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eBook Iris Murdoch: A Life epub

by Peter J. Conradi

eBook Iris Murdoch: A Life epub
  • ISBN: 0393048756
  • Author: Peter J. Conradi
  • Genre: Fiction
  • Subcategory: History & Criticism
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: W W Norton & Co Inc (October 2001)
  • Pages: 512 pages
  • ePUB size: 1202 kb
  • FB2 size 1321 kb
  • Formats lrf doc lrf mbr


бесплатно, без регистрации и без смс. A full and revealing biography of one of the century's greatest English writers and an icon to a generation. Dame Iris Murdoch has played a major role in English life and letter for nearly half a century

бесплатно, без регистрации и без смс. Dame Iris Murdoch has played a major role in English life and letter for nearly half a century. Byatt notes, she is 'absolutely central to our culture'

Peter Conradi is literary executor of the estate of Iris Murdoch (1919-99) and was her close friend in the 1980s and '90s, so sensible readers will not expect this to be a warts-and-all biography of the distinguished novelist and philosopher.

For John Bayley and for Philippa Foot

For John Bayley and for Philippa Foot.

Iris Murdoch: A Life. Existentialists and Mystics Writings on Philosophy and Literature. by Iris Murdoch · George Steiner · Peter J. Conradi. Best known as the author of twenty-six novels, Iris Murdoch has also made significant contributions to the fields of ethics and aesthetics.

It presents some chronology and summarizes many of her journal entries

It presents some chronology and summarizes many of her journal entries. Remembrances of her friends and associates are also related. The book dwells on the significant (and perhaps some insignificant) relationships of her life.

by. Peter J. Murdoch, Iris, Novelists, English - 20th century - Biography, Philosophers - Great Britain - Biography.

Peter Conradi was very close to both Iris Murdoch and John Bayley, Iris’s husband, whose memoir of their life together has itself been the subject of an enormous amount of. .Iris Murdoch - Peter J.

Peter Conradi was very close to both Iris Murdoch and John Bayley, Iris’s husband, whose memoir of their life together has itself been the subject of an enormous amount of attention and acclaim. This will be an extraordinarily full biography, for there are vast resources in diaries and papers and friends’ recollections, and while it is a superlative biography it is also a superb history of a generation who have profoundly influenced our world today.

ГлавнаяБиографии и МемуарыPeter Conradi . ris Murdoch: A Life: The Authorized Biography. Iris wrote to Raymond Queneau on 27 February 1949 à propos this book: ‘how rationalistic I must have been at 19’. See MacKinnon’s Times obituary, 4 March 1994. Уменьшить шрифт (-) Увеличить шрифт (+). Peter Conradi J. Iris Murdoch: A Life: The Authorized Biography.

It is also a labour of love, and of a friendship with Murdoch that extended from a meeting at her Gifford Lectures to her death. The book was well received. Wilson eschews objectivity, but is careful to stress his affection for his subject.

Drawing on hundreds of interviews, letters, and diaries, an authorized biography of the critically acclaimed philosopher and novelist traces her personal life and literary and philosophical career, from her student days at Oxford, through her marriage to John Bayley, to Murdoch's remarkable influence on literary England, from 1940 to the present day.
Comments: (7)
Wenaiand
Review of IRIS MURDOCH, A Life
By Peter J. Conradi
New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 2001

This book is a rich source of research material for those interested in Iris Murdoch. It presents some chronology and summarizes many of her journal entries. Remembrances of her friends and associates are also related. The book dwells on the significant (and perhaps some insignificant) relationships of her life.

This biography is in need of editing in my opinion, because it hasn't a coherent framework. It begins with a chronological account, but fails to maintain that approach to the end. Halfway through it switches concentration to journal entries, which move about in time as they are presented. To perhaps unfairly exaggerate, `in 1967 Iris wrote that blah blah, but in 1963 she also said yadda yadda, while in 1965....' This makes the evolution of her thought difficult to follow.

The book does not present a coherent summary of Murdoch's philosophical approach. There are interesting notes on her novels but they are not comprehensive. One glimpses the recurrent themes, but these aren't presented in an orderly fashion. In short, there is a lack of integration of the life, the relationships, the philosophy and the novels.

The author would have done well to stick with the chronological approach, perhaps presenting Murdoch's philosophy as contained in the books she published and analyzing/presenting her novels in the sequence in which they appeared and as they were embedded in other aspects of her life at the time, such as Murdoch's many relationships. As another reviewer notes, the last ten years of her life are presented in a page and a half or so. One wonders at what was omitted. Nevertheless, the book does present extensive material for the reader.

One of the strongest points of the book is its presentation of Murdoch's self-awareness and continual self-examination. As is evident from her journals, she looked at her own development and feelings toward others and thought about self-improvement. She certainly lived the examined life. Another point of emphasis is her skill at interpersonal relations, to the extent that she seems not to have made any enemies at all during her lifetime. A remarkable person.

My overall impression is that the book was rushed into print. I do wish the author would reissue an edited edition.
Dont_Wory
Very good book. Iris had an amazing life.
Ffyan
The book arrived ahead or time, well packaged. The book was exactly as it claimed to be and was a good value.
GawelleN
HIGHLY RECOMMEND YOU FIND A COPY OF DVD "IRIS" WITH VERY AUTHENTIC YOUNG AND OLDER IRIS STARRING JUDI DENSCH AND JAMES BROADBENT AS HER HUSBAND. A VERY MOVING TRUE STORY. I AM SLOWLY GOING THROUGH THIS VERY LARGE BOOK OF HER WORKS...WHICH I SHALL TREASURE. I KNOW SOME OF THE LIFESTYLES SHE CHOSE WERE NOT FOR ME BUT IRIS WAS VERY MOTIVATED TO WRITE ABOUT EVERYTHING WITH AN OPEN MIND.
Hellblade
Excellent!
Kit
A few years before Iris Murdoch developed the Alzheimer's disease that afflicted her latter years, she was asked if it was true that someone was writing her biography. "Yes", she said, greatly surprised. "I don't read biographies, but apparently people buy them. But me? What is there to say about me?"

This was not just the humility that Peter Conradi, the biographer in question, reveals as one of Iris Murdoch's outstanding characteristics. It is a valid question. Literary biographers argue that an author's life is the very source of their writing, but most writers feel that connections between art and life are slippery, not easily discernible even to themselves.

Are the limitations of biography - the unreliability of source material like letters and diaries, the distortion inherent in squeezing a haphazard and multi-faceted life into a coherent narrative - justified by the end result? Or are the 3000 or so biographies published each year just Hello! for people who prefer words to pictures, satisfying only what Martin Amis once dubbed "eternal human vulgarity", our insatiable curiosity about the gifted or famous?

Never did such questions seem so pressing as when reading this first "Life" of the gifted writer Iris Murdoch. It's not that Peter Conradi isn't qualified to write about his subject. English Professor Emeritus at the University of Kingston, he was a friend of Murdoch's and was given access to journals, letters, papers and friends. He edited her non-fiction collection, Existentialists and Mystics and his study of her fiction, The Saint And The Artist, is now in its third edition.

Neither is this one of those dig-the-dirt exercises that has become popular in recent years and so discredited the genre. True, he does portray the young Iris as confused by a diffuse and generous sexual energy and reveals a lesbian passion and bit of S & M in her past, dutifully reporting her joy in these violent sexual gambits (usually in an armchair, with the man's wife in the kitchen preparing supper for them both). But his attention to such matters is never salacious and his affection for, and admiration of, his subject is unwavering: "Her friendship," he writes, "ennobled you."

This is a book in two parts: the better half is the second, where Conradi treats the novels to a Buddhist reading that is intelligent and illuminating. (He is a Buddhist who found his faith after listening to Murdoch lecture on natural theology). However, much of this material has been covered already, and at greater length, in The Saint and the Artist.

When he's writing about her life, he is far less assured, determined to include every single finding he's unearthed in his exhaustive research. As the details of home and school and interests and friendships pile up without selection, never mind discrimination, Iris Murdoch sinks beneath them.

The bare facts of her life are as follows: She was born in 1919 in Blessington Street in Dublin, the adored only child of a happily married Irish couple. She grew up in London, studied at Oxford, worked as a civil servant during World War II, taught briefly at Cambridge and then settled in Oxford in 1948 to lecture in philosophy. She wrote several fictions before publishing Under the Net in 1954, going on to write 26 published novels, several plays and books of philosophy and ethics.

In 1956 she married John Bayley, the academic, writer and critic. She was made an honorary fellow of St Anne's College Oxford in 1963 and a Dame of the British Empire in 1987. She died from Alzheimer's Disease at the age of 80 and her two-year descent into oblivion was described movingly, if intrusively, by her bereaved husband in Elegy for Iris.

Conradi makes much of Murdoch's Irish background, a family history that she mythologized much in the manner of WB Yeats, cherishing her distant links with the Anglo-Irish ascendancy. She had a slight `brogue', which she relished; as late as 1964 she would argue crossly (and implausibly) that she had an Irish accent "you could cut with a knife." In The Red and the Green she wrote that England destroyed Ireland, "without malice, without mercy, practically without thought, like someone who treads upon an insect," but her loyalties swung from being a romantic, Marxist nationalist in her youth to a hard-line unionist in later life.

An engaging and thought-provoking philosopher, (whose question was not so much Aristotle's `What kind of person should one be?' as `How should one see?') it is for her novels that Murdoch is best known. These works have elicited wildly various critical interpretations over the years. The plots are complex, involving innumerable characters in a variety of extraordinary configurations and circumstances. Murdoch views humans as purportedly free but actually constricted by boundaries of self, society and nature, their apprehension of `free will' only an illusion. Her characters tend to be cerebral, with some of the grandiosity and high purpose that characters in Victorian novels had, their lives crammed with moral furniture.

What is most valuable about this biography is the way it shows that the eccentric, almost batty, English characters in Murdoch's books and their stylised, artificial situations - so much outside time and fashion that they seem almost mythic - are in fact often drawn from her experience. As she put in a letter to a friend "real life is so much odder than any book".

But overall Conradi is unequal to the task he has set himself. He never confronts the inconsistencies in her nature. Just as she swung violently on "the Irish question", Murdoch became a bit of prude in later years, with "no memory of her own bohemianism," Conradi tells us, as if that was explanation enough. Another tendency is to gloss over troublesome issues with a fuzzy, New Age transcendentalism. The criticism of John Bayley for revealing troublingly intimate details about this most private woman is answered thus: "Shantideva's Bodhicaryavatara see the Bodhisattva as willing to be, according to the various needs of the Other, like a bridge, a boat, or a road - whatever the situation requires." This isn't just avoidance, it's typical of the woolly thinking that mars this work throughout.

But the worst flaw is the burden of detail. To Murdoch's question - "What is there to say about me?" - this book answers: lots and lots and lots. The pity is that in trying to say it all, it ends up telling so little.
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