Work for the Spirit
Originally published in 1982, this brilliant study provides a perceptive and up-to-date assessment of the novels of Iris Murdoch, up to and including Nuns and Soldiers, published in 1980. The Fire and the Sun, her book on Plato, is also considered in depth. It is not a critical biography, but rather shows how massive Murdoch’s literary career was at the time and what her contribution has been to aesthetics, literary criticism, the realistic novel, and to the possibilities of ethical and religious action in a horror-filled and secular age. Above all, the book is interested in forwarding Murdoch’s cause among her readers. It is not aimed simply at those who have read and studied all of her novels, the text will appeal to the readers of only a few of them, as well as literary scholars and students of contemporary fiction and modern culture.
Table of Contents
Preface. Acknowledgements. 1. An Introduction to Murdoch’s Work 2. Reality and Realism 3. Unconscious Good and the Success of Evil 4. Art and Theory 5. Establishing the Style 6. Pilgrim’s Progress 7. The Mediocre Life 8. Circularity versus Progress in the Religious Life 9. The Dangerous Road 10. The New Murdoch. Bibliography. Index to Works by Iris Murdoch. Name Index.