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Iris Murdoch

Iris Murdoch talks to Frank Kermode about the conflict that every writer must negotiate between creating artistic form and allowing the characters to develop freely. (1965)

In this interview, especially made for sixth-form students, Iris Murdoch talks to Frank Kermode about the conflict that every writer must negotiate between creating artistic form and allowing the characters to develop freely. Kermode, a literary critic, also leads Murdoch into a close reading of her 1962 novel An Unofficial Rose, where she resists many of his attempts to see patterns and themes in the book rather than a plot that evolves through character development.

25 minutes

Last on

Mon 24 May 1965 11:30

Did You Know?

Iris Murdoch's academic record was almost as impressive as her remarkable literary output. Her achievements included getting a first-class degree from Somerville College, Oxford, in 1942 and winning a place at Vassar College in New York State and a Commonwealth Scholarship in 1946 (although she was prevented from travelling to America as she had declared herself a Communist Party member on her US visa). In 1948, she took up a philosophy tutorship at St Anne's College, Oxford, where she stayed for 15 years before spending four years as a lecturer at the Royal College of Art.

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Modern Writers Collection

Modern Writers Collection

This programme is available online as part of the Modern Writers Collection