Iris and the Missing Tape

Iris and the Missing Tape

7 August 2023By John PotterBlog

Iris Murdoch herself visited Japan along with husband John Bayley at the request of the British Council. They stayed for around two weeks and the lecture Iris gave in Kobe that I attended took place at the Kobe Institute of St. Catherine’s on Friday 28th May 1993. This wide-ranging talk was on ‘The Modern Novel’.

The Sandcastle (Re-reading Early Murdoch)

The Sandcastle (Re-reading Early Murdoch)

18 July 2023By Elizabeth WhittomeBlog

Murdoch concludes her essay ‘The Sublime and the Beautiful Revisited’ (1959) with a very expressive metaphor: ‘a novel must be a house fit for free characters to live in; and to combine form with a respect for reality with all its odd contingent ways is the highest art of prose.’ Surely we see this in The Sandcastle? Moreover, she never again explored the subject of portrait painting or indeed school-teaching in such depth, though we see in her next great novel The Bell a further development of an enclosed society with its tensions between sacred and profane love.

Iris Murdoch: Oxford Encounters

Iris Murdoch: Oxford Encounters

5 July 2023By Margaret ThompsonBlog

Encounters with Iris Murdoch in Oxford. What has emerged from most of these memories is how vivid they are and how receptive she was to meeting with ‘ordinary’ people, not necessarily in her academic or literary spheres.

A Letter  to  the Board of Education – The Timeless Work of Iris Murdoch and Why it Must be Studied by Students in the Years To Come

A Letter to the Board of Education – The Timeless Work of Iris Murdoch and Why it Must be Studied by Students in the Years To Come

26 June 2023By Heather RobbinsBlog

Iris Murdoch was ahead of her time in many ways, her philosophical work in particular being appreciated decades after her death. Her views on gender fluidity and sexuality were innovative and the way in which she communicates said views is of novel dynamism. Students would be given the opportunity to learn of her personal life as contextual information relating to her work, and in so doing would gain great insight into the intriguing life she led, and also learn from her fascinatingly tangled and occasionally tragic relationships, as well as her internal struggles and complexities.

Iris Murdoch’s The Bell, and English 20th-Century Communitarianism

Iris Murdoch’s The Bell, and English 20th-Century Communitarianism

12 June 2023By Ken WorpoleBlog

The ideal of living ‘in community’, of creating an ideal world in miniature, was an underlying leitmotif of late Victorian and 20th century English literary culture, and was of particular interest to Iris Murdoch, author of The Bell. To my mind this is one of her best novels, being the most open to the eddying currents of belief, faith and doubt in the post-war climate of political and social reconstruction. This principally resulted from her ambivalent relationship to the Anglican faith – Peter Conradi at one point describes her as an ‘Anglo-Catholic retreatant’ – and her fascination with the monastic tradition.

Para-Illustrating Iris Murdoch

Para-Illustrating Iris Murdoch

30 May 2023By Matthew RichardsonBlog

I am an artist and illustrator undertaking a practice-based PhD project at Kingston School of Art titled Para-Illustration: Gaps, fragments and spaces of the literary imagination. My project explores the space between reading and seeing and the literary and visual to propose the practice of para-illustration – a creative process that uses a writer’s notes, drafts and archives as sources for literary images.

Tom Phillips, Iris Murdoch, and the Flaying of Marsyas

Tom Phillips, Iris Murdoch, and the Flaying of Marsyas

3 March 2023By Rebecca ModenBlog

Murdoch’s great love of the Flaying of Marsyas ignited Phillips’ inspiration. ‘When the National Portrait Gallery commissioned me to paint her portrait I recalled our conversation’, he said, and he ‘started a fairly hasty copy of the picture to act as a backdrop so that she might sit in front of the head of Marsyas.’ Phillips sketched in the Titian with broad brushstrokes; in contrast, he rendered the image of Murdoch herself with great precision and imbued it with a translucent, otherworldly light

‘A Resolute Reading of Metaphysics as a Guide to Morals’, Evgenia Mylonaki and Megan Laverty

‘A Resolute Reading of Metaphysics as a Guide to Morals’, Evgenia Mylonaki and Megan Laverty

9 February 2023By Megan LavertyBlog

We met at a previous Iris Murdoch conference. We both had papers at the conference, in 2019. We discovered that we share a mutual love of Murdoch as a philosopher and that there was some kinship and affinity in the themes of our papers and so we came up with the proposal to read something by Murdoch that is challenging to read on your own. Thus, we set out to read Metaphysics as a Guide to Morals together.

Reading Iris. All of it.

Reading Iris. All of it.

8 December 2022By Christopher BoddingtonBlog

I looked out Under the Net from our bookcase and found a lovely old Penguin with Margaret Foreman’s beautiful painting of Jake in his chair. I was captivated again and found we had The Bell, The Nice and the Good and about four or five more. I had to read all of them and then, being something of a completist, had to read the rest of the novels, most of which I had never heard of or seen in print.