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Quotations From IRIS MURDOCH

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  • 21.
    Bereavement is a darkness impenetrable to the imagination of the unbereaved.
    Iris Murdoch (b. 1919), British novelist, philosopher. Montague Small, in The Sacred and Profane Love Machine (1974).

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  • 22.
    Being good is just a matter of temperament in the end.
    Iris Murdoch (b. 1919), British novelist, philosopher. Kate Gray, in The Nice and the Good, ch. 14 (1968).
  • 23.
    One doesn't have to get anywhere in a marriage. It's not a public conveyance.
    Iris Murdoch (b. 1919), British novelist, philosopher. Martin Lynch-Gibbon, in A Severed Head, ch. 3 (1961).

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  • 24.
    Moralistic is not moral. And as for truth—well, it's like brown—it's not in the spectrum.... Truth is sui generis.
    Iris Murdoch (b. 1919), British novelist, philosopher. Rozanov, in "The Events in Our Town," The Philosopher's Pupil (1983).

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  • 25.
    Writing is like getting married. One should never commit oneself until one is amazed at one's luck.
    Iris Murdoch (b. 1919), British novelist, philosopher. "Bradley Pearson's Foreword," The Black Prince (1973). The narrator is here discussing his own literary output: three short books in 40 years.

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  • 26.
    We shall be better prepared for the future if we see how terrible, how doomed the present is.
    Iris Murdoch (b. 1919), British novelist, philosopher. David Crimond, in "Midwinter," pt. 2, The Book and the Brotherhood (1987).

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  • 27.
    All art is a struggle to be, in a particular sort of way, virtuous.
    Iris Murdoch (b. 1919), British novelist, philosopher. Quoted in Novelists in Interview, ed. John Haffenden (1985).
  • 28.
    Perhaps misguided moral passion is better than confused indifference.
    Iris Murdoch (b. 1919), British novelist, philosopher. Jenkin Riderhood, in The Book and the Brotherhood, pt. 2, "Midwinter," (1987).

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  • 29.
    In almost every marriage there is a selfish and an unselfish partner. A pattern is set up and soon becomes inflexible, of one person always making the demands and one person always giving way.
    Iris Murdoch (b. 1919), British novelist, philosopher. Martin Lynch-Gibbons, in A Severed Head, ch. 2 (1961).

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  • 30.
    Art is the final cunning of the human soul which would rather do anything than face the gods.
    Iris Murdoch (b. 1919), British novelist, philosopher. Plato (aged 20), in "Art and Eros: A Dialogue about Art," Acastos: Two Platonic Dialogues (1986). The dialogue was first performed on stage in February 1980.
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