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Iris Murdoch

(1919-1999) English Novelist, Philosopher


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Literature could be said to be a sort of disciplined technique for arousing certain emotions.

All art deals with the absurd and aims at the simple.

Being good is just a matter of temperament in the end.

Bereavement is a darkness impenetrable to the imagination of the unbereaved.

Every man needs two women, a quiet home-maker, and a thrilling nymph.

Falling out of love is chiefly a matter of forgetting how charming someone is.

He was a sociologist; he had got into an intellectual muddle early on in life and never managed to get out.

Human affairs are not serious, but they have to be taken seriously.

I think being a woman is like being Irish. Everyone says you're important and nice, but you take second place all the same.

In philosophy if you aren't moving at a snail's pace you aren't moving at all.

Jealousy is the most dreadfully involuntary of all sins.

Logic is an organized way of going wrong with confidence.

Love - is the extremely difficult realization that something other than oneself is real.

Moralistic is not moral. And as for truth - well, it's like brown - it's not in the spectrum. Truth is so generic.

People from a planet without flowers would think we must be mad with joy the whole time to have such things about us.

Perhaps misguided moral passion is better than confused indifference.

Possibly, more people kill themselves and others out of hurt vanity than out of envy, jealousy, malice or desire for revenge.

There is no substitute for the comfort supplied by the utterly taken-for-granted relationship.

We can only learn to love by loving.

We need a moral philosophy in which the concept of love, so rarely mentioned now by philosophers, can once again be made central.

Writing is like getting married. One should never commit oneself until one is amazed at one's luck.