The influence and impact of Iris Murdoch’s work is increasing exponentially each year and the Iris Murdoch Review likewise seems to grow with each issue. This edition contains a wide-ranging collection of essays, reviews and reports variously connected by specific features. We begin with celebrations of Murdoch at home and abroad, then move on to America, art, philosophy and literature – specifically by women writers: a set of topics that encapsulates Murdoch’s life of working, writing and travelling.
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.
The 2022 Iris Murdoch Review places Murdoch in dialogue with contemporary novelists and philosophers whose views put her beliefs into sharp relief and develop conversations that have been ongoing since Murdoch’s centenary in 2019.
Murdoch’s beer mats point the way to how some of the most dramatic moments of her life were played out in pubs, as indeed they are for many characters in her novels. The names of scores of pubs lie within their pages, for it is to pubs that characters go to weep, to quarrel, to think, to hope, and often to come to conclusions that will destroy their lives.