Iris Murdoch

Donna Gerstenberger

1975
79 pages
ISBN 0-8387-7774-0
Contemporary Irish Writers

Iris Murdoch s another contribution to the Irish Writers Series. These monographs have been designed to treat in individual volumes the significant Anglo-Irish writers of the 19th and 20th centuries. When complete the series will constitute a significant history of modern Anglo-Irish literature, encompassing discussions of almost 40 writers.

Born in Dublin not long after the Easter Rising, Iris Murdoch grew up with an awareness of Ireland's difficulties. Her family life, early schooling at Badminton, employment with UNESCO, training at Oxford and Cambridge, and her interest in modern continental philosophers have all contributed to the creation of a body of writing not especially definable as Irish. The main roots of Murdoch's fiction seem to be English; however, the recurrence of Irish characters in her novels and the extensive treatment of the Easter Rising in The Red and the Green make explicit a persistent consciousness of Ireland as a force in her fictional world.

Whether she is roaming in the brittle farce-fantasy world of The Flight from the Enchanter or the dram domestic world of The Sandcastle or interpreting the philosophy of Jean-Paul Sartre, Murdoch is always in full control of her material-a major figure among the writers of her generation.

About the author:

Donna Gerstenberger is Professor of English and Associate Dean of Arts and Sciences at the University of Washington at Seattle. Born in Texas, she received her A.B. from Whitman College and her Ph.D. from the University of Oklahoma. She published a book on John Millington Synge, several articles on Yeats and Synge, and contributed essays to books about these Irish writers. Her most recent book is The Complete Configuration: Modern Verse Drama, which contains a chapter on Yeats and the Irish dramatic movement.

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