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Beyond good and evil

For 60 years, Nicholas Mosley has written novels that are widely admired but not always understood. Rejecting realism, his work addresses symbolic truths—notably the idea that good and evil are inseparable. It's an approach that has put him at odds with the literary establishment

By Edward Skidelsky   September 2007

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Nicholas Mosley is thought of as an important but almost incomprehensible novelist. For 60 years, he has tapped away like some mad cryptographer, transmitting messages in an unknown code. Occasional successes—Accident was made into a film, Hopeful Monsters won the 1990 Whitbread prize—have heartened but not distracted him. I recently met Mosley—whose books are being published in new editions by Dalkey Archive Press—in his basement flat in north London. Aged 84, he seldom goes out. His voice sounds tired; sometimes it trails off into silence. Yet the occasional flash of the eye…

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