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Too much Plato?

Iris Murdoch has been a unique presence in British intellectual and literary life. Lesley Chamberlain says she has tried to teach us good and beautiful things, but fears that her legacy will be slight

The announcement that Iris Murdoch is suffering from Alzheimer’s disease has produced, together with great sadness, an urge to celebrate her unique presence in British intellectual life as expressed in her philosophical work and 29 novels.

All the essays in this collection return us to the novels for which she is most widely known. Murdoch holds that our experience is always larger than the words we have to express it; art, with its heightened expressiveness, is a bridge to metaphysical reality. Hence the deep need for literature.

Murdoch’s enterprise is philosophically old-fashioned. There is a connection in both her philosophy…

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