Dear Doris Lessing,
First, woohoo! Congratulations on the Nobel prize! You may not know this, but you wrote my favorite short story, To Room 19. For years, when asked what my favorite story is I've given To Room 19 as the answer. This morning it struck me: I can not recall what To Room 19 is about.
This is sad, because your story made a huge impact on me in college. Life-and-personality changing impact. No recall whatsoever, Doris. It's like saying, oh, my favorite song is The Beatles "Yesterday," and then someone asks you to sing it and you can't remember the tune or lyrics, or, anything, except it's your favorite.
I tried in vain to find it in my books. I went through every Norton's Anthology I own (well, I only own three). I tried to find it on the Internet, and I could not.Still, what I found was sufficient to remind me of the theme.
The woman in your short story is in an "intelligent" marriage and lets reason dictate all her life choices. It does not end well for her (suicide, I think, in a hotel room). It was a revelation to me that reason divorced from emotion could fail, especially in marriage.
Soon after I read your story I began dating Gary. I just want to thank you for making my life hell. Because of your words I find myself trapped on this emotional .... emotional ... no, I will not say emotional roller coaster to someone who won the Nobel Prize ... emotional goose winter, this emotional funfair that is marriage to Gary.
I could have married a cold, rational, logical sort. He would talk me into threesomes like the husband in your story (it came back to me eventually). I'd be getting laid every night and calmly discussing world politics the next morning. But no. I had to start making decisions based on emotions, like love. I blame you and your irresponsible art.
So, yeah, thanks Doris. Suck my balls.