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The Saint and Artist: A Study of Iris Murdoch's Works Paperback – 1 Oct 2001

4.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins; 3Rev Ed edition (1 Oct. 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0007120192
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007120192
  • Product Dimensions: 19.3 x 12.7 x 2.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 641,325 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

‘Brilliant.’ New York Times Book Review

‘This excellent and distinguished book had considerable influence on my own thinking.’ Malcolm Bradbury

‘In my view, the best work on her novels and thought now in print. Conradi reads her novels both wisely and attentively, and ranges widely round them; his study of her Platonism is both just and rigorous.’ A.S. Byatt

‘A valuable study. Conradi has a lively, curious, energetic mind and his enthusiasm for his subject is warming.’ Studies in the Novel

From the Back Cover

Iris Murdoch, who died in 1999, was the author of twenty-six novels, including 'The Bell, A Fairly Honourable Defeat, The Black Prince' and the Booker Prize-winning 'The Sea, The Sea.' In 'The Saint and the Artist,' the only full critical examination of Murdoch's work by a British critic, Peter Conradi, who knew her well, traces the way in which the zest and buoyant high spirits of her early novels gave way to a more deeply and darkly comic achievement in the novels of the 1970s, and in some from the last period. He suggests how her own life, wonderfully transmuted into high art, provided the raw material for her novels, and argues that they should be read as serious entertainment and as important fictions in the Anglo-Russian tradition, and not as disguised philosophy.

This new edition, fully revised and updated, is issued to coincide with Peter Conradi's authorised biography Iris Murdoch.

"Brilliant"
NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW

"[This] excellent and distinguished book had considerable influence on my own thinking."
MALCOLM BRADBURY

"In my view, the best work on her novels and thought now in print. [Conradi] reads her novels both wisely and attentively, ranges widely round them; his study of her Platonism is both just and rigorous."
A.S. BYATT (1990)

"Peter Conradi is uniquely qualified to accompany the reader in a discovery of one of the twentieth century's most remarkable novelists and thinkers."
John Bayley

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Format: Paperback
Probably one for dyed-in-the-wool Murdoch fans more than come-lately 'Iris' fans, but any of the latter who are moved to turn from the life (and death) to the work will find in Peter Conradi's in-depth study what a lot there was to Iris Murdoch both as novelist and philosopher, how those two aspects related to each other, and what sort of mind was so tragically, in the end, overthrown. Of course it is no substitute, and not meant to be, for her books themselves; they always bear re-reading, endlessly recommenceable like the painting of the Forth Bridge, and however well you think you remember one, there is always something to surprise, even startle or make you laugh out loud. While emphasising that it is all right, indeed absolutely right, to read them for enjoyment, Conradi shows how their recurrent themes - saints and artists, as in his title, and the now celebrated quest for 'how to be free, how to be good, how to love' - fit in with their author's philosophical and critical writings, and into a wider intellectual world, with discussion of other critics' views. Frankly partisan, he nevertheless acknowledges variations in strength and quality among the novels, and his outline arrangement of them into different stages of development is convincing, although readers will have their own ideas as to which is 'best' or favourite.Read more ›
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
For anyone who is a fan of Iris Murdoch I would recommend this book. I read the book that Peter Conradi wrote about Murdoch, Iris Murdoch A life which was a biography of the life of the author and I was very impressed with that. So to be able to read a book with examines her novels was a pleasure. I've read a lot of Iris's novels and sometimes there are small details which need explaining the book does that in great detail, as a critical study I can well recommend it. It is an excellent introduction to her works.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x8d81e168) out of 5 stars 1 review
3 of 6 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8d602c18) out of 5 stars The work of two lifetimes 9 Nov. 2009
By S. M. Araujo - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Absolutely brilliant work by Peter J. Conradi to be served with his Iris Murdoch: A Life. Iris Murdoch: A Life
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