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Cornell University School of Continuing Education and Summer Sessions


Living on Paper: Letters from Iris Murdoch, 1934-1995

by Avril Horner and Anne Rowe (editors),
The San Francisco Chronicle, January 29, 2016

“The only conclusion I have to come to of late,” 24-year-old Iris Murdoch wrote to a friend in 1943, “is that if (I say if, and cannot give the word too horrid an emphasis), I have any métier it is to be a writer.” Seven years later, with a job as a tutor in philosophy at St. Anne’s Society, Oxford and her work at a standstill and relative success “dust and ashes as usual,” she added that nothing was worthwhile except being happily married, being a saint and writing a good novel — and concluded “my chances of (a) diminish yearly (b) is far too difficult — there remains (c) which still inspires hope.”


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