The Golden Notebook

The Golden Notebook

by

Doris Lessing

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Max Wulf Character Analysis

Willi Rodde (in the black notebook) and George (in the yellow notebook) appears as Max Wulf in the blue notebook. Max is Anna’s ex-husband and Janet’s father. According to the blue notebook, Max and Anna met in Africa and never loved each other. The discrepancy in his name reveals that the black notebook may not be the accurate recollection it initially appears to be.

Max Wulf Quotes in The Golden Notebook

The The Golden Notebook quotes below are all either spoken by Max Wulf or refer to Max Wulf. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Fragmentation, Breakdown, and Unity Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Simon and Schuster edition of The Golden Notebook published in 1962.
Free Women: 2 Quotes

“It seems to me like this. It’s not a terrible thing — I mean, it may be terrible, but it’s not damaging, it’s not poisoning, to do without something one wants. It’s not bad to say: My work is not what I really want, I’m capable of doing something bigger. Or I’m a person who needs love, and I’m doing without it. What’s terrible is to pretend that the second-rate is first-rate. To pretend that you don’t need love when you do; or you like your work when you know quite well you’re capable of better. It would be very bad if I said, out of guilt or something: I loved Janet’s father, when I know quite well I didn’t. Or for your mother to say: I loved Richard. Or I’m doing work I love …”

Related Characters: Anna Wulf (speaker), Molly Jacobs, Tommy, Richard Portmain, Willi Rodde , Max Wulf
Page Number: 256
Explanation and Analysis:
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Max Wulf Character Timeline in The Golden Notebook

The timeline below shows where the character Max Wulf appears in The Golden Notebook. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
The Notebooks: 1
Gender, Labor, and Power Theme Icon
Communism and Disillusionment Theme Icon
Action, Freedom, and Moral Courage Theme Icon
...might think of her parents the same way one day. Anna feels helpless thinking about Max; but when Janet was born, “the silly empty marriage” no longer mattered, which she wished... (full context)
Love and Sex Theme Icon
Action, Freedom, and Moral Courage Theme Icon
Fact, Fiction, and Authorship Theme Icon
Four years before, on October 9, 1946: Anna meets Max in “that horrible hotel room,” sensing his despair as he declares they have “nothing to... (full context)
Fragmentation, Breakdown, and Unity Theme Icon
...tells Mrs Marks this is “about lack of feeling.” In another, she is dancing with Max in Central Africa during the war. This dream is about the same thing—frigidity, and the... (full context)
Free Women: 2
Love and Sex Theme Icon
Action, Freedom, and Moral Courage Theme Icon
Fact, Fiction, and Authorship Theme Icon
...parents are much more involved with one another than she ever was with Janet’s father, Max Wulf. She did not love him—she loved nobody until Michael. She thinks this is not... (full context)