A S Byatt

Her Philosophical Essays Changed Everything

Existentials and Mystics: Writings on Philosophy and Literature

By Iris Murdoch (edited by Peter Conradi)

(Chatto & Windus 546pp £20 order from our bookshop

Iris Murdoch has said in the past that her philosophy is quite separate from her novels. This is perhaps because she has a suspicion of the ‘novel of ideas’, and believes that the novel should be grounded in contingency, in the ‘thinginess’ of which she believed Sartre had not enough. Her novels are nevertheless peopled with philosophers, with people to whom serious thought matters, and who are changed by it. It is equally clear that one of her central concerns as a philosopher is art in general, and the novel in particular as a way of thinking, of understanding.

Subscribe to read the full article

KentState_Sept2016_online

hamilton_sept2016_online

Follow Literary Review on Twitter

  • Last Tweets

    • 'I Contain Multitudes is popular science writing at its best.' Wendy Moore is fascinated by a study on microbes ,
    • 'Costume of the life force? Words fail.' Germaine Greer on an ode to the condom ,
    • It's Write on Kew for the next four days. There are free copies of Literary Review about; why not dip your toe into the magazine?,
    • Which sci-fi author time-travelled to ancient Rome and lived a parallel life a persecuted Christian named Thomas? ,
    • You can pick up free copies of Literary Review at Write On Kew, which begins tomorrow. Fill your boots (with magazines).,
    • Michael Burleigh reads a survey of the rise of Asia ,
    • The Book of Kells, the Codex Amiatinus and the Carmina Burana: manuscript celebrities ,