the meaning of "both sides now"

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  • syvelocin

    New Member
    English - American
    I only skimmed the article, but I think why you had problems is because the title doesn't really relate to the article. It's most likely a reference to the Joni Mitchell song of the same name, since the article is about a book the woman wrote concerning the sixties.


    Senior Member
    English - England
    I agree with syvelocin: the song by Joni Mitchell has the lines:

    "I've looked at life from both sides now
    From win and lose and still somehow
    It's life's illusions I recall
    I really don't know life at all"

    To see something from both sides = to understand something from both points of view.

    A: John says I should buy a car so I can look for work, but David says I should save my money in case I do not find work. What should I do?"
    B: "It is difficult. I can see both sides." (I understand both John's and David's arguments.)

    The author, Doris Lessing, has already written an autobiography that includes the 60s, and now she has written a novel that gives another view of the 60s, which, to the writer of the article, is probably an illusion (See the song.)

    She has "seen the 60s from both sides now".


    Senior Member
    British English
    It's in the second sentence of the article
    And if you're writing a historical novel then you are probably at least as interested in what doesn't change as in what does.
    But, of course, it is a reference to the song, which repeatedly refers to what has and has not changed. I think PaulQ is making it far too complicated.
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