Iris Murdoch: Philosophical Novelist

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A&C Black, Apr 11, 2010 - Literary Criticism - 159 pages
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This book provides a concise and highly readable reassessment of Iris Murdoch's engagement with philosophy throughout her life and proposes that she was, most importantly, a philosophical novelist. By investigating her use of philosophical argument in her fictional writing, it becomes clear that her narratives always depend upon a strong metaphysical underpinning. Leeson proceeds thematically through the philosophical phases of Murdoch's life and develops a clear argument that Murdoch reacts against the philosophies of Sartre, Plato, Nietzsche and Heidegger not only in her philosophical writings but also in her fiction. Indeed, it is in her fiction that her philosophical argument is most persuasive and accessible. This timely study provides new information regarding Murdoch's engagement with Martin Heidegger and also provides a detailed critique of critics who have overlooked Murdoch's engagement with philosophy within her fiction.
 

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Contents

Introduction
1
Murdochs Earliest Work and the Existential
19
A Severed Head The Impact of Freud and Nietzsche
51
Martin Heidegger and The Time of the Angels
69
The Bell and Platonism
86
The Philosophers Pupil A Revision of Ideas?
110
A Wittgensteinian NeoPlatonist The Green Knight
122
Conclusion
134
Notes
137
Bibliography
151
Index
157
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About the author (2010)

Miles Leeson is Lecturer in English Literature at the University of Portsmouth, UK.

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