Saint and Artist: A Study of the Fiction of Iris Murdoch

Saint and Artist: A Study of the Fiction of Iris Murdoch

by Peter J. Conradi
     
 

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Iris Murdoch, who died in 1999, was the author of 26 novels, including The Bell, A Fairly Honourable Defeat, The Black Prince, and the Booker Prize-winning The Sea, The Sea. In The Saint and the Artist, now fully revised and updated, distinguished literary critic Peter J. Conradi offers a lively and valuable critical appreciation of her works of fiction. He traces

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Overview

Iris Murdoch, who died in 1999, was the author of 26 novels, including The Bell, A Fairly Honourable Defeat, The Black Prince, and the Booker Prize-winning The Sea, The Sea. In The Saint and the Artist, now fully revised and updated, distinguished literary critic Peter J. Conradi offers a lively and valuable critical appreciation of her works of fiction. He traces the way in which the zest and buoyant high spirits of her early novels gave way to a more deeply and darkly comic achievement in the novels of the 1970s. Conradi, who knew Murdoch well, suggests how her own life, wonderfully transmuted into high art, provided the raw material for her novels; he also argues that they should be read as serious entertainments and as important fictions in the Anglo-Russian tradition, and not as disguised philosophy. Peter J. Conradi is the author of the highly acclaimed biography Iris Murdoch: A Life.

Editorial Reviews

John Bayley
Peter Conradi's book is by far the best introduction to Iris Murdoch's work that has yet appeared,and as a critical study it will never be superceded.
New York Times Book Review
Brilliant.
New York Times (U.K.) Book Review
Brilliant.
Library Journal
It is tempting to read Iris Murdoch's novels in terms of her philosophical writings, but such an approach, Conradi argues, fails to grasp the richness of her mature fiction. He demonstrates how her concern with moral psychology and the complexity of humans is better explored in her novels than in her writing on existentialism. When first published in 1986 as Iris Murdoch: The Saint and the Artist (Macmillan), Conradi's was the first book-length study of Murdoch's fiction. It is here reissued in a revised edition to accompany the publication of Conradi's biography of Murdoch (LJ 9/1/01) and now joins fine studies by Maria Antonaccio and Bran Nicol. Conradi reaffirms his estimates of Murdoch's work while also taking into account the novels she had subsequently published. Including a preface by John Bayley, this remains the best and most comprehensive examination of Murdoch's fiction. Recommended for all academic libraries. T.L. Cooksey, Armstrong Atlantic State Univ., Savannah, GA Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780007120192
Publisher:
HarperCollins UK
Publication date:
10/01/2001
Edition description:
Revised and Updated Edition
Pages:
422
Product dimensions:
5.10(w) x 7.80(h) x (d)

What People are saying about this

John Bayley
Conradi is uniquely qualified to accompany the reader in a discovery of one of the twentieth century’s most remarkable novelists and thinkers.
A.S. Byatt
In my view, the best work on her novels and thought now in print… His study of her Platonism is both just and rigorous.

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