From a Tiny Corner in the House of Fiction gathers into a single volume twenty-three interviews with the British novelist and philosopher Dame Iris Murdoch (1919-1999) by some of the last half-century's foremost critics, academics, and journalists. Distinguished interviewers-including the renowned scholar Sir Frank Kermode, the theater critic Harold Hobson, and the writer and broadcaster Jonathan Miller-talk with Murdoch about her life, work, and philosophy. The resulting conversations offer access to Murdoch's beliefs on a wide range of topics and on her techniques and intentions as a writer. The interviews collectively trace an evolution in Murdoch's convictions, particularly on the subjects of religion and politics. Murdoch shares details of both her created and lived worlds, talking frankly about the difficulties facing a novelist writing in the second half of the twentieth century. She speaks at length about many of her novels and characters, explaining their philosophical and ethical foundations and clarifying points that have puzzled readers. Especially interesting are her views on such subjects as politics and freedom, women's education, the good life, and the possibilities for spiritual life after the demise of organized religions. Gillian Dooley introduces the collection with an analysis of Murdoch's work, looking closely at her method of composition and development of character and situation. Dooley also provides background information for each of the interviews, along with a thorough index.
On Iris Murdoch and the Limits of Philosophical Discourse
Author: Niklas Forsberg
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing USA
Category: Literary Criticism
Language Lost and Found takes as its starting-point Iris Murdoch's claim that "we have suffered a general loss of concepts." By means of a thorough reading of Iris Murdoch's philosophy in the light of this difficulty, it offers a detailed examination of the problem of linguistic community and the roots of the thought that some philosophical problems arise due to our having lost the sense of our own language. But it is also a call for a radical reconsideration of how philosophy and literature relate to each other on a general level and in Murdoch's authorship in particular.
A Philosophy to Live By highlights Murdoch's distinctive conception of philosophy as a spiritual or existential practice and enlists the resources of her thought to explore a wide range of thinkers and debates at the intersections of moral philosophy, religion, art, and politics.
Author: Fellow and Tutor in Philosophy Sabina Lovibond,Sabina Lovibond
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
The first thorough exploration of Murdoch and gender, Iris Murdoch, Gender and Philosophy is a fresh contribution to debates in feminist philosophy and gender studies, and essential reading for anyone interested in Murdoch's literary and philosophical writing.
The Correspondence between Iris Murdoch and Brian Medlin 1976-1995
Author: Gillian Dooley,Graham Nerlich
Publisher: Cambridge Scholars Publishing
Category: Literary Criticism
Brian Medlin met the novelist Iris Murdoch at Oxford in 1961 when he joined New College as a Research Fellow, and they remained friends for the remainder of her life, though after he left Oxford they only met once again. This correspondence published here covers a period of more than twenty years. In his letters, Medlin regaled Murdoch with Australian jokes, travel stories and anecdotes, and answered her many questions about Australian flora and fauna, and the Australian vernacular. She in turn quizzed him about his radical politics, and they agreed to disagree about Marxism and the bourgeoisie. In 1992, she wrote a review of his radical environmental monograph Human Nature, Human Survival for an Australian newspaper, and the full text of that review (only one-quarter of which was published at the time) is also published in this book. Medlin, born in 1927, was already in his mid-thirties when he arrived at New College. He had not had a typical academic career. He spent his early years in outback Australia as a store-keeper, kangaroo shooter, stockyard builder, horse-breaker and drover. He returned to Adelaide in the early 1950s and studied Philosophy. After graduation, a scholarship took him to Oxford. On his return to Australia, he was appointed to the chair of Philosophy at the new Flinders University (founded in 1966). Iris Murdoch’s correspondence with Brian Medlin is the record of a deeply affectionate relationship between two highly intelligent, articulate and philosophically sophisticated beings.
"Iris Murdoch was one of the most interesting and wide-ranging philosophers in recent British history. In addition to her five works on moral philosophy and existentalism, including Metaphysics as a Guide to Morals, she was the author of twenty-five works of fiction, including The Sea, the Sea, winner of the Booker Prize, and The Black Prince, winner of the James Tait Black Memorial Prize. This collection reassesses her literary and philosophical output, focusing on her key literary works and the influence she had among contemporary philosophers" --
Using unpublished archive material, including correspondence and the many annotations Murdoch made to the books held in her Oxford library, this book offers fresh insights into Murdoch's work by placing it within a diversity of new contexts. It also reveals startling parallels between Murdoch's work and other literary and philosophical texts.
A shadow, in its most literal sense, is the projection of a silhouette against a surface and the obstruction of direct light from hitting that surface. For writers and artists, the shadows cast by their precursors can be either a welcome influence, one consciously evoked in textual production via homage or bricolage, or can manifest as an intrusive, haunting, prohibitive presence, one which threatens to engulf the successor. Many writers and artists are affected by an anxious and ambiguous relationship with their precursors, while others are energised by this relationship. The role that intertextuality plays in creative production invites interrogation, and this publication explores a range of conscious and unconscious influences informing relations between texts and contexts, between predecessors and successors. The chapters revolve around intertextual influence, ranging from conscious imitation and intentional allusion to Julia Kristeva’s idea of intertextuality. Do all texts contain references to and even quotations from other texts? Do such references help shape how we read? This multidisciplinary work includes chapters on the long shadows cast by Shakespeare, Dante, Scott, Virgil and Ovid, the shadows of colonial precursors on postcolonial successors, the shadows cast over Kipling and Murdoch, and chapters on other writers, dramatists and filmmakers and their relationships with precursor figures. With its focus on intertextual relationships, this book contributes to the thriving fields of adaptation studies and studies of intertextuality.
This book investigates male writers' use of female voices and female writers' use of male voices in literature and theatre from the 1850s to the present, examining where, how and why such gendered crossings occur and what connections may be found between these crossings and specific psychological, social, historical and political contexts.
Incorporating diary entries and reflections, this personal account of one mother's struggles during the first 12 months of her son's life to get him to eat openly confronts the social challenges mothers encounter, including insensitive doctors, the marketing of maternity in the media, postpartum depression, and social isolation. The stinging question What if I don't love my child enough? is explored in this highly personal and moving story that argues mothers must speak out about the challenges and traumas they face in order to be understood.
Yet, Murdoch does not hold a tragic view of the moral or religious life. Rather she offers a radical comic vision, one where the confrontation with evil, which is so hard for us to do, releases the natural impulse of compassion that is the foundation of all human connection and higher possibility. Murdoch turns to the novel as the best means to reveal evil, because it offers a truthful vision of what we are like as human beings through the particular, detailed realization of the inner lives of characters. Murdoch turns to art to affect a conversion of erotic orientation in the reader and to transform the moral imagination of the age.
Iris Murdoch and the Art of Imagining offers a new appreciation of Iris Murdoch's philosophy, emphasising the importance of images and the imagination for her thought. This book is first and foremost a study of Iris Murdoch's philosophical work. It examines how literature and imagination enabled Murdoch to form a philosophical response to the decline of religion. It thus argues that Murdoch is an important philosopher, because she has not confined herself to philosophy. The book also reconsiders various contemporary assumptions about what philosophy is and does. Through Le Doeuff's notion of the philosophical imaginary, it examines the different ways in which images and imagination are part of philosophy.
Covers world authors from many periods and genres, building an understanding of the various contexts -- from the biographical to the literary to the historical -- in which literature can be viewed. Identifies the significant literary devices and global themes that define a writer's style and place the author in a larger literary tradition as chronicled and evaluated by critics over time.
WITH AN INTRODUCTION BY JOHN BURNSIDE When Charles Arrowby retires from his glittering career in the London theatre, he buys a remote house on the rocks by the sea. He hopes to escape from his tumultuous love affairs but unexpectedly bumps into his childhood sweetheart and sets his heart on destroying her marriage. His equilibrium is further disturbed when his friends all decide to come and keep him company and Charles finds his seaside idyll severely threatened by his obsessions.
Iris Murdoch was an acclaimed novelist and groundbreaking philosopher whose life reflected her unconventional beliefs and values. But what has been missing from biographical accounts has been Murdoch's own voice—her life in her own words. Living on Paper—the first major collection of Murdoch's most compelling and interesting personal letters—gives, for the first time, a rounded self-portrait of one of the twentieth century's greatest writers and thinkers. With more than 760 letters, fewer than forty of which have been published before, the book provides a unique chronicle of Murdoch's life from her days as a schoolgirl to her last years. The result is the most important book about Murdoch in more than a decade. The letters show a great mind at work—struggling with philosophical problems, trying to bring a difficult novel together, exploring spirituality, and responding pointedly to world events. They also reveal her personal life, the subject of much speculation, in all its complexity, especially in letters to lovers or close friends, such as the writers Brigid Brophy, Elias Canetti, and Raymond Queneau, philosophers Michael Oakeshott and Philippa Foot, and mathematician Georg Kreisel. We witness Murdoch's emotional hunger, her tendency to live on the edge of what was socially acceptable, and her irreverence and sharp sense of humor. We also learn how her private life fed into the plots and characters of her novels, despite her claims that they were not drawn from reality. Direct and intimate, these letters bring us closer than ever before to Iris Murdoch as a person, making for an extraordinary reading experience.
A survey of the life and work of the 2001 Nobel Laureate for Literature, V. S. Naipaul, Man and Writer introduces readers to the writer widely viewed as a curmudgeonly novelist who finds special satisfaction in overturning the vogue presuppositions of his peers. Gillian Dooley takes an expansive look at Naipaul's literary career, from Miguel Street to Magic Seeds. From readings of his fiction, nonfiction, travel books, and volumes of letters, she elucidates the connections between Naipaul's personal experiences as a Hindu Indian from Trinidad living an expatriate life and the precise, euphonious prose with which he is synonymous. Dooley assesses each of Naipaul's major publications in light of his stated intentions and beliefs, and she traces the development of his writing style over a forty-year career. Devoting separate chapters to three of his chief works, A House for Mr. Biswas, In a Free State, and The Enigma of Arrival, she analyzes their critical reception and the primacy of Naipaul's specific narrative style and voice. Dooley emphasizes that it is, above all, Naipaul's refusal to compromise his vision in order to flatter or appease that has made him a controversial writer. At the same time she sees the integrity with which he reports his subjective response to the world as essential to the lasting success of his work.