Acastos: Two Platonic Dialogues is Murdoch's philosophical masterpiece featuring fictionalized discussions between the intellectual giants of the classical world, including Socrates and Plato. Described by Acastos, a friend of Plato's, the riveting debates center on the nature of goodness and faith, told through the voices of history's most celebrated thinkers. Witty and profound, these debates apply the timeless wisdom of history's renowned philosophers to the most contentious issues of the modern day.
This is the story of the comic and yet relentless struggle for survival of Austin Gibson Grey, the accidental man. Austin is one of those people who needs to survive through the destruction of others. The others, in Austin's case, include his successful elder brother, Matthew, and the women who, one after the other, are so touchingly convinced that they can 'save' him. In this latter role we meet Austin's estranged wife, Dorina, a crazed angel, and Austin's far from angelic alcoholic landlady, Mitzi. Other women interest themselves too in Austin's fate, with hilarious and appalling results. An Accidental Manis a novel of extraordinary scope and variety in which Iris Murdoch's astonishing fertility of mind and unerring narrative skill are most felicitously combined.
El eco de un tiro en los despachos de Whitehall, el complejo administrativo que el gobierno inglés posee en el centro de Londres, no anuncia tan solo la extraña muerte de un alto funcionario, sino también el principio de una sutil intriga. Kate y Octavian, jefe del departamento donde trabajaba el difunto, forman un matrimonio aparentemente feliz que alberga en su casa de Dorset a un extravagante grupo de personajes: un excéntrico tío que abandonó la India bajo sospecha, un atormentado amigo superviviente de Dachau, el abogado responsable del caso y amante platónico de Kate, hijos de distintos matrimonios, conocidos, visitantes ocasionales... Y todos ellos relacionados de un modo u otro con el muerto en una deliciosa comedia de errores, donde las sonrisas esconden a menudo pecados de mucha hondura. Sirviéndose de los clásicos elementos del thriller, en Amigos y amantes Iris Murdoch explora con maestría los temas que desde siempre le han preocupado: el amor, la amistad y la perversa frontera que separa el bien y el mal. La opinión del editor: Tercer título de nuestra Biblioteca Iris Murdoch, Amigos y amantes es una novela divertida y profunda a un tiempo, y con un elemento de suspense que mantiene en vilo a los lectores.
A lay community of thoroughly mixed-up people is encamped outside Imber Abbey, home of an enclosed order of nuns. A new bell,legendary symbol of religion and magic, is rediscovered. Dora Greenfield, erring wife, returns to her husband. Michael Mead, leader of the community, is confronted by Nick Fawley, with whom he had disasterous homosexual relations, while the wise old Abbess watches and prays and exercies discreet authority. And everyone, or almost everyone, hopes to be saved whatever that may mean. . . Iris Murdoch's funny and sad novel is about religion, the fight between good and evil and the terrible accidents of human frailty.
Bradley Pearson, an unsuccessful novelist in his late fifties, has finally left his dull office job as an Inspector of Taxes. Bradley hopes to retire to the country, but predatory friends and relations dash his hopes of a peaceful retirement. He is tormented by his melancholic sister, who has decided to come live with him; his ex-wife, who has infuriating hopes of redeeming the past; her delinquent brother, who wants money and emotional confrontations; and Bradley's friend and rival, Arnold Baffin, a younger, deplorably more successful author of commercial fiction. The ever-mounting action includes marital cross-purposes, seduction, suicide, abduction, romantic idylls, murder, and due process of law. Bradley tries to escape from it all but fails, leading to a violent climax and a coda that casts shifting perspectives on all that has preceded. .
Iris Murdoch's twenty-third novel begins at a midsummer ball at Oxford, where a group of men and women - friends since university days - have gathered. Dancing under the stars are the charismatic Gerard Hernshaw, Rose Curtland, who has loved Gerard in silence for years, Duncan Cambus and his restless wife Jean, Jenkin Roderhood, the saintly schoolmaster who is the group's moral centre, Gerard's tormented niece Tamar Hernshaw, and David Crimond, the monomaniacal Marxist genius. Years ago the friends banded together to finance a political and philosophical book to be written by Crimond. On this summer's evening, Crimond's actions touch off a crisis and by the night's end the vindictive ghosts of the past have invaded the present. Passion, hatred, a duel, a murder and a suicide pact all disturb the old world of academic reflection and weekend parties. Partners change, the book is completed, somebody has to die.
An old man struggles to make one last connection with his estranged son, before it's too late The elderly Bruno knows he is not far from death. One of his last wishes is to contact his estranged son, Miles, whose marriage to an Indian woman drove a decades-long wedge between father and son. When Miles comes back into his father's life, Bruno must confront his guilt, and his family must overcome the tension that grew during his long absence. Set against an enchanting London backdrop, Murdoch's complex family drama is a poignant exploration of love, remorse, and the power of emotional redemption.
Best known as the author of twenty-six novels, Iris Murdoch has also made significant contributions to the fields of ethics and aesthetics. Collected here for the first time in one volume are her most influential literary and philosophical essays. Tracing Murdoch's journey to a modern Platonism, this volume includes incisive evaluations of the thought and writings of T. S. Eliot, Jean-Paul Sartre, Albert Camus, Simone de Beauvior, and Elias Canetti, as well as key texts on the continuing importance of the sublime, on the concept of love, and the role great literature can play in curing the ills of philosophy. Existentialists and Mystics not only illuminates the mysticism and intellectual underpinnings of Murdoch's novels, but confirms her major contributions to twentieth-century thought.
With a new introduction by Susan Hill. In this dark comedy of errors, Iris Murdoch portrays the mischief wrought by Julius, a cynical intellectual who decides to demonstrate through a Machiavellian experiment how easily loving couples, caring friends, and devoted siblings can betray their loyalties As puppet master, Julius artfully plays on the human tendency to embrace drama and intrigue and to prefer the distraction of confrontations to the difficult effort of communicating openly and honestly.
An enigmatic publisher's sway on a circle of friends drives each to confront their most dangerous obsessions Businessman Mischa Fox has wealth, charisma, and an uncanny ability to influence those around him. When he moves to buy a small feminist magazine in London called the Artemis, Mischa becomes entangled in the lives of the Artemis's editor, Hunter, his sister, Rosa, and her boarder, Annette, as well as their circle of friends. As Mischa instigates a series of ominous events that will change their lives, Murdoch's masterful prose brings these rich characters--and their darkly humorous troubles--to vivid life.
Stuart Cuno has decided to become good. Not believing in God, he invents his own methods, which include celibacy, chastity and the abandonment of a promising academic career. Interfering friends and relations question his sincerity, his sanity and his motives. Stuart's step-brother Edward Baltram is tormented by guilt because he has, he believes, kille d his best friend. He dreams sometimes of redemption, sometimes of suicide. Funny, compelling and extremly moving, 'The Good Apprentice' is about guilt ridden despair, and the difficult problem of how to try to be god - and the various magical devices which console those who are sensible enough not to try.
Full of suspense, humor, and symbolism, this magnificently crafted and magical novel replays biblical and medieval themes in contemporary London. An attempt by the sharp, feral, and uncommonly intelligent Lucas Graffe to murder his sensual and charismatic half-brother Clement is interrupted by a stranger--whom Lucas strikes and leaves for dead. When the stranger mysteriously reappears, with specific demands for reparation, the Graffes' circle of idiosyncratic family and friends is disrupted--for the demands are bizarre, intrusive, and ultimately fatal.
"Murdoch's finest novel . . . Surely one of the major achievements in fiction in recent years." --Joyce Carol Oates When old friends Henry and Cato reunite after years apart, they quickly become embroiled in the drama of each other's lives. Henry, who has just returned to England as the sole heir to his recently deceased brother's estate, quickly begins to uncover secrets buried long ago. Meanwhile, Cato, a Catholic priest, has fallen in love with the criminal Beautiful Joe, and struggles to reform him despite the thief's continual efforts to rob him. A stirring portrait of morality and redemption, Henry and Cato is an insightful look at coping with the crises that come with life's unexpected changes.
A poignant portrait of a family's struggle for redemptionThe funeral of Edward's mother brings him home for the first time in years. Though his return rekindles his affection for his childhood home, it also triggers a resurgence of the family tensions that caused him to leave in the first place. As Edward becomes tangled in his family's web of corrosive secrets, his homecoming tips a precariously balanced dynamic into sudden chaos. The Italian Girl is Murdoch's compelling story of a man's reunion with his estranged family, and of the tragedy that shocks them all into confronting their dark past.
Edward Lannion, the young master of Hatting Hall, is about to marry Marian Fox. At Penndean, a nearby house, preparations are under way for the wedding, overseen by the anxious Benet. Family and friends gather together for a celebratory dinner on the eve of the ceremony. The night is warm and clear, and after dinner the guests walk in the grounds and under the stars, full of happy anticipation. But then there is a sudden and extraordinary event, which changes everything. Iris Murdoch's new novel is a marvellous and compelling human comedy. Edward and Marian, the couple at the centre of the story, are led by events to learn the truth about themselves; in the process, their friends, and lovers, are forced to make new choices, and see things as they are. And watching over all of them is Jackson, Benet's servant, a dark, mysterious and dangerous presence. It is Jackson who must intervene in the story to set the two young lovers onto the right path. Funny, moving and utterly gripping, JACKSON'S DILEMMA is a triumphant achievement by our greatest writers.
Al tiempo que huye de una tormentosa vida sentimental, el hombre se empeña en revivir su primera pasión amorosa por una mujer que la vida ha convertido en un ama de casa escuálida, mientras la presencia insomne del mar le devuelve todas sus obsesiones, los espectros del pasado, los fantasmas de sus errores y la angustia de un futuro cansado.Merecedor en 1978 del Booker Prize, El mar, el mar constituye un punto álgido de la madurez narrativa de su autora, cuya prosa hipnótica nos envuelve aquí en un incesante torrente de imágenes, historias, personajes y reflexiones que resuenan en la mente del lector como el rumor del oleaje al anochecer."Peregrinos de la lectura, perdidos en el árido desierto de las malas novelas: venid a Iris Murdoch."ANDRÉS IBÁÑEZ, ABC Cultural
The decline of religion and ever increasing influence of science pose acute ethical issues for us all. Can we reject the literal truth of the Gospels yet still retain a Christian morality? Can we defend any 'moral values' against the constant encroachments of technology? Indeed, are we in danger of losing most of the qualities which make us truly human? Here, drawing on a novelist's insight into art, literature and abnormal psychology, Iris Murdoch conducts an ongoing debate with major writers, thinkers and theologians--from Augustine to Wittgenstein, Shakespeare to Sartre, Plato to Derrida--to provide fresh and compelling answers to these crucial questions.
A novel originally published in 1968, revolving around a happily married couple and telling of a violent death, blackmail, suspected espionage, Black Arts, stress and terror, over which love conquers all.
Set in London and in the South of France, this brilliantly structured novel centers on two women: Gertrude Openshaw, bereft from the recent death of her husband, yet awakening to passion; and Anne Cavidge, who has returned in doubt from many years in a nunnery, only to encounter her personal Christ. A fascinating array of men and women hover in urgent orbit around them: the "Count," a lonely Pole obsessively reliving his émigré father's patriotic anguish; Tim Reede, a seedy yet appealing artist, and Daisy, his mistress; the manipulative Mrs. Mount; and many other magically drawn characters moving between desire and obligation, guilt and joy. This edition of Nuns and Soldiers includes a new introduction by renowned religious historian Karen Armstrong.
A mysterious accident drives the inhabitants of a quiet town to face their darkest obsessions When George McCaffrey's car plunges into a canal with his wife still inside, nobody knows whether George is to blame. Nobody, that is, except an Anglican priest who happened to witness the whole thing. And when George's former teacher, the charismatic philosopher Rozanov, returns to town, George's life begins to spin wildly out of control. Set in the English spa town of Ennistone, The Philosopher's Pupil is a darkly comic story of love, redemption, and the complex nature of the human condition.
Story of an Irish family during the eight tense days leading up to the doomed Easter Rising in Dublin, 1916.
Swinging between his wife and his mistress in the sacred and profane love machine and between the charms of morality and the excitements of sin, the psychotherapist, Blaise Gavender, sometimes wishes he could divide himself in two. Instead, he lets loose misery and confusion and-for the spectators at any rate-a morality play, rich in reflections upon the paradoxes of human life and the nature of the battle between sacred and profane love. .
A sparklingly profound novel about the conflict between love and loyalty<P> The quiet life of schoolmaster Bill Mor and his wife Nan is disturbed when a young woman, Rain Carter, arrives at the school to paint the portrait of the headmaster. Mor, hoping to enter politics, becomes aware of new desires. A complex battle develops, involving love, guilt, magic, art, and political ambition. Mor's teenage children and their mother fight discreetly and ruthlessly against the invader. The Head, himself disenchanted, advises Mor to seize the girl and run. The final decision rests with Rain. Can a "great love" be purchased at too high a price?
The sea: turbulent and leaden, transparent and opaque, magician and mother. . . When Charles Arrowby, over sixty, a demi god of the theatre -- director, playwright and actor -- retires from his glittering London world in order to 'abjure magic and become a hermit', it is to the sea that he turns. He hopes at least to escape from 'the woman' -- but unexpectedly meets one whom he loved long ago. His buddhist cousin, James, also arrives. he is menaced by a monster from the deep. Charles finds his 'solitude' peopled by the drama of his own fantasies and obsessions.
A novel about the frightfulness and ruthlessness of being in love Martin Lynch-Gibson believes he can possess both a beautiful wife and a delightful lover. But when his wife, Antonia, suddenly leaves him for her psychoanalyst, Martin is plunged into an intensive emotional reeducation. He attempts to behave beautifully and sensibly. Then he meets a woman whose demonic splendor at first repels him and later arouses a consuming and monstrous passion. As his Medusa informs him, "this is nothing to do with happiness. " A Severed Head was adapted for a successful stage production in 1963 and was later made into a film starring Claire Bloom, Lee Remick, Richard Attenborough, and Ian Holm. .
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