Meaning and what it can convey: the case of Iris Murdoch

Jane Mattisson Ekstam

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    Iris Murdoch’s novels explore human truths that are timeless. She defended her ideas of literature as representing something true of human nature in an era "marked by a crisis of representation" (Rowe: 2). The postmodern rejection of truth, and Murdoch’s resistance to the theory-centred approach to textual analysis that emerged in the 1960s and reached its peak in the 1980s and 1990s, caused her to lose favour among scholars. It is time to revisit Iris Murdoch, a writer with a profound understanding of the importance of meaning in a literary text. What is this meaning? How is it represented in the novel? It is with these two questions that this article is concerned as it explores how Murdoch viewed her artistic mission and how it is embodied in the younger and older identities of the first-person narrator, Bradley Pearson, in The Black Prince (1973).

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)21-33
    Number of pages12
    JournalSKASE Journal of Literary Studies
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 2011

    Swedish Standard Keywords

    • General Literary studies (60203)


    • The Black Prince
    • art
    • meaning
    • moral thought
    • postmodern
    • truth


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