Sunday, January 07, 2024

Fortnightly Book, January 7

 Iris Murdoch (1919-1999) was born in Dublin, although mostly raised in London, and in 1938 attended Somerville College, Oxford, where she studied Greats. She would go on to become famous in both philosophy and fiction, publishing her first novel in 1954. The next fortnightly book will be her thirteenth novel, published in 1970, A Fairly Honourable Defeat

I don't know a great deal about the work, although I know it involves a character named Julius King who begins interfering in the relationships of various people, and is able to do an immense amount of damage because people will often prefer drama to honest communication. I believe the title is a reference to the Platonic idea that sometimes the only way to stop the spread of evil is to allow oneself simply to suffer defeat, to accept suffering rather than to inflict suffering on others.