May 262013

Fascinating, but I am of two minds. The way Murdoch dismisses abstract art raises a red flag for me (and reminds me of the time I had dinner with Joyce Carol Oates and she startled me by casually dismissing all experimental literature as work done by lazy writers). It tells me that she is speaking out of a stance (philosophical, ideological, aesthetic) that one might call Anglo-Realism, or maybe Shopkeeper Realism, the kind of stance that suggests the novel begins with Defoe, not Cervantes. Nonetheless, I value Murdoch’s words. She wrote a little book of essays called The Sovereignty of Good that changed the way I composed my thesis at Edinburgh, these many years ago. A brilliant little book that speaks of art, love, and prayer and makes sublime sense of the three together.



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