with the demons she encounters—both personal and collective—until, having brought light into these dark regions, she is able to accept and honor personal shadows and relinquish outmoded collective understandings. Doris Lessing from the beginning, waiting to be recognized, and to follow the figure who is both inner guide and transpersonal symbol, both within the Survivor and beyond her.
For the Survivor to access the inner potential symbolized by the luminous face, she must, according to a Sufi saying, die before she dies—meaning she must die to the ego in order to open herself up to the real center of her psyche, which is her inner self or soul that con- nects her with the transcendental Vaughan-Lee Jung names the process whereby the individual becomes attuned to the Self as that of individuation.
However, this is only the beginning of our understanding of the significance of the luminous face. As she purifies her heart, disciplines her will, and strengthens her understanding, the Survivor encounters a series of symbolic spaces behind the wall: The Survivor feels an attraction that is prior to consciousness and intellectual thought. Levinas has written at length on the prior moral claim of the other, which for him is embodied in the figure of the face of the other.
Doris Lessing human existence. Her novel suggests that what sustains being is the movement toward recognition of, and attraction to, that which makes being possible—its radiant, transcendent, inner divine spark, which is neither wholly within nor wholly without. Thus, the luminous face is an entity connected with being that is not limited to being but partakes of something beyond being. Thus the luminous face, like Khidr in the Sufi tradition, seems to be a personification of a spiritual encounter.
It allows the Survivor to witness her own divine nature, to be attuned to the form that the divine spark takes within her and thus to the transcendent otherness of the self. Rather, she portrays only an inner spiritual guide akin to Khidr in the luminous face and captures the moment of inspiration in which she first catches a glimpse of this guide and thus of her own inner spiritual being. Thus the luminous face seems to function both as the embodiment of the spiritual spark within her soul and as an intimation of the station of purity of heart that will allow her attunement to that spark.
She must journey back into the past and deep within in order to move forward. Doris Lessing of her psyche she needs a link between her ordinary life and the world within that will facilitate her access to the realm of unconscious memo- ries and dreams see Vaughan-Lee 66— Such a link is provided when the Survivor finds herself left to care for a young girl, Emily. Car- ing for Emily allows the Survivor to engage in a retrospective process of reseeing and reunderstanding her earlier life in order to facilitate her movement along the spiral of inner transformation; that is, to make that journey inward the narrator must observe, care for, and above all accept responsibility for her younger self.
As such, he seems to be an early form of inner authority that grounds Emily and thus the Survivor in her spiral-like journey back and up the spiritual path. For example, when Emily chooses not to leave with the first youthful gang, the Survivor understands that her younger self had been faithful to her inner core, to the primary bond with Hugo.
Here Lessing seems to be giving a symbolic version of choices she made in her younger life that she now understands and accepts as crucial to the person she became. Navigating the Spiritual Cycle 55 come to life when the matching fits. She also understands that her early refusal to be caught up in the trends of her day has safeguarded her ability to participate in this ongoing psychic activity. Her greater insight into and acceptance of her earlier choices is one of the signs of her spiritual growth.
As she cleans and prepares the walls of a drawing room behind the wall and wipes off the old grime, she is symbolically strip- ping away the obstacles that have barred her from getting in touch with her deeper self. Here Lessing seems to portray the shadow of the collective rather than the individual unconscious, embodying both the repression of aspects of reality and the institutionalization of coercive patterns of thinking and behaving.
In applying coat after coat of fresh paint to the wall of the drawing room behind the wall, the Survivor is preparing a clean, safe space in her inner world where new psychic discovery is possible. The impersonal rooms, however, are only one dimension of the unconscious; the Survivor must also visit the personal realm behind the wall, where again she must begin the work of cleansing the heart, in this case of the traumas of her early life.
Such traumas must be revis- ited and integrated into the psyche if the self-discovery and self-accep- tance that leads to inner change is going to take place. The Survivor, searching room after room, never finds this child. The changes that the Survivor is undergoing allow her to be aware of two opposing forces in her life, one deeply positive, the other seem- ingly destructive, as if she is straddling two worlds. This dialectic of opposites is important in describing the spiritual journey. Part of what the Survivor will learn on her spiritual journey is to accept and work with the destructive ele- ment.
The Dialect of Detachment and Attachment The dialect of opposites plays another kind of role in the constant rhythm the Survivor experiences between gaining perspective on, and detachment from, old attachments and feeling attraction to a new way of becoming and being. This movement of the water through the garden also suggests the flow of blood from the heart to the rest of the body, an analogy found in much mystic literature in which the heart is compared to a garden.
Each feeds the other—understanding acquired through her observation of her past as embodied in Emily affects what she can perceive in her inner worlds, and this deepened spiritual understanding in turn stays with her and alters her perceptions and behavior in the outer world. It is only after acquiring this detachment in the inner and outer worlds that the Survivor is enabled to see the multilayered gardens.
We will see below that this new knowledge will allow the Survivor to deal with increasingly difficult experiences in the outer world. Buoyed by the new hope that her sense of the luminous face brings, her spirit expanded by growing attunement to the divine spark within, the Survivor is now prepared to face the culmination of the devolution in the ordinary world—the discovery of the new breed of children. The final efforts to gain the necessary detachment to deal with the children will enable the Survivor to complete her journey of transformation.
Navigating the Spiritual Cycle 59 of holding together the disparate forces of modern life. Here Lessing seems to suggest that this claim cannot be fully realized without being placed within a spiritual framework. It is the journey toward a purified heart that will allow the Survivor finally to realize the moral claim of the cannibal children and to bring them with her into another realm of understanding and being.
Rescuing a despairing Gerald from destruction by the children, Emily, along with the Survivor and Hugo, presents a counteractive force to the devolu- tion of the outer world. She brings with her in her experience of psychospiritual transformation Emily, her younger self; Gerald, the symbol of her social conscience; her parents, who have helped shape her personal psychic life; the instinctive energy of the physical and the natural world of Hugo; and the untamed, irrational vitality of the personal and col- lective shadow, the cannibal Dennis.
Doris Lessing the beauty of that luminous symbol of her innermost self, she is also offered a guide into a new way of seeing and relating to the world.
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Able to acknowledge fully and attune herself to the spark of the divine within her, the Survivor is able to perceive the ground of being, the divine spark, everywhere in the world. But the Survivor goes beyond that. In this transformed world the energy of the stunted, deprived cannibal children can also be accommodated and transmuted. Having portrayed in Memoirs the process whereby her alter ego, the Survivor, becomes capable of recognizing and attuning herself to the transcendent element within, the luminous face, five years later in Shikasta Lessing portrays the process by which an entire civilization is enabled to attune itself to the transcendent element through recognizing and obeying a prophetic figure.
Navigating the Spiritual Cycle 61 knowledge has been revealed from prehistory to contemporary times. She does this through her use of the metaphor of different worlds to explain varying levels of spiritual capacity or attunement. Shikasta is an estranged, defamiliarized version of earth. Shikastans know nothing of other individuals on other stars and are mostly out of touch with both their innermost being and the spiritual forces operative in the cos- mos.
Canopus, the most evolved star in the galaxy, corresponds to the realm occupied by those in continual touch with their innermost being and thus with the will of the divine, here called the Necessity. In an interview Lessing explicitly identifies the source for her vision in Shikasta with her reading through the sacred books of the Mid- dle East one after another.
Thus the Canopeans seem to be closely associated with the prophets and spiritual teachers of various sacred scriptures, and the planet Shikasta with the domain of the earthly world. Shammat seems to be the domain of the biblical devils and tempters. Both Shammat and Canopus send envoys to influence the Shikastans. Furthermore, as in the Old Testament, Shikasta has a paradisiacal past, when it was called Rohanda and closely connected to Canopus and thus the divine.
In Shikasta this becomes the move- ment of the narrative between two realms—an outer-space narrative, told from the perspective of Canopus, which frames the whole novel and dominates the first half, and an inner-space narrative, seen mainly through the eyes of the Shikastans, that predominates in the second half of the work.
Doris Lessing perspective of the infinitely more spiritually advanced Canopeans. An understanding of these principles colors our percep- tion of the earthlike planet.
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Canopeans themselves embody these qualities in their service to Shikasta, choos- ing to aid its evolution at the cost of great personal pain and difficulty. We slowly become aware that through their interaction Johor, in the outer frame, and various Shikastans, in the inner frame, are aided in their struggle to acquire detachment from lower levels of self and to progress in their attraction to, and understanding of, the divine realm.
These are the men and the women who see that it is the intimate and homely things that count most. They are the men and women who have the courage to strive for the happiness which comes only with labor and effort and self-sacrifice, and only to those whose joy in life springs in part from power of work and sense of duty. He was the man in the arena. Learning from the Past It is of little use for us to pay lip-loyalty to the mighty men of the past unless we sincerely endeavor to apply to the problems of the present precisely the qualities which in other crises enabled the men of that day to meet those crises.
New Nationalism Speech, August 31, The problems differ from generation to generation, but the qualities that are needed to solve them remain unchanged from world's end to world's end…. As a nation and individually we must show the fundamental qualities of hardihood, courage, manliness, of decency, morality, clean living, fair dealing as between man and man, of common sense, the saving grace of common sense.
I am no advocate of senseless and excessive cramming in studies, but a boy should work, and should work hard, at his lessons—in the first place, for the sake of what he will learn, and in the next place, for the sake of the effect upon his own character of resolutely settling down to learn it. Shiftlessness, slackness, indifference in studying, are almost certain to mean inability to get on in other walks of life. Of course, as a boy grows older it is a good thing if he can shape his studies in the direction toward which he has a natural bent; but whether he can do this or not, he must put his whole heart into them.
I do not believe in mischief-doing in school hours, or in the kind of animal spirits that results in making bad scholars; and I believe that those boys who take part in rough, hard play outside of school will not find any need for horse-play in school. While they study they should study just as hard as they play foot-ball in a match game. It is wise to obey the homely old adage, "Work while you work; play while you play.
It is a good thing to have a keen, fine intellectual development in a nation, to produce orators, artists, successful business men; but it is an infinitely greater thing to have those solid qualities which we group together under the name of character—sobriety, steadfastness, the sense of obligation toward one's neighbor and one's God, hard common sense, and, combined with it, the lift of generous enthusiasm toward whatever is right. These are the qualities which go to make up true national greatness. Grant , Speech Delivered At Galena, Illinois, April 27, I hope that in my acts I have been a good President, a President who has deserved well of the Republic; but most of all, I believe that whatever value my service may have, comes even more from what I am than from what I do.
Letter to Sir George O. Trevelyan, June 19 Unless a man is master of his soul, all other kinds of mastery amount to little. Ladies Home Journal , If a man does not have an ideal and try to live up to it, then he becomes a mean, base and sordid creature, no matter how successful. Letter to his son Kermit, Take Action In every such crisis the temptation to indecision, to non-action, is great, for excuses can always be found for non-action, and action means risk and the certainty of blame to the man who acts.
But if the man is worth his salt he will do his duty, he will give the people the benefit of the doubt, and act in any way which their interests demand and which is not affirmatively prohibited by law, unheeding the likelihood that he himself, when the crisis is over and the danger past, will be assailed for what he has done. An Autobiography , , Chapter 12 To sit home, read one's favorite paper, and scoff at the misdeeds of the men who do things is easy, but it is markedly ineffective. It is what evil men count upon the good men's doing.
The Outlook , December 21, It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, and comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.
Citizenship in a Republic , Address delivered at the Sorbonne, Paris, April 23, Virtue No nation deserves to exist if it permits itself to lose the stern and virile virtues; and this without regard to whether the loss is due to the growth of a heartless and all-absorbing commercialism, to prolonged indulgence in luxury and soft, effortless ease, or to the deification of a warped and twisted sentimentality. Do not hit at all if it can be avoided; but never hit softly.
It is exceedingly interesting and attractive to be a successful business man, or railroad man, or farmer, or a successful lawyer or doctor; or a writer, or a President, or a ranchman, or the colonel of a fighting regiment, or to kill grizzly bears and lions. But for unflagging interest and enjoyment, a household of children, if things go reasonably well, certainly makes all other forms of success and achievement lose their importance by comparison.
It may be true that he travels farthest who travels alone; but the goal thus reached is not worth reaching. And as for a life deliberately devoted to pleasure as an end — why, the greatest happiness is the happiness that comes as a by-product of striving to do what must be done, even though sorrow is met in the doing. There is a bit of homely philosophy, quoted by Squire Bill Widener, of Widener's Valley, Virginia, which sums up one's duty in life: An Autobiography , , Chapter 9 Face Your Fears There were all kinds of things of which I was afraid at first, ranging from grizzly bears to "mean" horses and gun-fighters; but by acting as if I was not afraid I gradually ceased to be afraid.
Most men can have the same experience if they choose. An Autobiography , , Chapter 2 Work Hard Nothing in this world is worth having or worth doing unless it means effort, pain, difficulty. American Ideals in Education , I don't pity any man who does hard work worth doing. I pity the creature who does not work, at whichever end of the social scale he may regard himself as being. Speech, September 8, Greatness means strife for nation and man alike.
A soft, easy life is not worth living, if it impairs the fibre of brain and heart and muscle. We must dare to be great; and we must realize that greatness is the fruit of toil and sacrifice and high courage We are face to face with our destiny and we must meet it with a high and resolute courage. For us is the life of action, of strenuous performance of duty; let us live in the harness, striving mightily; let us rather run the risk of wearing out than rusting out. Address at the opening of the gubernatorial campaign, New York City, 5 October 5, What Matters Home, wife, and children—they are what really count in life.
I have enjoyed many things; the Presidency, my success as a soldier, a writer, a big game hunter and explorer; but all of them put together are not for one moment to be weighed in the balance when compared with the joy I have known with your mother and all of you. Letter to his son Ted, Jr. In Leadership in Turbulent Times , she brings them together to study the development of their leadership potential and the mark they left on history. In this well-structured study, she begins by looking at the lives of each leader in turn, when they first entered public life.
Unremarkable at this stage of their life they, like most young leaders, made mistakes stemming from inexperience, cockiness, lack of caution, outright misjudgments, and selfishness. With perseverance and hard work, they all essentially made themselves leaders by enhancing and developing the qualities they were given. Their adversities, though unique to each, cast doubt on who they were. The habits of a vigorous mind are formed in contending with difficulties.
Great necessities call out great virtues. They allowed these experiences to shape and mature them into leaders that would make a mark on their times. It is the lessons that each learned that they took to the White House. In Part Three we see how each dealt with the turbulent issues of their day. One might observe too that although we see our times as the worst of times because we are so close it, many periods of our own history had far more in the balance.
Goodwin looks at how each leader applied their unique leadership composition to the crisis of the day. His transformational and his transactional leadership made it possible.
15 Fascinating Facts About Theodore Roosevelt
He combined the two. Shortly thereafter, he faced a national crisis—The Great Coal Strike of As the fall approached the six-month-old strike was not any closer to resolution and a widespread panic set in. There was no precedent or legal course of action that allowed presidential intervention. How he brought the parties together and eventually found a solution provides a blueprint for crisis management.
The Great Depression was in full swing and unemployment had reached 25 percent when Franklin Roosevelt came into office. Next, Goodwin turns to the visionary leadership of Lyndon Johnson. While each was different, what serves each of these leaders is their understanding of human nature. Goodwin turns to their legacy in Part Four.
Unfortunately, Lincoln and FDR would die in office. Scottsville was a small town of only 2, people and miles south of Nashville. Not a great place to build a retail business. They were wholesalers to local retailers. And in the first Dollar General store was opened. Cal Jr, learned from his grandfather the value of listening. Because of a freak wrestling accident, his grandfather, lost his Dad at age 11 and had to leave school to run the family farm. Finishing school with only a third-grade education might hold some people back, but not Luther Turner.
He saw it as a plus. He became a first-rate observer, a great listener, and a dedicated student to life. What he practiced was more than empathy. It involved valuing the other person and his or her information, insight, and perspective. When you separate the problem from the person, everybody can come together to learn from the solution. If we focus on labels and affixing blame, we are not going to be good at solving problems.
His Dad also provided much-needed support. He would compliment him in front of others. A solid value-based upbringing makes it easier to focus on others. A boss only gets results; a leader gets development. A better leader emerges when a person owns his or her own weakness and reaches out to make a connection with other people to help fill in the gaps.
He has said that the doors of the executive suite tend to keep everybody out, but strategic planning opens the doors to bring everybody in. Running the business becomes a company-wide proposition. On teamwork, Cal Jr. At one time he wanted to go into the ministry. A preacher convinced him otherwise. He told him not to do it. There are far too many preachers who were never called in the first place. One of the most beloved first ladies in American history. She was witty, smart, sharp, straightforward, unpretentious, and honest. Bush, she was one of two women in American history to have a son of hers follow his father to the White House.
The Bushes had celebrated their 73rd wedding anniversary in January, making them the longest-married couple in presidential history. Her son George W. Bush wrote in But you have to have influence. It not only teaches them to read but it keeps the family strong. He is the best -- thoughtful and loving. He needs a lot of guidance from the Lord. I hope that many of you will consider making three very special choices. The first is to believe in something larger than yourself, to get involved in some of the big ideas of our time. And early on I made another choice, which I hope you'll make as well.
Whether you are talking about education, career, or service, you're talking about life -- and life really must have joy. It's supposed to be fun. The third choice that must not be missed is to cherish your human connections: For several years, you've had impressed upon you the importance to your career of dedication and hard work.
And, of course, that's true. But as important as your obligations as a doctor, a lawyer, a business leader will be, you are a human being first. And those human connections with spouses, with children, with friends -- are the most important investments you will ever make. At the end of your life, you will never regret not having passed one more test, winning one more verdict, or not closing one more deal. You will regret time not spent with a husband, a child, a friend, or a parent. Somewhere out there in this audience may even be someone who will one day follow my footsteps, and preside over the White House as the president's spouse.
I wish him well! She concluded her memoir with: George Bush and I have been the two luckiest people in the world, and when all the dust is settled and all the crowds are gone, the things that matter are faith, family, and friends. We have been inordinately blessed, and we know that. Charles Dawes was often one such guest. In Portrait of an American: Dawes by Bascom Timmons, he quotes from Dawes diary about one such gathering: He was considering the appointment of a minister to a foreign country. There were two candidates. The President outlined their qualifications, which seemed almost identical.
Both were able, experienced, honest, and competent. Each was equally entitled to preference from a political standpoint. Then he told this little story, an incident apparently so unimportant that, except for its consequences, it never would have been told, an incident so trivial that the ordinary man would have forgotten it. But McKinley was not an ordinary man. The President said that, years before, when he was a member of the House of Representatives, he boarded a streetcar on Pennsylvania Avenue one stormy night, and took the last seat in the car, next to the rear door.
An old and bent washerwoman, dripping wet, entered, carrying a heavy basket. She walked to the other end of the car and stood in the aisle. No one offered her a seat, tired and forlorn as she looked. One of the candidates whom the President was considering—he did not name him to us—was sitting in the seat near which she was standing.
He was reading a newspaper, which he shifted so as not to seem to see her, and retained his seat. Representative McKinley arose, walked down the aisle, picked up the basket of washing, and led the old lady back to his seat, which he gave her. The present candidate did not look up from his newspaper. He did not see McKinley or what he had done. This was the story. The candidate never knew what we then knew, that this little act of selfishness, or rather this little omission of an act of consideration for others, had deprived him of that which would have crowned his ambition of perhaps a lifetime.
Dawes relates this lesson: We never know what determines one's career in life. Indeed, it may be these little forgotten deeds, accumulated, are the more important factors ; for it is they which must, in many cases, provide us with the opportunity to do the greater deeds, and we unconscious of it. Why comes this reward in life? Why that disappointment or failure? We cannot know with certainty. This we can know, however, and this story illustrates it: There is no act of kindliness, however small, which may not help us in life; and there is no act of unkindness, however trivial, which may not hurt us.
The habitual doing of kindness always adds to our happiness, for kindness done is duty performed. Unkindness always breeds an unhappy spirit, for unkindness is duty neglected. But he became the man that did. How Roosevelt became the leader we remember is a remarkable story. Theodore was born small and frail. He had life-threatening attacks of asthma as a child, and it consumed the family. The man needed to be at the center of attention for everything he undertook.
His father Theodore Sr. To keep peace in the family, Theodore Sr. And it was this ability—to embrace contradiction among diverse groups of people—that would become, over time, one of his greatest strengths as a leader. Theodore was a curious man. He learned he could not and some valuable leadership lessons along the way. A moan more thoughtful, more pensive, more contemplative. A man who learned how to rule his spirit. Following McKinley's assassination in September, Roosevelt became president and served two terms. This made him genuine to the masses. He would fight for anyone, so long as that person worked hard, did their part, had character.
By the end of the book, you will feel like you know the man. He knew us, and we knew him. But laws he believed, could not prevent this hypocrisy. No law, no constitution could save an immoral people. While the Founding Fathers believed in the necessary separation of Church and State, they believed no discussion of morals was possible without an agreed upon philosophy — a philosophy that superseded the logic of men.
Whatever may be conceded to the influence of refined education on minds of peculiar structure, reason and experience both forbid us to expect that National morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle. John Adams wrote to the Massachusetts Militia: While our country remains untainted with the principles and manners which are now producing desolation in so many parts of the world; while she continues sincere, and incapable of insidious and impious policy, we shall have the strongest reason to rejoice in the local destination assigned us by Providence.
But should the people of America once become capable of that deep simulation towards one another, and towards foreign nations, which assumes the language of justice and moderation, while it is practising iniquity and extravagance, and displays in the most captivating manner the charming pictures of candour, frankness, and sincerity, while it is rioting in rapine and insolence, this country will be the most miserable habitation in the world.
Because we have no government, armed with power, capable of contending with human passions, unbridled by morality and religion. Avarice, ambition, revenge and licentiousness would break the strongest cords of our Constitution, as a whale goes through a net. Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.
Oaths in this country are as yet universally considered as sacred obligations. That which you have taken, and so solemnly repeated on that venerable ground, is an ample pledge of your sincerity and devotion to your country and its government. James Madison, the fourth President of the United States, believed that the governed were obliged to control itself. Furthermore, it was the responsibility of a virtuous people to select leaders that would reflect that ideal. Leaders that would be capable by virtue of their own character, to adapt these eternal morals that Adams often spoke of, to particular circumstances.
But I go on this great republican principle, that the people will have virtue and intelligence to select men of virtue and wisdom. Is there no virtue among us? If there be not, we are in a wretched situation. No theoretical checks--no form of government can render us secure. To suppose that any form of government will secure liberty or happiness without any virtue in the people, is a chimerical idea. If there be sufficient virtue and intelligence in the community, it will be exercised in the selection of these men. So that we do not depend on their virtue, or put confidence in our rulers, but in the people who are to choose them.
What is their secret? In Superbosses , Sydney Finkelstein discovered that although they may differ in leadership styles, they share a playbook that leads to extraordinary success founded on making other people successful. They are unusually smart Ralph Lauren looked for people with a kind of fashion sense , creative people who see things differently , extremely flexible people who can do more than one thing.
They inject possibility into their workforce. They give them the confidence to believe that they can make things happen. Faced with a challenge, we can do it. Most bosses are not really open to new ideas. It is particularly difficult to find bosses who are uncompromising in what they do and open to almost constant change. Superbosses are traders in opportunities. They trust their people and delegate. In the process they compress learning and growth. It increases their own prestige and influence. We need new approaches to nurturing people and the Superboss Playbook presented by Finklestein, is completely learnable by any leader who is fearless, competitive, imaginative, credible, and authentic.
Superbosses is a fascinating look at the leaders that flourish and often change their industries by developing a future generation of leaders. If you are not working for one, this book will help you to become one. These superbosses care about one thing: These coaches and teachers resemble traditional mentors the most. They help people accomplish more than they ever thought possible. He had served as a business professor at the University of Southern California for the last 35 years.
His leadership thinking was in many ways ahead of its time. Later it was revised and reprinted as Why Leaders Can't Lead: The Unconscious Conspiracy Continues. He sparked my interest then and there in the discipline of leadership. In that first book he explained that the real enemy to leadership is apathy. He spoke of the need for having leaders with entrepreneurial vision, the importance of surrounding yourself with people smarter than you, making room for the nonconformists, the need to face the revolutions in the world outside of your organization, the importance of recreating our sense of wonder, and creativity as an essential strength of great leaders, to name a few.
That was the mid-seventies. Bennis was always willing to—even interested in—taking the time to help you shape your thinking. His insights have shaped my own in many ways. More from Warren Bennis: Truly gifted people never are. They have unique talents. Such people cannot be forced into roles they are not suited for, nor should they be. Effective leaders allow great people to do the work they were born to do. This myth asserts that people simply either have certain charismatic qualities or not. That's nonsense; in fact, the opposite is true.
Leaders are made rather than born. He spent 27 years in prison for battling the apartheid government, but it transformed him. He became the Mandela we know with a remarkable capacity to forgive and a moral courage that would heal the wounds of his country. In , he and Frederik Willem de Klerk were awarded the Nobel Peace Prize "for their work for the peaceful termination of the apartheid regime, and for laying the foundations for a new democratic South Africa. Courage is not the absence of fear — it's inspiring others to move beyond it "I can't pretend that I'm brave and that I can beat the whole world.
Lead from the front — but don't leave your base behind For Mandela, refusing to negotiate was about tactics, not principles. Throughout his life, he has always made that distinction. His unwavering principle — the overthrow of apartheid and the achievement of one man, one vote — was immutable, but almost anything that helped him get to that goal he regarded as a tactic. He is the most pragmatic of idealists. Lead from the back — and let others believe they are in front Mandela loved to reminisce about his boyhood and his lazy afternoons herding cattle. The trick of leadership is allowing yourself to be led too.
His comrades in the ANC teased him about it, but he wanted to understand the Afrikaner's worldview; he knew that one day he would be fighting them or negotiating with them, and either way, his destiny was tied to theirs. He even brushed up on his knowledge of rugby, the Afrikaners' beloved sport, so he would be able to compare notes on teams and players. Keep your friends close — and your rivals even closer Mandela is a man of invincible charm — and he has often used that charm to even greater effect on his rivals than on his allies.
He cherished loyalty, but he was never obsessed by it. After all, he used to say, "people act in their own interest. The flip side of being an optimist — and he is one — is trusting people too much. But Mandela recognized that the way to deal with those he didn't trust was to neutralize them with charm. Appearances matter — and remember to smile When Mandela was running for the presidency in , he knew that symbols mattered as much as substance. He was never a great public speaker, and people often tuned out what he was saying after the first few minutes.
But more important was that dazzling, beatific, all-inclusive smile. For white South Africans, the smile symbolized Mandela's lack of bitterness and suggested that he was sympathetic to them. To black voters, it said, I am the happy warrior, and we will triumph. Nothing is black or white Mandela is comfortable with contradiction.
As a politician, he was a pragmatist who saw the world as infinitely nuanced. Every problem has many causes. Mandela's calculus was always, What is the end that I seek, and what is the most practical way to get there? Quitting is leading too Knowing how to abandon a failed idea, task or relationship is often the most difficult kind of decision a leader has to make. He knows that leaders lead as much by what they choose not to do as what they do. The moment to bridge the chasms that divide us has come. The time to build is upon us. At 16 left the farm to develop his skills taking an apprenticeship as a machinist in Detroit.
Ford would often switch jobs when he felt he could learn more in another position. Ford learned by careful observation and trial and error. Although, his first and second car companies failed, Ford learned more about cars, how to run a business, and more importantly how to attract talent to make his vision a reality.
The times Ford was born into and his impact on them understandably convinced him of the superiority of his own intuition. He had the problem that haunts many successful leaders: He believed what he wanted to believe and was certain that he always knew best. His flaws were noticeable in his first half century of life, but they would have been forgotten….
As his wealth grew and his fame engulfed the whole world, he lost all perspective. No life better exemplifies the derangement of power. His inner strength made his dreams possible but it didn't leave much room for introspection. Without a healthy self-awareness, Ford allowed his strengths to run amuck. If he was creative, he was irrational. If he attracted great talent, he also drove it away. If he was direct, he was insensitive. Without an inner compass, Henry Ford was a man of great extremes—for better and for worse.
Henry Ford leaves us much to be admired but he also reminds us of the importance of a healthy self-awareness. Failure is only the opportunity to begin again more intelligently. Even a mistake may turn out to be the one thing necessary to a worthwhile achievement. There are no dead ends. There is always a way out. What you learn in one failure you utilize in your next success. Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off your goal.
When everything seems to be going against you, remember that the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it. Education is not something to prepare you for life; it is a continuous part of life. Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning stays young. The greatest thing in life is to keep your mind young. All that I personally own of any value is my experience, and that cannot be taken away. It has been my observation that most people get ahead during the time that others waste. If everyone is moving forward together, then success takes care of itself.
My best friend is the one who brings out the best in me.. Quality means doing it right when no one is looking. Paying attention to simple little things that most men neglect makes a few men rich. We all start with all there is. You can do anything if you have enthusiasm. Enthusiasm is the yeast that makes your hopes rise to the stars. The greatest thing we can produce is character. Everything else can be taken away from us. The unhappiest man on earth is the one who has nothing to do. Coming together is a beginning.
Keeping together is progress. Working together is success. What I greatly hope for these children, and for children everywhere, is a new attitude toward life — free from the gullibility which thinks we can get something for nothing; free from the greed which thinks any permanent good can come of overreaching others. You will find men who want to be carried on the shoulders of others, who think that the world owes them a living.
The genius of the American people is self-reliance. The old principles that made us great — self-direction and self-help — are still contemporary and valid. Chop your own wood and it will warm you twice. The most in NBA history. Eleven Rings is a memoir that, for me, is more about leadership and relationships than basketball. Jackson's principles are worth taking a look at. They support the idea that a leader's job is to build leaders at all levels. You could take back to your organization and put into practice today any one of the following 11 principles: Lead From the Inside Out.
Lead from who you are. I learned to dial back my ego and distribute power as widely as possible without surrendering final authority. Paradoxically, this approach strengthened my effectiveness because it freed me to focus on my job as keeper of the team's vision. If your primary objective is to bring the team into a state of harmony and oneness, it doesn't make sense for you to rigidly impose your authority.
Jackson's goal wasn't to provide all of the answers. That meant pushing him to discover what distinct qualities he could bring to the game beyond taking shots and making passes. How much courage did he have? What about character under fire? Many players I've coached didn't look special on paper, but in the process of creating a role for themselves they grew into formidable champions.
The Road to Freedom is a Beautiful System. Similar to the principles used to foster greater creativity and innovation in an organization, Jackson used a system known as the triangle offense. Turn the Mundane into the Sacred. Jackson writes, "As I see it, my job as coach was to make something meaningful out of one of the most mundane activities on the planet: What's more, we often invented rituals of our own to infuse practices with a sense of the sacred.
Players "often have to make split-second decisions under enormous pressure. I discovered that when I had the players sit in silence, breathing together in sync, it helped align them on a nonverbal level far more effectively than words. One breath equals one mind. Like all of us, they need a certain degree of structure in their lives, but they also require enough latitude to express themselves creatively.
The Key to Success is Compassion. But I've found that a few kind, thoughtful words can have a strong transformative effect on relationships, even with the toughest men in the room. When a player is "playing within his natural abilities, he activates a higher potential for the team that transcends his own limitations and helps his teammates transcend theirs.
When this happens, the whole begins to add up to more than the sum of its parts. Sometimes Jackson used "tricks to wake players up and raise their level of consciousness….