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Ladies and Gentlemen: I am here today to talk about a writer, philosopher and person; Iris Murdoch.

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IRIS MURDOCH Ladies and Gentlemen: I am here today to talk about a writer, philosopher and person; Iris Murdoch. Ever since her first book Sartre was published in 1953 she has been the subject of discussion and now, even after her death she's still praised, and recently a biographical film of her life (Iris) was released with Kate Winslet. Over 40 years she wrote 26 novels, the last one was published just before her death in 1999 from the memory disease Alzheimer's. OK, I'm going to need some volunteers. (get a big bloke to be Iris Murdoch and others to hold up things and explain what they are) Iris Murdoch was born in Dublin. Her mother was Irish, and had trained as an opera singer. ...read more.


In 1948 she was elected a fellow of St. Anne's College, Oxford, where she worked as a tutor until 1963. Her first published work was a critical study SARTRE, ROMANTIC RATIONALIST (1953). Her great love was a Czech Jewish poet and polymath called Franz Steiner, who died of a heart attack in 1952 - in her arms, according to his friend Elias Canetti. Although she had an affair with Canetti she married John Bayley, who was six years younger. He became a professor of English at Oxford and also published fiction. Iris never took any interest in children; she had some affairs, which Bayley tolerated in the otherwise happy marriage of two scholars. However, they shared one passion, swimming, which they practised whenever they had an opportunity to plunge into water. ...read more.


Although this book may sound rather boring, the complexities of her characters and the style in which the book is constructed made it so popular that the story was later televised on BBC1. Murdoch published over twenty novels. In her early works, such as THE SANDCASTLE (1957), the books are generally short. Her later works are large, over 500 pages in length. During the last years of her life she was reported to have become like "a very nice 3-year-old," as her husband described her. Murdoch died in Oxford on February 8, 1999. In his memoir Elegy for Iris John Bayley portrays lovingly but unsentimentally. "She was a superior being, and I knew that superior beings just did not have the kind of mind that I had." Murdoch's benevolent personality was not broken by her disease. In Iris and Her Friends: A Memoir of Memory and Desire (1999) Bayley continued to write about his wife lovingly. ...read more.

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