Iris Murdoch & Anthony Powell

Iris Murdoch & Anthony Powell

18 June 2021By Heather RobbinsBlog

I discovered Iris Murdoch’s novels around the same time that I was becoming immersed in Powell. I had read a few in England, starting with The Bell, before my move to Japan in the mid-1980s. And so, I became a Murdochian as well as a Powellian.

Quakerish Novelist – Iris Murdoch

Quakerish Novelist – Iris Murdoch

19 February 2021By Heather RobbinsBlog

In the years since I became a Quaker by convincement, no one has ever mentioned Iris Murdoch as a representative Quaker sensibility and thinker. In that same period of time I’ve also been convinced that the, shall we say, post-supernatural, post-fundamentalist condition is naturally Quaker, and is a reasonable contradiction of Sigmund Freud’s position that there’s no future for ‘illusions’ of the religious sort.

First Virtual Conference 15th July 2021

First Virtual Conference 15th July 2021

12 February 2021By Heather RobbinsBlog

Following a successful Centenary Conference at St Anne’s College, Oxford in 2019, and given the difficulties of meeting in person, the first online Iris Murdoch Conference will take place at the University of Chichester in 2021.

Metaphysics as a Guide to Football

Metaphysics as a Guide to Football

3 February 2021By Heather RobbinsBlog

I don’t know whether Murdoch is right about God, but I’m pretty sure that she’d have struggled to understand my reasons for getting up at 6 a.m. to watch soccer. Unlike the old lady in her story, I’m under no illusions. The empty stadiums and canned crowd noise of the pandemic might have brought it home more forcefully, but on some level I’ve always known the game is just a dog’s tooth. The interesting question is why that doesn’t stop it from glowing.

Writer Meets Painter: Iris Murdoch and Harry Weinberger

Writer Meets Painter: Iris Murdoch and Harry Weinberger

13 January 2021By Heather RobbinsBlog

Iris Murdoch met the painter Harry Weinberger (1924-2009) by chance in the mid-1970s and in him she instantly recognised a kindred spirit. For more than two decades, they maintained an intimate friendship and rigorous intellectual discourse, centred on sustained discussion of the practice, teaching and morality of art.