Recently I re-read "The Reason For It," one of four novellas in The Grandmothers, a collection by Doris Lessing. It's the only one of the four in the style Lessing began writing later in life, dubbed "space fiction" by her, though most people, of course, call it science fiction. Her first foray into this genre was the five-volume Canopus in Argos series, by which time she'd published dozens of realistic novels and short stories.
In The Reason For It a government representative, the equivalent of one of our senators, realizes as he nears death the mistake that he and his co-representatives made by appointing DeRod their president many years ago. They had believed his amiability signalled great kindness, but now he sees that DeRod is what he calls "feeble minded." As he describes President DeRod who he can, at last, see clearly, he sounds exactly like someone who voted for a president based on his charm, his looks, his affability. Now he sees that the man they chose to...
What is interesting about the story (The Grandmothers) compared to the film (Two Mothers) is how sparse the story is. The film makes the sexual relation between the mothers and sons quite explicit, and it also gives more depth of personality to the mother played by Robin Wright in the film. In other words, the personalities are explored a bit more. The story, on the other hand, has a bit more about Australia itself, what this cove might mean to these people. In the movie, you barely realize that the setting is Australia, whereas in the story this seems to me a major point. I have to admit that I found both the film and novella to be engaging and interesting
I was on a United flight when I happened upon this lovely movie. The book is actually better than the movie I think. Perhaps because some of the movie was a little confusing and maybe even a little hard to understand the relationship between two middle aged women and their sons evolving into a sexual relationship.
The book better explains this part and fills in the holes within the story including what happens next....
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