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DE-HISTORICIZING SPECULATIVE AND EMANCIPATORY DISCOURSES IN LESSING'S THE GOLDEN NOTEBOOK.

Byline: Sundas Javed and Munazzab Rabbani

Abstract

Metanarratives pertain to unified ideological and historical constructs which totalize and universalize the notion of Emancipation and speculation on the basis of absolute epistemological grounds. Postmodernism in recent years has dismantled the speculative and emancipatory ideological discourses mainly for their claim to bring salvation to humanity. The present study deals with de-centering the Metanarratives which exist in the realm of unified reason and enlightenment like Marxist Communism and Psychoanalysis. Doris Lessing's The Golden Notebook has been focused upon in this study to dc-center these Metanarratives. The study through the analysis of Lessing's The Golden Notebook exposes the fabrication of Marxist Communism and Psychoanalysis as totalitarian constructs which tend to marginalize the multiple voices through unified ideological anarchy. Hence this study problematizes the construction of Marxist Communism and Psychoanalysis as Salvationist discourses.

Moreover the study' deals with the idea of reality and identities as plural and multiple due to the lack of stable Signifiers and a unified idiom to define reason and truth. Also the study further contests ontological representations through a genealogical analysis of history to deconstruct its claims to provide emancipitation to humanity. Thus the totalitarian constructivism inherent in the metanarratives pertaining to unified ideological and historical epistemologies is made evident.

Keywords: Metanarratives postmodernism genealogy communism psychoanalysis emancipation

1. Introduction

This paper attempts to dismantle the ideological anarchy of speculative and emancipatory discourses of history through an analysis of postmodern skepticism towards enlightenment and unified representations of human liberation and salvation in Lessing's The Golden Notebook (1962). This is substantiated further by the analysis of The Golden Notebook (1962) as a marker of postmodern incredulity towards the hegemonic discourses of history particularly through the analysis of Marxist Communism and Psychoanalysis as universalistic and totalitarian ideological constructs. The postmodern incredulity towards ontological constructs is further exposed in the form of plurality of identities and ergativity of reality through the analysis of language as dual and multiple. Also the study deals with the genealogical analysis of history to de-center the historical representations of emancipation and liberation.

We first give a brief overview of the key ideas used in our analysis of Lessing's work followed by our analysis with illustrations from her work and finally we emphasize that metanarratives which exist in the realm of unified reason and enlightenment like Marxist Communism and Psychoanalysis need to be questioned revisited and redefined by giving way to Postmodern multiple representation(s) of history.

2. Postmodernism and Enlightenment

Yotard (1984) defines the term `Postmodern' as "incredulity towards metanarratives" which pertains to Postmodernist skepticism towards narratives of historical meaning experience or knowledge. Lyotard points out the metanarratives of the past which make universal and totalizing claims to epistemology by defining them as "fables myths and legends" with the sole purpose of legitimation of various norms regarding knowledge progress and civilization. Lyotard explains the fictive nature of metanarratives by describing the traditional organization of narratives which can be regarded as hegemonic in the context of the Postmodern era. To expose this hegemony Lyotard seeks to delegitimize the formulaic representation of the narratives by deconstructing the structures as inherent in the stories of Cashinahua a tribe from the upper reaches of the Amazon in South America.

Lyotard asserts that these narratives are hegemonic because they confine the individuals within a certain social and group identity in terms of gender class and race.

Lyotard (1984) has identified two major kinds of metanarratives: the speculative grand narrative and the narrative of emancipation (or freedom).

Lyotard deconstructs the speculative metanarrative by taking a Poststructuralist stance towards the enquiry of knowledge and de-essentializes the traditional approach to epistemology by deconstructing the speculative unity of knowledge as "absolute".

According to Lyotard the status of knowledge is no longer totalitarian as knowledge is dual and multiple as a result of its ambivalent stature in the Postmodern era.

For Lyotard narratives are those ideological sites where knowledge gets constructed because these sites not only specify a set of ideas but also legitimize them in the form of various ideological constructions which include History that constructs narratives of the past Psychology that tells stories about the Self or Sociology that depicts different social formations and their effects on individuals (Malpas 2003).

In this context Baudrillard's (1994) concept of the real is significant as hemakes use of it to expose the fabricated nature of metanarratives. He takes a radical stance towards the existence of metanarratives and deconstructs the notion of the real by referring to Simulation which signifies the loss of referent in the Postmodern era.

Simulation according to Baurillard is "the generation by models of a real without origin or reality: a hyperreal".

He has narrated the absence of metanarratives in the Postmodern era by describing the lack of origin or any definite reality through the concept of `the hyperreal' which refers to the poststructuralist ambivalence "that threatens the difference between the `true' and the `false' the `real' and the `imaginary".

He deconstructs the structuralist notion of stabilized meaning by pointing out the inadequacy of representation through `signifier' and `signified'; for him it implies an instable relationship between signifier and signified.

Moreover simulation according to him is "radical negation of the sign as value" and "as the reversion and death sentence of every reference".

He deals with the existence of Postmodernist multiplicity of ideologies in relation to simulacrum and the absence of persuasion of singular and overarching ideology or metanarrative which deconstructs the notion of any received authority.

Also he deconstructs metanarratives by referring to the Postmodern absence of any totalitarian ideology which according to him suggests "No more subject no more focal point no more centre or periphery: pure flexion or circular inflexion"

Along with Baudrillard's (1994) concept of the real Adorno and Horkheimer's (2002) exposition of enlightment in The Dialectic of Enlightenment as a hegemonic construct also lays bare the constructiveness inherent in this emancipatory discourse.

In The Dialectic of Enlightenment they deal with enlightenment as a hegemonic construct which tends to relate the notion of emancipation as a unified epistemology with pre-established rules of human liberation.

For them enlightenment is a mythical construct which makes it "totalitarian" in nature as it consists of a judgmental and highly rationalistic system with pre-defined rules. Moreover they deal with Postmodern epistemological multiplicity in the context of ideological construct of identity.

According to them epistemology is itself a multiple construct so there is no single "logo" or idiom to define identity. Furthermore they impart their doubt in language as a stable phenomenon as language is a system of "signs" with no definite meanings.

To deconstruct and thereby further expose the manipulative and totalitarian nature of metanarratives Foucault's concept of geneology has also been incorporated into the analysis.

Foucault (1977) has pointed out the role of genealogical analysis in the context of postmodern approach towards historical studies which is important as it signifies the loss of the search for "origins".

Foucault defines the genealogical studies as the negation of the pursuit of Utopian ideal and explains the role of the genealogist who brings out the fabricated patterns of history.

Thus genealogist according to Foucault deconstructs the essentialist motions of truth and knowledge.

In this context Foucault deconstructs the Platonic modalities of history because according to Foucault the genealogical analysis of history is periodic because it tends to bring out the farcical nature of history it is dissociative because it tends to conform itself to the existence of fragmentary identities and it is sacrificial because it contests the traditional notions of epistemology.

Also Foucault has extended his skepticism towards the traditional notion of progress as according to him the escape from one form of subjugation subsequently leads towards another form of subjugation under the normative hegemony of law and its rules.

Finally to further lay bare and question the legitimization and institutionalization of metanarratives in the postmodern era the narrative strategies employed and utilized have been focused upon.

Postmodernism employs various narrative techniques not only to subvert the supremacy of metanarratives but also to signify the lack of as table signifier in the form of something "unpresentable".

The most significant narrative technique employed by Postmodernism is Historiographic metafiction which entails the blurring of boundaries of history and fiction in order to identify and subvert the political fabrications of historical representations.

Pastiche is also one of the significant Postmodern narrative technique which entails the Postmodern fragmented multiplicity. Frederick Jameson states pastiche as "blank parody" which mocks the concept of a unified reason through narrative fragmentation and chaos (Bertens 1995).

Lyotard (1984) has pointed out normative as well as manipulative designs of narratives which make individuals conform themselves to various metanarratives as a result of the subjugation of aesthetic experimentation in art and literature.

Lyotard further explains that all these attempts were made to protect humankind from skepticism about the way things were and also in order to curb their freedom to contest the established norms and beliefs.

Lyotard in this context takes the concept of "Eclecticism" or pastiche which refers to the mixing of different styles media and cultures in order to define reality as dual and multiple in the postmodern era.

3. Lessing's Metanarratives of Enlightenment

Postmodernism in general displays skepticism towards the over arching notion of unified reason because of its claim to provide individuals with the utopian world.

It deconstructs the belief in enlightenment which according to modernists can emancipate individuals from sufferings and miseries. The Golden Notebook by Lessing is the emblematic manifestation of disbelief in the unified existence of truth and reason in the postmodern era.

Lessing through the deconstruction of enlightenment as a unified construct captivates the postmodern dilemma of plurality which signifies the loss of a stable signifier in the Postmodern era.

In this context Lessing deconstructs the epistemological construct of enlightenment and points out its various anarchical constructs and regards reality as simulated and hence plural and multiple in the Postmodern era.

Moreover Lessing tends to bring out the various epistemological constructs which exist in the realm of unified reason and claim human emancipation.

For this purpose Lessing contests the speculative-cum-emancipatory metanarratives in the form of Psychoanalysis and Marxist Communism for their overarching claims of human emancipation.

Furthermore Lessing deals with the historical representations of emancipation through the genealogical analysis ofhistory particularly through the various Postmodernist techniques of Historiographic meta-fiction parody and pastiche.

Postmodernism deals with enlightenment as an ideological construct which according to various Postmodernists has the futile notion of human emancipation.

For this purpose Postmodernism deals with the sites of human anxiety in the postmodern era. Moreover it also captures the Postmodern dilemma of plurality where there is no unified site of human suffering and hence no unified notion of human emancipation.

Lessing in The Golden Notebook has significantly pointed out postmodern skepticism towards enlightenment as there can be no established and fixed binaries in the postmodern era. For this purpose Lessing in The Golden Notebook contends her lack of faith towards the existence of unified ideology and language.

Postmodernism deals with enlightenment as a mythical construct which according to the propagators of enlightenment can liberate individuals through reason and faith in knowledge.

According to Adorno and Horkheimer: "It wanted to dispel myths to overthrow fantasy with knowledge" (Adorno and Horkheimer 2002 p.1). Lessing in this context has dealt with the fabricated patterns of enlightenment which can be considered as a metanarrative in the postmodern era as the age itself is the emblem of skepticism towards ideological hegemonies.

Lessing for this purpose has captivated the dilemma of postmodern multiplicity where ideologies are dual in nature and lacks in unification. Anna during the course of the novel finds herself unable to put her experience in a single notebook.

Anna gives the reason behind this fragmentation as the representation of disorder in order to signify not only the dissociation of her identity but also the age which is marked by splits and cracks.

Anna during her conversation with Molly relates her experience of writing which according to her is beyond the notions of artistic problems:

`What's in those diaries then'

`They aren't diaries.'

`Whatever they are.'

`Chaos that's the point.'(Lessing 1962 p.56).

Lessing in order to de-center the metanarrative of unified enlightenment dismantles the concept of a unified `real' and appropriates the concept of Simulacra by Baudrillard.

Lessing in this context talks about the Postmodern `real' which is not only multiple but also chaotic in nature.

Anna in The Go/den Notebook not only tries to captivate the fragmentation of her identity through her variousnotebooks but also tries to capture the chaotic `real' of the postmodernera.

Lessing through dismantling the concept of a unified `real' has also dismantled the notion of sublimity in art and emphasizes Postmodern aesthetics where art not only captivates the subtleties of life but also the brutal ironies of the `real' marked by chaos.

Lessing captures the dilemma of the postmodern era in terms of Anna's conversation with Molly about the painter who refuses to write as the age is marked by fragmentation and chaos. Anna says to Molly:

`Well there was an announcement in the paper he said he'd neverpaint again. He said it was because the world is so chaotic art is irrelevant.' There was a silence until Anna appealed: `Doesn't that mean anything to you'

`No. And certainly not from you. After all you aren't someone who writes little novels about the emotions. You write about what's real.' (Lessing 1962 p.57)

Lessing in order to deconstruct metanarratives contests the essentialistic and mythical strands in the established dogmas. In this context Adorno and Horkheimer also deal with the nature as well as the purpose of myths in order to point out its hegemonic structures.

Adorno and Horkheimer state: "Myth sought to report to name to tell of origins---but therefore also to narrate to record explain. This tendency was reinforced by the recording and collecting of myths. From a record they soon became a teaching.." (Adorno and Horkheimer2002 p.5)

Lessing in the preface to the novel also states her doubts regarding the hegemonic ideological structures. As she puts it in the following manner:

As in the political sphere the child is taught that he is free a democrat with a free will and a free mind lives in a free country make his own decisions. At the same time he is a prisoner of the assumptions and dogmas of his time which he does not question because he has never been told they exist (Lessing 1962 p.l5)

Thus she casts her doubt towards hegemonic structures of various dogmas and beliefs deeply rooted in the culture where individuals are given a set of values in order to learn and implement in the garb of enlightenment and emancipation.

She further points out the dormant state of these hegemonic constructions in society where individuals conform to established institutions as they remain unconscious of their subjugation by these norms. Lessing further emphasizes the need to contest the norms established by these various institutions.

4. Postmodernist Deconstruction of Speculative Metanarratives Postmodernism is skeptic of the overarching speculative Metanarratives given by Freud and Marx for giving pre-established notions of human enlightenment in order to emancipate individuals from social and psychological miseries.

Adorno and Horkheimer (2002) in this context talk about the biased inclinations of enlightenment for having pre-conceived notions of human liberation. Adorno and Horkheimer state:"For enlightenment is totalitarian as only a system can be. Its untruth...(lies) in its assumption that the trial is prejudged."(Adorno and Horkheimer 2002 p.18)

Lessing for this purpose has made use of Saul Green's short novel where the Frenchman is shown to be representing Marx and Freud: the speculative metanarratives and Algerian soldier is shown to be representing "God or the State or Law or Order": the emancipatory metanarratives in general. Saul Green one of the former American Communist narrates his novel as:

This soldier was a farmer who was aware that what he felt about life was not what he was expected to feel. By whom By an invisible they who might be God or the State or Law or Order.

He was captured tortured by the French escaped rejoined the FLN and found himself torturing under orders to do so French prisoners. He knew that he should feel something about this that he did not in fact feel.

He discussed his state of mind late one night with one of the French prisoners whom he had tortured.

The French prisoner was a young intellectual a student of philosophy. This young man (the two men were talking secretly in the prisoner's cell) complained that he was in an intellectual prison-house.

He recognized had recognized for years that he never had a thought or an emotion that didn't instantly fall into pigeon-holes one marked `Marx' and one marked `Freud'. His thoughts and emotions were like marbles rolling into predetermined slots he complained.

The young Algerian soldier found this interesting he didn't find that at all he said what troubled him though of course it didn't really trouble him and he felt it should was that nothing he thought or felt was what was expected of him.

The Algerian soldier said he envied the Frenchman or rather he felt he ought to be envying him.

While the French student said he envied the Algerian from the bottom of his heart: he wished that just once just once in his life he felt or thought something that was his own spontaneous undirected not willed on him by Grandfathers Freud and Marx.

The voices of the two young men had risen more than was wise particularly that of the French student crying out against his situation.

The Commanding Officer came in found the Algerian talking like a brother with the prisoner he was supposed to be guarding.

The Algerian soldier said: `Sir I did what I was ordered: I tortured this man. You did not tell me I should not talk with him.'

The Commanding Officer decided that his man was some sort of spy probably recruited while he had been a prisoner. He ordered him to be shot.

The Algerian soldier and the French student were shot together on the hillside with the rising sun in their faces side by side the next morning (Lessing 1962 p.555-557).

In the above mentioned short novel the Algerian soldier and the French prisoner are the metonymic representations of emancipatory and speculative metanarratives respectively.

Furthermore the short novel by Saul Green captivates the hegemony of the ambivalently identified "theory" which can be either religion law or any form of organized political community.

The Algerian soldier is condemned to be subjugated to the pre-established rules of socialist political party in Algeria as he is shown to be tortured by the French as an Algerian soldier and then he tortures the French as a part of Algerian FLN (National Liberation Front).

Moreover it captivates the disillusionments of the Algerian soldier as he finds himself unable to identify completely with the pre-established norms given by these hegemonic systems.

He also finds himself unable to fulfill the expectations of these hegemonic systems as these systems involve not only physical conformity but also demand intellectual conformity.

The Algerian soldier points out the brutality of these hegemonic systems as these systems not only tend to mould the individual's actions but also try to oppress the individual's ideology about life.

The Algerian soldier is expected by the society to feel like a freedom fighter who must find solace in life's biggest ambition: emancipation. But ironically he cannot feel what he is expected to feel and hence finds himself in an emotional void.

When Algerian soldier discusses his state of mind with one of the French prisoner he finds him totally disillusioned with academia which according to the French prisoner is another form of intellectual hegemony.

The French prisoner in the above mentioned short novel is shown to be the student of philosophy disillusioned with the speculative as well as hegemonic discourses given by Freud and Marx. He laments on being the prisoner of intelligentsia throughout his life.

He mourns on being a conformist and also for letting his thoughts and emotions fall into the predetermined "pigeon-holes one marked `Marx' and one marked `Freud'."

The Algerian soldier then ironically talks about his own dilemma as he is also expected to envy academia which is always considered as the centre of intelligentsia while the student of philosophy is shown to be envying the Algerian soldier for his life being free from the dogmas of Freud and Marx.

The Algerian soldier thus is shown to have a preconceived notion of intelligentsia at the centre and that is why he wants to envy academia while on the other hand the French prisoner who is the student of philosophy is shown to have a preconceived notion of human emancipation and thus he envies the Algerian soldier for being free from the hegemony of Freud and Marx.

Hence the concept of a unified enlightenment gets dismantled as there can be no site of unified truth. Being the metonymic representations of metanarratives both speculative and emancipatory metanarratives get deconstructed when both of them get shot by the authorities.

But moreover the ever existing state of war between the law and intelligentsia in order to attain the overarching centre has been pointed out as Algerian soldier is shown to be tormenting the French prisoner who is the representative of academia.

Ironically when both of them come to know the futility of each other's position through communication they become like "brother(s)" having no prejudices against each other.

But that free discourse between law and intelligentsia gets subjugated in the form of Algerian soldier's death as he is shown tobe charged with the allegation of rebellion against the law.

Thus the short novel by Saul Green is the metonymic call on the need of the search for society free from the hegemony of both law and intelligentsia which can be achieved through free discourse and thus dismantles the preconceived notions associated with emancipatory as well as speculative meta narratives.

5. Deconstructing Epistemological Unity of Contentment inthe Guise of Communism

Postmodernism is marked by epistemological multiplicity and hence lacks in singular epistemology to define the meanings of truth and reason and thus negates the possibility of any hegemonic epistemology which nullifies the existence of multiple epistemologies.

Adorno and Horkheimer (2002) in the context of epistemological multiplicity perpetuates multiplicity of identities in the Postmodern era where there is no single "logo" to define the notion of identity.

According to Adorno and Horkheimer: "...being is split between logos... The single distinction between man's own existence and reality swallows up all others" (Adorno and Horkheimer 2002 p.5).

Lessing displays similar conceptualization in her emphasis on the epistemological becoming ofidentity which cannot remain permanent and fixed. Anna during her conversation with Jack states:

`The point is it seems to me that my mind is a mass of totally contradictory attitudes about everything.' `Everyone's mind is a mass of contradictory attitudes. Why should it matter' `It should matter to us surely' (Meaning it should matter to Communists) (Lessing 1962p.3 19)

Anna Wulf in the above lines has talked about the postmodern mind having a contradictory set of values and beliefs which in turn fails to conform to any single epistemology.

She also talks about the dilemma of her age where there are intellectual deviants who fail to conform to the hegemonic discourses like Marxist Communism even by remaining Communists in the postmodern era. Moreover she talks about the illusionary nature of enlightenment as it is a term in the continuous process of re-signification.

Postmodernism contests the idea of situating one's own identity within the hegemonical patterns of various systems where everything is calculated and classified according to certain norms.

To contest thenotion of adherence to unified patterns of identity Adorno and Horkheimer (2002) deal with the patterns of subjugation of the self by classifiable notions of truth and hence call on the need to maintain a skeptic approach towards the notion of truth itself.

Lessing contests the structuralist notion of situating ideas within fixed binaries and hence mocks the futility of search for a unified truth. An analysis of AnnaWuif's conversation with her father brings this mocking futility to the forefront:

`You ask such a lot. Happiness. That sort of thing. Happiness! I don't remember thinking about it. Your lot-you seem to think something's owed to you. It's because of the communists. '`What' says Ella startled and amused...

`...for better or worse we are prepared to experiment with ourselves to try and be different kinds of people. But you simply submitted to something.'(Lessing 1962 p. 410)

Anna Wuif in this conversation contests the stereotypical notions of contentment and happiness which involve the enlightened patterns of success and achievement.

She further deconstructs the structuralist notions of contentment and happiness and points out the inevitability of epistemological becoming in the Postmodern era where the identities and ideologies fail to conform to a unified concept of contentment and hence in the continuous process of re-signification.

She tries to appropriate the concept related to intellectual communists in general as according to her this unified concept signifies "experiment" and not the blind imitation of ideals and dogmas propagated by Marxist Communism.

Thus she points out the Postmodern inclination to wardsthe contestation of established values and beliefs in the form of her ideological deviation from her father who is the emblematic representation of his own generation.

6. Deconstructing Psychoanalysis as a Structuralist Epistemological Construct

Adorno and Horkheimer (2002) deal with the anarchical nature of enlightenment. According to them: "Enlightenment is totalitarian". In other words they deal with enlightenment as a normative discourse which tries to define and calculate according to established norms and also insists individuals to conform to its established hegemonic structures.

Lessing in this context has satirized Psychiatry and welfare work as it claims to provide salvation to humanity according to pre-established notions of emancipation from the sufferings of the world.

For this purpose Paul particularly questions the hegemony of Psychiatry where the curers regard the sufferers as the representation of "world sickness". Paul during her conversation with Ella states his disillusionment with Psychiatry in the following manner:

Psychiatry and welfare work it's putting poultices on Unnecessary misery.'

`But Paul you know you help them.'

`All the time I'm thinking that we are all obsolete. What sort of a doctor is it who sees his patients as symptoms of a world sickness'(Lessing 1962 p.197)

Lessing further mocks Psychoanalysis as a curative science which tries to establish cures for human suffering in terms of pre-established notions of the various workings of human psyche. Lessing considers it as "psycho-analysis"; the analysis preceded by the pre-conceived notion of individuals as neurotic patients. As Anna voices her disregard for psychoanalysis in a conversation with Mother Suger in the following manner:

`It seems to me that being psycho-analyzed is essentially a process where one is forced back into infantilism and then rescued from it by crystallizing what one learns into a sort of intellectual primitivism---one is forced back into myth and folklore and everything that belongs to the savage or undeveloped stages of society...

But in fact all I do or you do is to fish among the childish memories of an individual and merge them with the art or ideas that belong to the childhood of a people.'(Lessing 1962 p.412)

Anna contests Psychoanalysis through parody as it tends to measure emotional problems in terms of perturbed childhood and also in terms of Oedipus and Electra complex..

Moreover it tends to force individuals into `myth' and `folklore' of human liberation from misery which according to her proves to be a futile pursuit. The words `myth' and `folklore' also signify Psychoanalysis as a metanarrative which totalizes human experience and knowledge.

During the course of the novel she satirizes Psychoanalysis mainly for being "rooted" within a defined epistemological framework of human mind. Moreover Anna satirizes Psychoanalysis for its continuous pursuit to define the notion of deviation in terms of unified reason behind human misery in thefollowing manner:

The reservations both had felt about the solemn and painful ritual were expressed by the pet name `Mother Sugar'; which as time passed became a name for much more than a person and indicated a whole way of looking at life-traditional rooted conservative in spite of its familiarity with everything amoral.

`Mother Sugar used to say "You're Electra" or You're Anti gone" and that was the end as far as she was concerned' said Anna (Lessing1962 p.26-2).

Anna mocks Psychoanalysis for giving the defined epistemological frameworks of women's identity. The word `Mother Sugar' signifies the overarching hegemony of Psychoanalysis as a totalitarian discourse which tends to care for individuals as a mother in the garb of providing salvation to suffering humanity.

Anna through parodying Psychoanalysis brings out the implicit patterns of power within Psychoanalysis. She points out Psychoanalysis as a legitimate epistemology with power.

Despite of its most controversial issues like Electra and Oedipus complex which regard relationships of father-daughter and mother-son as `amoral' it is still regarded as a legitimate power to exercise on individuals.

Anna further parodies Psychoanalysis by taking a Post-feminist stance and refers to "Electra" and "Anti gone" as mythical constructs or the ideological representations in continuous opposition to the notion of motherhood.

Moreover Lessing also satirizes through Tommy's words the biological foundationalism inherent in psychoanalysis in the following manner:

`A phase.. .we're not individuals for you at all. We are simply temporary shapes of something. Phases' (Lessing 1962 p.242-243)

Lessing satirizes biological foundationalism for considering the emotional problems mainly through the lens of hormonal disturbance and also for the marginalization of conventional motherhood as an ideological construct.

Tommy in this context mocks the free women for their blind imitation of science as the absolute epistemology of unified reason to define the emotional problems of their children.

7. Postmodernist Skepticism Towards Language as a Unified Idiom

Postmodernism is marked by disbelief in language as a stable phenomenon to define reality. For this purpose the Postmodernists talk about language as an unstable phenomenon and also as a political construct.

Adorno and Horkheimer (2002) by taking the Poststructuralist stance towards language contest the structuralist notions of Sign theory and hence cast their doubt to define reality in the form of binary oppositions.

Adorno and Horkheimer (2002) state:"Language thereby becomes more than a mere system of signs". Hence for them language has more functions in the postmodern era other than to define the structures of reality in terms of binary oppositions.

Lessing in The Golden Notebook casts her doubt in the supremacy of language in the form of Anna's disillusionment with language for its failure to relate her experience in general. Anna states:

Yet now I read those entries and feel nothing. I am increasingly afflicted by vertigo where words mean nothing. Words mean nothing.

They have become when I think not the form into which experience is shaped but a series of meaningless sounds like nursery talk and away to one side of experience.

Or like the sound track of a film that has slipped its connection with the film.. .the words dissolve and my minds starts spawning images which have nothing to do with the words so that every word I see or hear seems like a small raft bobbing about on an enormous sea of images. So I can't write anymore...(Lessing 1962 p. 418-419)

Anna Wulf in the above mentioned lines narrates her experience as a writer when she considers the failure of language one of the major causes behind her own writer's block.

Anna relates her dilemma in the form of her emotional void where she is unable to draw out the meanings from the entries written in her own various diaries. Anna consequently finds herself unable to give a certain shape to her experience through words.

Words or the language for Anna are like a "nursery talk" or like a soundtrack of any film that "has slipped its connection with the film" because of its failure as a coherent whole.

Furthermore "the enormous sea of images" in the above mentioned lines is the metonymic representation of Anna's mind while "a small raft" is the metonymic representation of the futility of language to captivate Anna's world.

Anna Wuif during the course of the novel realizes the impossibility of a singular idiom to captivate her experience.

Moreover she becomes disillusioned with the incapacity of language to convey the sensibilities which she wants to convey particularly in the form of her emotional void. That's why she has to divide herself in the form of various notebooks which is in turn the metonymic representation of Anna's fragmented identity:

It occurs to me that what is happening is a breakdown of me Anna and this is how I am becoming aware of it. For words are form and if I am at a pitch where shape form expression are nothing then I am nothing... (Lessing 1962 p.4l9)

8. De-Historicizing Historical Representations

Postmodernism in order to contest the ontological representations appropriates the stereotypical notions of history through the genealogical analysis.

Genealogy as explained earlier "opposes itself to the search for "origins" (Foucault 1977). Hence Foucault deconstructs the traditional historical interpretations for their ontological conformity with the pre-established norms.

Furthermore Foucault talks about the role of the genealogist who fails to conform to the ontological as well as representational ideologies and contests its "fabricated" patterns. Foucault states:

"...the genealogist refuses to extend his faith in metaphysics if he listens to history he finds that there is "something altogether different" behind things: not a timeless and essential secret but the secret that they have no essence or that their essence was fabricated in a piecemeal fashion from alien forms" (p.142)

Lessing to emphasize history's inherent fabricated patterns talks about history as an illusion and because of which it seems to be futile to individuals to have fixed grounds of belief related to any ideology. Anna Wuif and Jack express their disillusionment with history in the following manner:

`...throughout history there have perhaps been five ten fifty people whose consciousness truly matched their times. And if our consciousness of reality doesn't fit our time what's so terrible about that

Our children...'Or our great-great-great grandchildren' I say sounding irritable. `All right-our great-great-great-great grand children will look back and it will be perfectly clear to them that the way wesaw the world the way we see the world now was incorrect. But then their view will be of their time. It doesn't matter' (Lessing1962 p.319)

Anna Wulf in the above mentioned lines has dismantled the binary structures of conformity and non-conformity.

The ideological constructions no matter conformist or non-conformist are bound to collapse through the description and analysis of fabricated patterns within historical representations.

Anna mocks the issue of being considered at the margins for being a non-conformist as both the conformist as well as the non-conformist ideologies are bound to get re-signified through various generations.

9. Genealogical History: A Move From Repression to Repression

Foucault deconstructs the false illusion of history which propagates the notion of human emancipation; a transition from repression to liberation. Foucault (1977) defines history as: "the endlessly repeated play of dominations".

Lessing in this context dismantles the notion of human emancipation through the experience of Anna the free woman. Anna Wulf throughout the novel questions the utopian notion of human emancipation and hence deconstructs the hegemony of emancipatory and speculative metanarratives particularly in the form of modernist feminism and Communism. Saul Green relates the futility of the notion of human emancipation that:

He said: `We are comforting each other. What for I wonder' Then with his arms around me still: `We've got to remember that people with our kind of experience are bound to be depressed and unhopeful(Lessing 1962 p.496).

Anna Wulf in this context also contests "Western Democracy" which confines individuals through pre-established notions of reason and logic for human emancipation. Anna further anticipates the anti-hegemonic strands of the Postmodern era where individuals refute the anarchy of any hegemonic discourse even of liberty and emancipation. Anna states:

I sat there discouraged and depressed. Because in all of us brought up in a Western democracy there is this built-in-belief that freedom and liberty will strengthen will survive pressures and the belief seems to survive any evidence against it.

This belief is probably in itself a danger. Sitting there I had a vision of the world with nations systems economic blocks hardening and consolidating; a world where it would become increasingly ludicrous even to talk about freedom or the individual conscience (Lessing 1962 p.496)

10. Dismantling Platonic modalities of History

Foucault significantly dismantles the "Platonic modalities" of history and hence talks about history as "parodic directed against reality" and" dissociative directed against identity" and moreover "sacrificial directed against truth" (Foucault 1977 p.160).

Lessing in this context mocks history as well as its representations mainly for its claim to give unified epistemological version of identity and truth.

Anna Wulf dismantles the traditional and historical notion of oppression as a unified construct and thus mocks the pursuit of freedom from oppression as oppression can itself be considered as a path towards self-realization. Anna parodies the various phases of her life in front of Saul Green:

I say now about five years of my life that was when I loved a man who loved me. But of course I was very naAve in those days Period. That's buttoned up. I say:

Then I went through a time when I was looking for men who would hurt me. I needed it. Period. That's buttoned up.'... `I was a communist for a time. On the whole a mistake. A useful experience though and one can never have too many of those.

Period. That's buttoned up.'... `Every bloody one of them's got a history of emotional crime oh the sad bleeding corpses that litter the road to maturity of the wise serene man or woman of fifty-odd! (Lessing 1962 p.543).

11. Postmodern Aesthetics; Historiographic Metafiction Parody and Pastiche

Historiographic metafiction in the Postmodernist context entails the blurring of boundaries of fiction and reality and hence questions the inevitability of traditional historical representations as true.

Hutcheon(1989) maintains Historiographic metafiction as a subversive act towards the previously established historical representations. Malpas(2003)defines Historiographic metafiction as: "... postmodern fiction frequently treats history ironically as a site of fragmentation rather than a progressive structure."

Anna Wuif during the course of the novel relates her emotional experiences in her various Yellow Notebooks. Lessing in order to de-historicize the past of Anna has fabulated here motional experiences in the form of short stories and short novels particularly in the Yellow Notebook of Free Women 4.

Brooks while explaining delauretis Poststructuralist views on gender segregation states: "... if the concept of woman is a fiction then the very concept of women's oppression is obsolete." (Brooks 1997 p.23)

For this purpose Anna Wulf deconstructs her own past emotional experiences in order to subvert the traditional feminist representations of women's oppression.

Moreover she de-totalizes her own history into various fragments and hence mocks the notion of history as an emancipatory epistemological structure. Also through the fragmentation of her own experience Anna Wulf shatters the false notion of faith in history which allures individuals with the concept of human liberation. Anna Wulf relates one of her short story as:

Man and a woman both sexually proud and experienced seldom meeting others as experienced. Suddenly both afflicted by dislike for the other an emotion which when examined (and they are nothing if not self-examiners) turns out to be dislike for themselves.

They have found their mirrors take a good look grimace leave each other. When they meet it is with a wry sort of acknowledgement become good friends on this basis after a time this wry ironical friendship turns into love. But love is barred to them because of the first stark experience without emotion (Lessing 1962 p.473)

Anna Wulf in the above mentioned short story has not assigned any name to both man and a woman in order to keep their identities implicit and fabulated within the narrative.

The reason of failure of the relationship which has been implicated through this short story is not the traditional hostility or the subjugation of women by men but the postmodern nihilism which consequently reduces everything to nothing.

Later on the above mentioned man and a woman are shown to be engaged in a disasterful and parodic relationship which signifies the lack of unification in the form of absence of unified emotional experience.

Anna Wulf fabulates and parodies her emotional experience in the short novels related in the Yellow Notebook of Free Women 4 in order to expose the implicit ironies behind her relationships with men.

Anna Wulf fails to mention the absolute site of oppression and hence goes beyond the feminist epistemology of women's oppression by men.

Anna Wulf in the following short novel talks about the emotional block of the unnamed man and a woman which keeps them apart and alienated from each other's desire.

Moreover they are shown to be bound to experience multiple relationships in order to satisfy their desires which ironically remain insatiable throughout the novel. Anna Wulf relates her dilemma implicitly in the short novel as:

Two rakes male and female together. Their concourse has the following ironical rhythm. He takes her she wary from experience but she slowly succumbs emotionally.

At the moment when she emotionally gives herself to him his emotions cut off he loses desire for her. She hurt and miserable. Turns to another man.

But at this point the first man finds her desirable again. But whereas he is excited by the knowledge she has been sleeping with someone else she is frozen up because he is excited not by her but the fact she has been with someone else.

But slowly she succumbs to him emotionally. And just at the moment when it is at its best for her he freezes up again takes another woman she another man and so on (Lessing 1962p.473).

Anna Wulf in the above mentioned short story has not assigned any name to both man and a woman in order to keep their identities implicit and fabulated within the narrative.

The reason of failure of the relationship which has been implicated through this short story is not the traditional hostility or the subjugation of women by men but the postmodern nihilism which consequently reduces everything to nothing.

Later on the above mentioned man and a woman are shown to be engaged in a distasteful and parodic relationship which signifies the lack of unification in the form of absence of unified emotional experience.

Anna Wulf fabulates and parodies her emotional experience in the short novels related in the Yellow Notebook of Free Women 4 in order to expose the implicit ironies behind her relationships with men.

Anna Wulf fails to mention the absolute site of oppression and hence goes beyond the feminist epistemology of women's oppression by men. Anna Wulf in the following short novel talks about the emotional block of the unnamed man and a woman which keeps them apart and alienated from each other's desire.

Moreover they are shown to be bound to experience multiple relationships in order to satisfy their desires which ironically remain insatiable throughout the novel. Anna Wulf relates her dilemma implicitly in the short novel as:

Two rakes male and female together. Their concourse has the following ironical rhythm. He takes her she wary from experience but she slowly succumbs emotionally.

At the moment when she emotionally gives herself to him his emotions cut off he loses desire for her. She hurt and miserable.

Turns to another man. But at this point the first man finds her desirable again. But whereas he is excited by the knowledge she has been sleeping with someone else she is frozen up because he is excited not by her but the fact she has been with someone else.

But slowly she succumbs to him emotionally. And just at the moment when it is at its best for her he freezes up again takes another woman she another man and so on (Lessing 1962p.473).

Anna Wulf in the above mentioned short story has not assigned any name to both man and a woman in order to keep their identities implicit and fabulated within the narrative.

The reason of failure of the relationship which has been implicated through this short story is not the traditional hostility or the subjugation of women by men but the postmodern nihilism which consequently reduces everything to nothing.

Later on the above mentioned man and a woman are shown to be engaged in a distasteful and parodic relationship which signifies the lack of unification in the form of absence of unified emotional experience.

Anna Wulf fabulates and parodies her emotional experience in the short novels related in the Yellow Notebook of Free Women 4 in order to expose the implicit ironies behind her relationships with men. Anna Wulf fails to mention the absolute site of oppression and hence goes beyond the feminist epistemology of women's oppression by men.

Anna Wulf in the following short novel talks about the emotional block of the unnamed man and a woman which keeps them apart and alienated from each other's desire. Moreover they are shown to be bound to experience multiple relationships in order to satisfy their desires which ironically remain insatiable throughout the novel. Anna Wulf relates her dilemma implicitly in the short novel as:

Two rakes male and female together. Their concourse has the following ironical rhythm. He takes her she wary from experience but she slowly succumbs emotionally. At the moment when she emotionally gives herself to him his emotions cut off he loses desire for her. She hurt and miserable. Turns to another man.

But at this point the first man finds her desirable again. But whereas he is excited by the knowledge she has been sleeping with someone else she is frozen up because he is excited not by her but the fact she has been with someone else. But slowly she succumbs to him emotionally. And just at the moment when it is at its best for her he freezes up again takes another woman she another man and so on (Lessing 1962p.473).

The Postmodern pastiche is significant in the Poststructuralist context where traditional structures are dismantled through the amalgamation of multiple narrative techniques within a single narrative in order to mock the faith in enlightenment as a unified epistemology and also topoint out the futility of enlightenment to claim a utopian world.

Hence pastiche in Jameson's view is "nothing but stylistic diversity and heterogeneity". Jameson defines pastiche as:

Pastiche is `blank parody' parody without parody's `ulterior motive without satirical impulse without laughter without that still latent feeling that there exists something normal compared to which what is being imitated is rather comic. (Bertens 1995 p.162)

In order to signify Postmodernist skepticism towards the metanarratives of enlightenment or reason Lessing has fragmented the experience of Anna Wulf in the form of various notebooks and pasted the multiple facets of Anna's experience in the form of newspaper cuttings along with the entries related to her personal life in her Blue Notebook of Free Women 1.

Also Lessing has amalgamated the genre of fiction with nonfiction in order to signify the Postmodernist ambivalence towards the binaries of personal and public. Anna Wulf pastes the various newspaper cuttings in her Blue Notebook as mentioned below:

March 50

The modeller calls this the `H-Bomb Style' explaining that the `H' is for peroxide of hydrogen used for colouring. The hair is dressed to rise in waves as from a bomb-burst at the nape of the neck. Daily Telegraph...

Aug. 5th 50

Basing its conclusions on the lessons of Hiroshima and Nagasaki as to the range of blast heat-flash radiation etc. it assumes that one atom bomb might kill 50000people in a British built-up area. But leaving out the Hydrogen Bomb it is surely unsafe to assume that.. .New Statesman (Lessing 1962 p.2l9-22O).

Hence Anna celebrates her existence through living in fragments where it is difficult to build binaries between personal and public. Anna pays homage to her multiple self through voicing her both personal and public identities. It not only expresses her multiple self but also depicts her existentialist dilemma to put herself in a unified epistemology of being.

12. Conclusion

The study undertaken demonstrates that Lessing in The Golden Note book has contested the speculative and emancipatory unity of historical discourses like Marxist Communism and Psychoanalysis which claim human liberation and emancipation.

The contestation by Lessing of the notion of reality as simulated and hence plural has been made amply evident by the researchers. Moreover this study also highlights Postmodern skepticism towards language as a unified idiom to define reason and truth in Lessing's work.

This study through genealogical analysis of history and also through engaging postmodern narrative techniques not only contests the ontological representation(s) of history but also shatters the emancipatory myth embedded in historical discourses.

References

Baudrillard J. (1994). Simulacra and Simulation trans. Sheila Faria Glaser. USA: University of Michigan Press.

Bertens H. (1995).The Idea of the Postmodern: A History. London: Routledge.

Brooks A. (1997) Posreminisms: Feminism cultural theory and cultural forms. London and New York: Routledge.

Foucault M. (1977).Nietsche Genealogy History. In D.F. Bouchard (ed.) Language Counter-Memory Practice: Selected Essays and Interviews. Ithaca: Cornell University Press.

Horkheimer M. and Adorno T.W. (2002). The Dialectic of Enlightenment: Philosophical Fragments trans. Edmund Jephcott.USA: Stanford University Press.

Hutcheon L. (1989). The Politics of Postmodernism. London: Routledge.

Lessing D. (1962). The Golden Notebook. London: Harper Collins Publishers.

Lyotard J.F. (1984). The Postmodern Condition: A Report on Knowledge trans. Geoff Bennington and Brian Massumi. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.

Malpas S. (2003). Jean-Francois Ljotard. London: Routledge.
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