This event could be interesting if like me you enjoy the intersection of the philosophical and the literary. Murdoch was of course a paramour of Oakeshott’s (see Bob Grant’s essay) and it is said based the character of Hugo Belfounder from Under the Net on Oakeshott. This is highly contentious and will never be satisfactorily resolved either way – Hugo could be an amalgam of Wittgenstein and Oakeshott. Anyway, her first novel is well worth reading – light and good fun, capturing bohemian London of the fifties.
The work of Iris Murdoch (1919-99) inspires growing enthusiasm and curiosity. Yet perhaps just because of her striking originality, her achievement is hard to place on the cultural map. Is she essentially an academic philosopher, a novelist, or a brilliant but unclassifiable individual thinker? And if we picture her as an iconic ‘woman philosopher’, is this a distraction or a source of insight?