Quotes by Iris Murdoch

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Jean Iris Murdoch DBE (July 15, 1919 February 8, 1999) was an Anglo-Irish writer and philosopher, best known for her novels, which combine rich characterization and compelling plotlines, usually involving ethical or sexual themes.

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Falling out of love is chiefly a matter of forgetting how charming someone is.

There is no substitute for the comfort supplied by the utterly taken-for-granted relationship.
Possibly, more people kill themselves and others out of hurt vanity than out of envy, jealousy, malice or desire for revenge.
Every man needs two women, a quiet home-maker, and a thrilling nymph.
Perhaps misguided moral passion is better than confused indifference.
In almost every marriage there is a selfish and an unselfish partner. A pattern is set up and soon becomes inflexible, of one person always making the demands and one person always giving way.
Moralistic is not moral. And as for truth -- well, it's like brown -- it's not in the spectrum. Truth is so generic.
The priesthood is a marriage. People often start by falling in love, and they go on for years without realizing that love must change into some other love which is so unlike it that it can hardly be recognized as love at all.
Bereavement is a darkness impenetrable to the imagination of the unbereaved.
The sin of pride may be a small or a great thing in someone's life, and hurt vanity a passing pinprick, or a self-destroying or ever murderous obsession.
The notion that one will not survive a particular catastrophe is, in general terms, a comfort since it is equivalent to abolishing the catastrophe.
People from a planet without flowers would think we must be mad with joy the whole time to have such things about us.
Being good is just a matter of temperament in the end.
But fantasy kills imagination, pornography is death to art.
A good man often appears gauche simply because he does not take advantage of the myriad mean little chances of making himself look stylish. Preferring truth to form, he is not constantly at work upon the fa?ade of his appearance.
I think being a woman is like being Irish. Everyone says you're important and nice, but you take second place all the same.
Literature could be said to be a sort of disciplined technique for arousing certain emotions.
No love is entirely without worth, even when the frivolous calls to the frivolous and the base to the base.
Philosophy! Empty thinking by ignorant conceited men who think they can digest without eating!
In philosophy if you aren't moving at a snail's pace you aren't moving at all.
We shall be better prepared for the future if we see how terrible, how doomed the present is.
He was a sociologist; he had got into an intellectual muddle early on in life and never managed to get out.
Human affairs are not serious, but they have to be taken seriously.
Happiness is a matter of one's most ordinary everyday mode of consciousness being busy and lively and unconcerned with self. To be damned is for one's ordinary everyday mode of consciousness to be unremitting agonizing preoccupation with self.
A bad review is even less important than whether it is raining in Patagonia.
Art is the final cunning of the human soul which would rather do anything than face the gods.
All art is a struggle to be, in a particular sort of way, virtuous.
The absolute yearning of one human body for another particular one & its indifference to substitutes is one of life's major mysteries.
I daresay anything can be made holy by being sincerely worshipped.
Writing is like getting married. One should never commit oneself until one is amazed at one's luck.

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