Inspiration and wisdom from divine felines

482 Inspiring Quotes by Iris Murdoch

  • Last updated Jul 26 2021

Welcome to our collection of quotes by Iris Murdoch.

Wikipedia Summary for Iris Murdoch

Dame Jean Iris Murdoch ( MUR-dok; 15 July 1919 – 8 February 1999) was an Irish and British novelist and philosopher. Murdoch is best known for her novels about good and evil, sexual relationships, morality, and the power of the unconscious. Her first published novel, Under the Net, was selected in 1998 as one of Modern Library's 100 best English-language novels of the 20th century. Her 1978 novel The Sea, the Sea won the Booker Prize. In 1987, she was made a Dame by Queen Elizabeth II for services to literature. In 2008, The Times ranked Murdoch twelfth on a list of "The 50 greatest British writers since 1945".

Her other books include The Bell (1958), A Severed Head (1961), The Red and the Green (1965), The Nice and the Good (1968), The Black Prince (1973), Henry and Cato (1976), The Philosopher's Pupil (1983), The Good Apprentice (1985), The Book and the Brotherhood (1987), The Message to the Planet (1989), and The Green Knight (1993).

couple sitting near trees during golden hour

There is no substitute for the comfort supplied by the utterly taken-for-granted relationship.

--Iris Murdoch

person in blue denim jeans and brown leather boots

All art deals with the absurd and aims at the simple. Good art speaks truth, indeed is truth, perhaps the only truth.

--Iris Murdoch

tree and ranchhouse

The only cure here was death. They were both gone out of my life.

--Iris Murdoch

pink and white clouds

Of course we have an 'unconscious mind' and this is partly what my book is about. But there is no general chart of that lost continent. Certainly not a 'scientific' one.

--Iris Murdoch

sunset

Now she did not even wish to try, for fear of rousing up something terrible.

--Iris Murdoch

Arizona landscape

Getting through time was rather the problem. The cry of 'Help me!' -- but there was no one there.

--Iris Murdoch

yellow sunflower in bloom during daytime

A bad review is even less important than whether it is raining in Patagonia.

--Iris Murdoch

green and white bird on black wire during daytime

O death, rock me asleep, bring me to quiet rest. Let pass my weary guilty ghost out of my careful breast.

--Iris Murdoch

selective photography of green leaf plant

To find someone -- oh yes -- that is the problem. To have mutual love, that is so difficult indeed.

--Iris Murdoch

girl leaning on wall during daytime

It's terrible that one doesn't love people forever.

--Iris Murdoch

snow covered mountain during daytime

He could go back and take her in his arms. If only he knew how to do this. But they had lost the language of their affections, they had lost the style.

--Iris Murdoch

wide lake over sunset view

She did not want to be as before. She wanted great changes in her life.

--Iris Murdoch

white ceramic mug with coffee on brown wooden table

Guilt feelings so often arise from accusations rather than from crimes.

--Iris Murdoch

selective focus photography of orange and beige butterfly on purple flowers

The false god punishes, the true god slays.

--Iris Murdoch

Arizona landscape

The notion that one can liberate another soul from captivity is an illusion of the very young.

--Iris Murdoch

brown mountain at nighttime

The bicycle is the most civilized conveyance known to man.

--Iris Murdoch

sunset

Anything that consoles is fake.

--Iris Murdoch


black fishes

One must constantly meditate upon the absurdities of chance, a subject even more edifying than the subject of death.

--Iris Murdoch

woman carrying toddler on seashore

The unspoken words trembled in the air.

--Iris Murdoch

green-leafed trees during daytime

You daren't think, so you live in a dream.

--Iris Murdoch

brown desert under sunny sky

We must live by the light of our own self-satisfaction, through that secret vital busy inwardness which is even more remarkable than our reason.

--Iris Murdoch

silhouette of mountain during golden hour

How irrevocably spoilt, down to its minutest detail, his world was now. Even the countryside was spoilt, the animals, the birds, the flowers. There was nowhere to run to.

--Iris Murdoch

sunset

You're always wanting to be forgiven. What do you want to be forgiven for?

--Iris Murdoch

green leafed vegetable on brown wooden surface

Mary thought suddenly, this is an abomination, sitting here and having this conventional conversation when I feel so desperate and deprived and torn inside. She thought, is there nothing I can do about it?

--Iris Murdoch

green plant in tilt shift lens

I don't know what love can do for the terrible things of life.

--Iris Murdoch


white stars in the sky during night time

I'm afraid I don't know their address, but there it is, when people are gone they're gone, isn't it.

--Iris Murdoch

group of elephant on brown field under white clouds during daytime

They had become, year by year, month by month, mysterious to her, her love for them an extended pain, a web or field of force, of which she felt at times the almost breaking tension.

--Iris Murdoch

man facing women near forest

"What is God anyway?"
"A dark place."

--Iris Murdoch

sunset

I must return to my freedom which I now realise is something so essential that it makes my love for you seem like death.

--Iris Murdoch

man smiling while facing other person

The calmness was the final tone of despair.

--Iris Murdoch

grass field under cloudy sky

we have futures. That means we can make things true.

--Iris Murdoch

green leafed plants on forest

"Starting this relationship seems to me one of the better things you've ever done, however it ends."
"We can't separate it from how it ends."

--Iris Murdoch

None

Oh what a mad business, no good can come of it, only chaos, and not just chaos but evil. How did we gradually get entangled in such a terribly dangerous shambles!

--Iris Murdoch


white flower

The cry of equality pulls everyone down.

--Iris Murdoch

black and white bird on seashore

I tried to think these thoughts but they remained intolerably abstract, while a pain in my body told me what was real.

--Iris Murdoch

sunset

Bereavement is a darkness impenetrable to the imagination of the unbereaved.

--Iris Murdoch

sunset over hill

They haven't been standing still in the past.

--Iris Murdoch


milky way above body of water

Only stories and magic really endure.

--Iris Murdoch

empty gray floor beside pool

She tasted for the first time honey-sweet and dangerous happiness: dangerous because, as she before long began to learn, precarious.

--Iris Murdoch

focus photography of chick on gray ground

Was this strange mode of life to go on and on?

--Iris Murdoch


yellow green leaf

Happiness is a matter of one's most ordinary everyday mode of consciousness being busy and lively and unconcerned with self.

--Iris Murdoch

water color palette on white surface

I just hope -- if he does come -- it won't be some sort of horror show.

--Iris Murdoch

concert photos

Some people are just 'diminishers' and 'spoilers' for others. I suppose almost everybody diminishes someone. A saint would be nobody's spoiler.

--Iris Murdoch

blue sky with stars during night time

How sad for those who cannot enjoy what are after all prime pleasures of daily life, and perhaps for some the only ones, eating and drinking.

--Iris Murdoch

black and blue starry night

Jealousy is perhaps the most involuntary of all strong emotions. It steals consciousness, it lies deeper than thought. It is always there, like a blackness in the eye, it discolours the world.

--Iris Murdoch



body of water

Of course one never knows about other people's loves, and I would certainly never know about James's.

--Iris Murdoch

A white stripe pattern made up of concrete facade ribs

I lit another cigarette and wondered distantly how I would get through the day. It was a problem demanding some ingenuity.

--Iris Murdoch

sunset

This thought was so heavy with despair that she almost began to cry again.

--Iris Murdoch

None

All artists dream of a silence which they must enter, as some creatures return to the sea to spawn.

--Iris Murdoch

man in black and white striped shirt sitting on brown rock during daytime

Perhaps misguided moral passion is better than confused indifference.

--Iris Murdoch

autumn leaves on body of water

I can't believe in your other attachment.

--Iris Murdoch

milky way wallpaper

Ludens thought, why can't I do that, why can't I just ask a woman to hold my hand, why can't I ask Franca to!

--Iris Murdoch

silhouette of mountains during starry night

All art is the struggle to be, in a particular sort of way, virtuous.

--Iris Murdoch


bird's eye view photography of trees and body of water

Why did I ever leave them, what was I fleeing from? What spoilt scene that I could not then endure?

--Iris Murdoch

blooming yellow sunflower field

Was it that he had lived too long in his mind and was tired of the scenery?

--Iris Murdoch

closeup photo of bird beside purple petal flowers

You know when things get inside you and you can't stop going round and round the same piece of misery.

--Iris Murdoch

aerial photography of forest

Somehow I've always wanted the ones that didn't want me. I'm the absolute queen bee of unrequited love.

--Iris Murdoch

macro photography of green bird on tree branch

I'm as lonely as a lunatic.

--Iris Murdoch

time lapse photography of lightning during storm

"Actually," said Gildas, "every marriage is an irreversible mistake. That's the secret which they all keep."

--Iris Murdoch


purple textile in close up photography

I tried deep breathing, but seemed to lose contact with myself between each breath, so that the next one was always an emergency. I began to feel faint.

--Iris Murdoch

None

But my wants are huge, my desires are rapacious, I want love, I want the splendour and violence of love, and I want it now, I want someone of my own.

--Iris Murdoch

brown wooden board

A few people paused to look at him, but Londoners were by now so accustomed to 'weirdies' of all kinds that his ritual aroused little interest.

--Iris Murdoch

aerial photography of mountain range covered with snow under white and blue sky at daytime

I can't see how anything can ever happen to us -- I mean, I feel as if, if we leave this place, we shall crumble to pieces.

--Iris Murdoch

person in blue denim jeans and brown leather boots

Perhaps when distant people on other planets pick up some wavelength of ours all they hear is a continuous scream.

--Iris Murdoch


blue and white abstract painting

Philosophy! Empty thinking by ignorant conceited men who think they can digest without eating!

--Iris Murdoch

street lamp

We're just living on our emotions and eating each other.

--Iris Murdoch

white ceramic pencil organizer on top of stack of books

A middling talent makes for a more serene life.

--Iris Murdoch

yellow sunflower under blue sky during daytime

Perhaps after all not to have been born is best. How near the human soul must be to nothingness if it can be so tossed.

--Iris Murdoch

landscape photography of mountain

Don't tease me. Everything wounds me now except perfect kindness.

--Iris Murdoch

silhouette photography of person in gray sailing boat in the middle of body of water

On this diet of expectation, he had fairly frenzied himself by the time he arrived.

--Iris Murdoch


Arizona landscape

Art is the final cunning of the human soul which would rather do anything than face the gods.

--Iris Murdoch


raindrops on clear window

He felt indestructible because destroyed.

--Iris Murdoch


white and gray floral bed sheet

That's how vile i am! I live Ireland, I breathe Ireland, and Christ how I loathe it, I wish I were a bloody Scot, that's how bloody awful it is being Irish!

--Iris Murdoch

three clear drinking glasses with brown liquid

I was born to be nothing and to have nothing.

--Iris Murdoch

brown and gray floral textile

Remember that the secret of all learning is patience and that curiosity is not the same thing as a thirst for knowledge.

--Iris Murdoch


person on road at sunset

Bereavement is my occupation and it absorbs me completely. You want me to touch you, to look at you with sympathy. I cannot.

--Iris Murdoch


green trees beside body of water during daytime

I just enjoy translating, it's like opening one's mouth and hearing someone else's voice emerge.

--Iris Murdoch

sunset

"You are sad."
"I am always sad."

--Iris Murdoch

Texas buildings

I'm not a lucky person who makes radiant decisions which are obviously right.

--Iris Murdoch

white wall paint with black shadow

She would give ease to his too long wandering heart, and then he could live more fully in the world of other people, more able, because more happy, to give them his full attention.

--Iris Murdoch

woman standing on sunflower field

But I've had such a rotten life. People like me are a problem.

--Iris Murdoch

woman standing on cliff

How we tracked him, you most of all of course, and lost him and found him.

--Iris Murdoch

yellow sunflowers

I feel half faded away like some figure in the background of an old picture.

--Iris Murdoch

white and purple flower in macro shot

"Don't be hurt by me."
"I can't help being hurt."

--Iris Murdoch

moon near mountain ridge

Because of what you have done things will happen later which can't possibly be foreseen.

--Iris Murdoch

white concrete wall during daytime

You see, nobody cares about me except you. You don't know what that's like. You've always had people who cared. You've always had people. I've never had anybody. No wonder I feel frustrated.

--Iris Murdoch

yellow green leaf

I wanted consolation, I wanted love, I wanted, to save me, some colossal and powerful love such as I had never known before.

--Iris Murdoch

black and blue starry night

I struggled with a nebulous work which seemed now a nouvelle, now a vast novel, wherein a hero not unlike myself pursued, amid ghostly incidents, a series of reflections about life and art.

--Iris Murdoch

None

Maybe there are times when one should welcome defeat, tell it to come right in and sit down.

--Iris Murdoch

blue and white striped textile

Why do I always have to be helping people ... and getting no help myself?

--Iris Murdoch

person standing in front of fire

Their hands touched, their knees touched. They were both trembling.

--Iris Murdoch


purple flowers under sunny sky

I wonder if this is the end, thought Ducane, and if so what it will all have amounted to. How tawdry and small it has all been.

--Iris Murdoch


bokeh photography

And now she had run into an emptiness more final than any words of rejection. He was gone and would make himself a stranger to her for ever.

--Iris Murdoch

tree frog

Falling out of love is very enlightening.
For a short while you see the world with new eyes.

--Iris Murdoch

man and woman kissing under blue sky during daytime

I believe that unfulfilled frustrated people probably spend a lot of their lives in pure fantasy-dreaming. This can I am sure be a great source of consolation though not always harmless.

--Iris Murdoch

green and red flowers

One of the secrets of a happy life is continuous small treats.

--Iris Murdoch

forest trees photograph

She was a spoiler, a needler, an underminer, a diminisher, simply by instinct.

--Iris Murdoch


snow covered mountain under blue sky

Everyone says how wonderful it is to be young. I've never seen it.

--Iris Murdoch

grayscale photography of elephant

One doesn't have to get anywhere in a marriage. It's not a public conveyance.

--Iris Murdoch

blue and white abstract painting

Even now I shake and tremble as I write. Memory is too weak a name for this terrible evocation. Oh Hartley, Hartley, how timeless, how absolute love is. My love for you is unaware that I am old and you perhaps are dead.

--Iris Murdoch

green trees

Only let the scene end soon and without any horrors.

--Iris Murdoch

gray and white bird on red and yellow leaves

Who is one's first love? Who indeed.

--Iris Murdoch

sunset

All chances of happiness are gone from me. Just being with myself is hell all the time anyway.

--Iris Murdoch

landscape photo of mountains under starry sky at nighttime

What follows is ambiguous and sometimes tortuously told. Man's searchings and his strugglings are ambiguous and vowed to hidden ways. Those who live by that dark light will understand.

--Iris Murdoch

flame illustration

I am really in love and it's a terrible experience.

--Iris Murdoch

bird on pier

Emotions really exist at the bottom of the personality or at the top. In the middle they are acted. This is why all the world is a stage.

--Iris Murdoch


blue and white abstract painting

What a mystery a marriage was. What a strange and violent world, the world of matrimony. I was glad to be outside it. The idea of it filled me with a sort of queasy pity.

--Iris Murdoch


green pine tree on mountain

Coming events do cast shadows.

--Iris Murdoch

green leafed trees

It seemed to echo away into the hidden spaces and honeycombs of the dark.

--Iris Murdoch

orange and yellow round light

Here memory was simply a cold cloud to be shuddered at.

--Iris Murdoch

Clear blue ocean washing on the sandy shore on a clear day in Cancún

None of these things had really got to happen at all, since she could prevent them. The power of pure destruction was still hers. She could still make it death or glory.

--Iris Murdoch

sunset highway

What greater torment than to see that light, and then to see it eternally withdrawn?

--Iris Murdoch

blue sky and white clouds

Willy seemed like an inhabitant of some other dimension who could only tenuously communicate with the ordinary world. This would have troubled her less if she had not imagined his other dimension as a place of horror.

--Iris Murdoch

blue, yellow, and brown wall decor

No love is entirely without worth, even when the frivolous calls to the frivolous and the base to the base.

--Iris Murdoch

yellow sunflower in bloom during daytime

In philosophy if you aren't moving at a snail's pace you aren't moving at all.

--Iris Murdoch



silver round analog wall clock

Yes, I am free, she said to herself, but it's not like ordinary freedom, it's being in hell, a brilliant lucid hell.

--Iris Murdoch

white board beside pencil and tape

"Is that a quotation?"
"Only from me."

--Iris Murdoch

person sleeping on gray gang chair

I wanted to drag us all down into some common pool of feeling, I wanted to stop this conventional machine of awful insincere politeness.

--Iris Murdoch

sunset

And what an intense heavenly blue the sea is, not a dark blue at all, but like a cauldron of light.

--Iris Murdoch

wide lake over sunset view

Give yourself to these great works of art. They suffice for a lifetime.

--Iris Murdoch

red and yellow abstract painting

"You mustn't mind so much. It's all in your head."
"Well, I live in my head."

--Iris Murdoch

blue painted concrete wall during daytime

The flat was small and smelt of ancient things with which Gildas had not contended. In the sitting room shadowy photographs of Italian lakes had been hung high up by a previous tenant.

--Iris Murdoch

sunset

Good-bye to the past, with its mysteries which would never be fully unfolded.

--Iris Murdoch

sunset with storm clouds

I can't tell you--oh I can't tell you--how awful--how sort of unlivable--everything is now--like a great black wall in front of me--Something's got to smash.

--Iris Murdoch

green plant in tilt shift lens

It's just that I don't hope any more, I've lost my nerve.

--Iris Murdoch


yellow and white abstract painting

One can be too ingenious in trying to search out the truth. Sometimes one must simply respect its veiled face. Of course this is a love story.

--Iris Murdoch


closeup photography of wall

Here I am, after all, welcome home, I'm yours. To which Henry replied: When I wanted you you were not mine, when I needed you you rejected me. Why should I cherish you now?

--Iris Murdoch

purple flowers under sunny sky

I think being a woman is like being Irish... Everyone says you're important and nice, but you take second place all the time.

--Iris Murdoch

pink flowers in tilt shift lens

So art becomes not communication but mystification.

--Iris Murdoch

stars across the sky view at the desert

I think being a woman is like being Irish... Everyone says you're important and nice, but you take second place all the same.

--Iris Murdoch

shooting star in night sky

No! I can't leave him, I'm bound to him, I'm made of him, I am him!

--Iris Murdoch

leafless tree

Ludens felt that everyone around him was living in the present, a place where he certainly could not live.

--Iris Murdoch

blue and black butterfly on pink and yellow flower

And could it be true without other awful things being true as well?

--Iris Murdoch

photo of pine tree

Ordinary consciousness simply becomes pain.

--Iris Murdoch

woman in white shirt sitting on brown rock near lake during daytime

And this great love makes you both ruthless.

--Iris Murdoch

body of water under blue sky during daytime

Your coldness has ruined my life. All right, you didn't mean it, all right I was a schoolgirl, but you could have been kinder to someone who said they loved you, you could have been gentle and grateful.

--Iris Murdoch



green plants beside brown wooden door

It ceased at last, as everything dreadful has to cease, even if it ceases only by death.

--Iris Murdoch

yellow and white color illustration

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.

--Iris Murdoch


silhouette of person standing beside bare tree under stary sky

We shall be better prepared for the future if we see how terrible, how doomed the present is.

--Iris Murdoch

flowers beside yellow wall

Love is the extremely difficult realization that something other than oneself is real.

--Iris Murdoch

clear wine glass with red wine

Our actions are like ships which we may watch set out to sea, and not know when or with what cargo they will return to port.

--Iris Murdoch

aerial photography of gray and white stone lot

Oh Christ, if I could only have some happiness.

--Iris Murdoch

green ceramic mug beside book

I have seen much of human beings over a long period, and I have learnt how little good to expect from them.

--Iris Murdoch

white wall paint beside white wall

He felt as if he were being used, as if Willy were using him as a hard neutral surface against which to crush, like insects, the thoughts which haunted him.

--Iris Murdoch

grayscale photography of pug

Your best friends are in trouble and you say 'of course' and forget them instantly.

--Iris Murdoch

None

To describe one's character is difficult and not necessarily illuminating. The story which follows will reveal, whether I will or no, what sort of person I am.

--Iris Murdoch

silhouette of trees during nighttime

He was glad that he had expressed to her, however blunderingly, what he felt. He was glad that he had held her hand.

--Iris Murdoch

palm tree under orange sky

I think I fell in love with you when you were shouting at Romeo and Juliet, 'Don't touch each other!'

--Iris Murdoch

person standing on rock beside body of water between green trees

One can't stop people from killing themselves if they're determined to. It may even be wrong to do so.

--Iris Murdoch

white petaled flower

I want you to be able to see me, and as my love for you is so much of me (all of me, making me more than myself) then you must see that too.

--Iris Murdoch

black and white bird on seashore

There was absolutely nothing that she could do with this huge emotion which she had so suddenly discovered in herself.

--Iris Murdoch

black and gray floral textile

I had been confronted (at last) with a sizeable ordeal labelled with my name. This was not something to be wasted.

--Iris Murdoch

litter of dogs fall in line beside wall

But now, when things had happened which were too appalling to think about, when his romantic love was a corpse and his cleverness a ghost, he knew where it was he wanted to lay his head.

--Iris Murdoch

None

By a dialectic well known to those who habitually succumb to temptation he passed in a second from the time when it was too early to struggle to the time when it was too late to struggle.

--Iris Murdoch


closeup photo of bird beside purple petal flowers

You can't imagine what it's like when every moment you're conscious you're in the most frightful pain.

--Iris Murdoch


long exposure photography of lights

Partly, I still felt something of the sheer unholy excitement which I had experienced initially at the thought of a friend (especially this one) in trouble.

--Iris Murdoch

orange and blue abstract painting

So it is that we can be terrors to each other, and people in lonely rooms suffer humiliation and even damage because of others in whose consciousness perhaps they scarcely figure at all.

--Iris Murdoch

person in red shirt walking on brown field under gray sky during daytime

There's only one thing the matter and that's everything.

--Iris Murdoch



people walking on hallway

The young are self-satisfied really and utterly ruthless.

--Iris Murdoch

silhouette photo of mountain during night time

Love is the perception of individuals. Love is the extremely difficult realisation that something other than oneself is real.

--Iris Murdoch

sunset

Man's creative struggle, his search for wisdom and truth, is a love story.

--Iris Murdoch

silhouette of people riding bicycle

Freedom is not choosing; that is merely the move that we make when all is already lost. Freedom is knowing and understanding and respecting things quite other than ourselves.

--Iris Murdoch

worm's eye view of trees during night time

He suffers terribly all the time. He lives in fire.

--Iris Murdoch


leafless tree

She was dressed to go to bed only it was ridiculously early to go to bed. She desired to be unconscious.

--Iris Murdoch

man in black shirt wearing cowboy hat

He's had a bloody awful childhood. Like I had. Those things get passed on and on.

--Iris Murdoch

sunflower field during daytime

Henry's joy left him abruptly and he began anxiously to think about himself.

--Iris Murdoch

yellow sunflower in bloom during daytime

Enjoying literature as those alone enjoy it who have little else to enjoy.

--Iris Murdoch

yellow lights between trees

You can't kiss me and vanish.

--Iris Murdoch


green leafed trees during daytime

The bereaved cannot communicate with the unbereaved.

--Iris Murdoch

None

I'll never be happy, how can you love me, I'm awful, I'm covered with spiders, I'm doomed.

--Iris Murdoch

selective photography of green leaf plant

But I can't do anything for him and he can't do anything for me. We must wail in our own corners.

--Iris Murdoch

flat lay photography teacup on top of saucer

These young people have got to suffer, we can't save them from it --.

--Iris Murdoch

blue and white striped textile

Girls don't want men to be quiet and gentle, I'm told. If you're not panting with impatient lust they think you're not interested.

--Iris Murdoch

yellow painted wall

And she shivered with a dazzled joy.

--Iris Murdoch

blue sky and white clouds

And all the time my very soul would travel with her, invisible and crying soundlessly with pain. I had acquired a dimension of suffering which would poison and devour my whole being, as far as I could see, forever.

--Iris Murdoch

sunset and agave stalk

Everything in his life now seemed to signal: too late.

--Iris Murdoch

lights pattern swirls

I felt such a stranger there, like a poor lodger. One must be with one's own people.

--Iris Murdoch



man smiling while facing other person

Sometimes one feels suddenly doomed by fate.

--Iris Murdoch

silhouette of children's running on hill

Daytime sleep is a cursed slumber from which one wakes in despair.

--Iris Murdoch


grayscale photo of rock formation

The superiority of some infinite reserve and the mystery of some infinite sadness.

--Iris Murdoch

green moss on brown tree trunk

People have disappointed me and deceived me and let me down.

--Iris Murdoch

group of people waving their hands

You can't go through the looking-glass without cutting yourself.

--Iris Murdoch

None

You understand nothing of--the horror--no wonder you can't write real books--you don't see--the horror--.

--Iris Murdoch


castle surrounded fog

I need love, I've never felt more in need of it than now. I feel so terribly terribly unhappy.

--Iris Murdoch

A white stripe pattern made up of concrete facade ribs

He can do anything he likes and I'm so lonely, oh so lonely-- And I put up with it because there was nothing else to do--.

--Iris Murdoch


brown and white humming bird

I've felt as if I didn't exist, as if I were invisible, miles away from the world, miles away. You can't imagine how much alone I've been all my life.

--Iris Murdoch

raging waves through shores

For most of us the space between 'dreaming on things to come' and 'it is too late, it is all over' is too tiny to enter.

--Iris Murdoch

silhouette of trees during nighttime

The best you can hope for is a little peace and not too much remorse. Thoughts at peace under an English heaven.

--Iris Murdoch

man on running field

Dogs are very different from cats in that they can be images of human virtue. They are like us.

--Iris Murdoch


castle surrounded fog

Yes of course I was in love with my own youth. Aunt Estelle? Not really. Who is one's first love?

--Iris Murdoch

silhouette of man and woman during sunset

But I wanted to make what was terrible so much worse so as to be sure that it was fatal; like Hartley protecting herself by thinking I must hate her.

--Iris Murdoch





blooming yellow sunflower field

Sartre turns love into a ‘battle between two hypnotists in a closed room.'

--Iris Murdoch

lights

But her heart was hurting her with its violence.

--Iris Murdoch


white boat on sea under white sky during daytime

Year after year he wondered if he should go back and year after year felt it all recede from him past hope, past endeavour ... He could not find his way back there.

--Iris Murdoch

pink concrete wall during daytime

I've not often been happy or thought it was in my stars.

--Iris Murdoch

person holding gray leaf

One can't whistle up happiness. It's a gift of nature and I haven't got it.

--Iris Murdoch

brown rocky mountain under blue sky during daytime

I love you. I saw you that night in the garden, and I knew you were magic like in dreams.

--Iris Murdoch

man on running field

People who boast of happy marriages are, I submit, usually self-deceivers, if not actually liars.

--Iris Murdoch

None

Mary did not believe in analysing herself, and she had left vague the notion that sometimes came to her that this anxious unfulfilled sort of loving was the only kind of which she was capable.

--Iris Murdoch

silhouette of mountains under blue sky during daytime

It was dark now. A thin moon was visible, a bright portent, but giving no light.

--Iris Murdoch


green leafed plant

He wanted to be a universal man ... and I suppose that isn't possible now. He belongs in fifteenth-century Italy. This age doesn't suit him.

--Iris Murdoch

calm body of water near alp mountains during nighttime

Deep, deepest inside his wounded heart. he felt the new pain, the pain which would now travel with him always.

--Iris Murdoch

green leaf

He felt himself falling into a state, very common when he was younger, of being totally cut off from the society he was in.

--Iris Murdoch

yellow sunflower in bloom during daytime

I thought it might make him despair of life, but he has despaired anyway.

--Iris Murdoch

brown textile in close up image

I just can't live an ordinary life, I can't pass the time. I can't organise myself, I don't have ordinary motives any more. I can't even manage my body, when I go to bed I don't know where to put my arms.

--Iris Murdoch

close-up photography of heart shaped fairy lite on brown sand

Today we will read love poetry. You shall read aloud to me and we will weep together.

--Iris Murdoch

man in white and black button up shirt holding lighted candle

Perhaps there was an intimacy which did not need words.

--Iris Murdoch

woman in black shirt walking on sidewalk near brown concrete wall partition

Art is not cosy and it is not mocked. Art tells the only truth that ultimately matters. It is the light by which human things can be mended. And after art there is, let me assure you all, nothing.

--Iris Murdoch

three books on surface

Were they waltzing, at that fleeting moment which the camera seized and tossed on into the future? Her feet seem scarcely to touch the dance floor.

--Iris Murdoch


yellow textile

True politics is simply the drying of tears and the endless fight for freedom. Without freedom there is no art and no truth. I revere great artists and the men who say no to tyrants.

--Iris Murdoch

pink petaled flower field

The whole thing, the way it all happened, was shattering. And what it shattered most of all was some conception I'd had of myself, some wholeness.

--Iris Murdoch

silhouette of off-road car

The madcap English weather which had been putting on a passable imitation of June now decided to play March.

--Iris Murdoch


mountain summit during sunset

Mary held her heart, contracted into a point of agony.

--Iris Murdoch

bokeh photography

"You've obviously never been in love."
"I have actually. And awfully. And always -- without hope -- I've never had my love reciprocated ever."

--Iris Murdoch

green leafed trees during daytime

Anywhere is dangerous if you carry danger with you.

--Iris Murdoch

close up photo of tree

Everyone seemed to be bright-eyed and bushy-tailed except me.

--Iris Murdoch


raging waves through shores

What a test that is: more than devotion, admiration, passion. If you long and long for someone's company you love them.

--Iris Murdoch



None

Oh my life is so awful, it's just so awful to be me, you don't know what it's like waking every morning and finding the whole horror of being yourself still there.

--Iris Murdoch

shooting star in night sky

I'm not like other people, my life just doesn't work, it never has.

--Iris Murdoch

rock formation surrounding by body of water

Clement held her hand for a moment; knowing that after that moment the darkness would begin.

--Iris Murdoch

women's black and pink monokini

Sentimentally and in the soul it went on for ages, it still goes on, it goes on and on.

--Iris Murdoch

white and blue floral textile

Of course you don't know yourself, lucky old you. I just know myself too bloody well.

--Iris Murdoch

white and blue ice on water

There was a sort of grey dripping figure that kept trying to rise up in my mind and which I ruthlessly violently banished.

--Iris Murdoch

sunset forest

I'm sorry I was awful. I'm so full of terrors.

--Iris Murdoch

green leaf

We need a moral philosophy in which the concept of love, so rarely mentioned now by philosophers, can once again be made central.

--Iris Murdoch

silhouette of off-road car

As it is I crawl on everyday towards the tomb. When I wake in the morning I think first of death, do you?

--Iris Murdoch

worm's eye view of trees during night time

I ceased some time ago to believe in goodness.

--Iris Murdoch

full moon in the sky

Only art explains, and that cannot itself be explained.

--Iris Murdoch

time lapse photography of lightning during storm

Oh why is she going away just when I want so much to be with her! She is the answer to the riddle of my life.

--Iris Murdoch

dog on pier at water

God, how the young and beautiful vanish and are no more seen.

--Iris Murdoch

yellow Labrador puppy running on field

Sometimes one has got to become monstrous in order to survive.

--Iris Murdoch

focused photo of a red rose

We can only learn to love by loving.

--Iris Murdoch

pink flower

But I had come to where I had never been before, the blessed point of sufficient desperation.

--Iris Murdoch

rainbow

His eyes closed now, and for a long time they sat quietly thus. Such was their lovemaking.

--Iris Murdoch

gray building

Those who hope, by retiring from the world, to earn a holiday from human frailty, in themselves and others, are usually disappointed.

--Iris Murdoch

withered tree surrounded with snow during daytime

She thought sadly, gaiety and laughter are not in my destiny.

--Iris Murdoch

three clear glass cups

You can't go through the looking-glass without getting cut. You know that now, don't you?

--Iris Murdoch

leafless tree under gray sky

Of course she had read this work many times before, but there were certain parts to which she passionately returned: so cool, so elegant, so beautiful, so terrible. As she read tears began to stream down her face.

--Iris Murdoch

two person standing while watching sky

These words had impressed Clement deeply, inscribed upon his heart.

--Iris Murdoch

woman on seashore near island under blue sky

As we live our precarious lives on the brink of the void, constantly coming closer to a state of nonbeing, we are all too often aware of our fragitlity.

--Iris Murdoch

lights pattern swirls

How had this weird idea been conceived, how had it grown until it seemed inevitable?

--Iris Murdoch

Arizona landscape

But fantasy kills imagination, pornography is death to art.

--Iris Murdoch

iceberg near mountain during day

He felt misery, loneliness, a terrible need for love.

--Iris Murdoch


white and blue building under clear sky

What is more tormenting than a meeting after a long time, when all the words fall to the ground like dead things, and the spirit that should animate them floats disembodied in the air? We both felt its presence.

--Iris Murdoch

rainbow

We did really love each other ... didn't we? Didn't we? In the name of that reality --
M.

--Iris Murdoch

photo of clear sky full of stars

There were good times or goodish times, only the bad times were so--crucial.

--Iris Murdoch


Arizona landscape pines

Ludens experienced, as an extra pain, an intimation of the happiness he might have felt in such a place.

--Iris Murdoch

yellow and white painted wall

I felt so ashamed with them because everything in their life was going so well and they were so sort of successful. I couldn't talk about what I wanted with them and they were always in a hurry.

--Iris Murdoch

green grass field with smoke

What happened after that, and will be related later, was something entirely unexpected and so awful that Ludens had never spoken about it afterwards to anyone.

--Iris Murdoch

man in blue jacket and blue pants carrying black and red backpack standing on snow covered

I felt at times, it is hard to describe this, almost mad with guilt, with a sort of general guilt about my whole life.

--Iris Murdoch


red flame

"Is it true that the first time of falling in love is the worst?"
"No."

--Iris Murdoch

yellow sunflower under blue sky during daytime

If Buddhists think evil is unreal they must be mad! Thinking evil is unreal is holding hands with evil under the table!

--Iris Murdoch

man raising arms between greenfield

It's so sad, all our house seems broken apart, everyone is going.

--Iris Murdoch


rocks on sea side at daytime

How can we not be dooms to each other?

--Iris Murdoch

None

And she did seem then to go to sleep instantly: the quick flight into oblivion of the chronically unhappy person.

--Iris Murdoch

shoreline during golden hour

In the clairvoyance of this despair he had seen how much his folly had already damaged both of them.

--Iris Murdoch


selective focus photography of woman taking selfie

Starting a novel is opening a door on a misty landscape; you can still see very little but you can smell the earth and feel the wind blowing.

--Iris Murdoch

silhouette of kneeling man

She had inhibited her sympathy, one genuine sympathetic impulse would have ruined her.

--Iris Murdoch

green grass field

A letter is a barrier, a reprieve, a charm against the world, an almost infallible method of acting at a distance.

--Iris Murdoch

silver round analog wall clock

He ... felt as if, wanting to be needed by everyone, he were merely becoming some sort of semi-invisible messenger.

--Iris Murdoch

silhouette of off-road car

There is no beyond, there is only here, the infinitely small, infinitely great and utterly demanding present.

--Iris Murdoch


brown rocky mountain under blue sky during daytime

It is unjust, it is so unjust, was her thought. I have never been recognized as myself.

--Iris Murdoch

gray and white concrete floor

He said, 'Forgive me for being a liar and a fool and an utterly worthless man.' Louise replied, 'I love you.' He took her in his arms for a moment and they held each other with closed eyes.

--Iris Murdoch

person standing on top of mountain

Suddenly, as if by the fiat of a wicked fairy, he had been utterly dispossessed.

--Iris Murdoch

brown wooden bridge beside green leafed trees during daytime

Her love for men had always been somehow neurotic and unfulfilled.

--Iris Murdoch

brown textile in close up image

But one must do something about the past. It doesn't just cease to be. It goes on existing and affecting the present, and in new and different ways, as if in some other dimension it too were growing.

--Iris Murdoch

white desk lamp beside green plant

Yet it was not that a rapture or a glory which had once shone around her had passed away from the world. The rapture and the glory whose hauntings she suffered had never manifested themselves in her life at all.

--Iris Murdoch

mountains under orange kies

Art is not cozy and it is not mocked. Art tells the only truth that ultimately matters. It is the light by which human things can be mended. And after art there is, let me assure you all, nothing.

--Iris Murdoch

brown sand under blue sky during daytime

The room, the wall, trembled with precision, as if the inanimate world were about to utter a word.

--Iris Murdoch


pink, red, and black digital wallpaper

Perhaps that was the only time which we should ever, ever have together. Perhaps it was something which would never, never, never come again.

--Iris Murdoch

Arizona landscape

It was like a comedy by Shakespeare. All the ends of the story were being bound up in a good way.

--Iris Murdoch

silhouette of man standing on rock while looking in sky

I feel so depressed. I have to be merry and bright while I just want to cry.

--Iris Murdoch

person wearing black leather shoe

Everything is full of gods, cousin James once said, quoting somebody.

--Iris Murdoch

brown rock formation on body of water during daytime

Human affairs are not serious, but they have to be taken seriously.

--Iris Murdoch

black Sony point-and-shoot camera on yellow surface

I crave for love, everybody does ... and I've never had a bloody crumb of it--and I've given so much love to people--I can really love people, I can, I let them walk over me--but nobody's ever loved me.

--Iris Murdoch

brown and gray brick wall

Priscilla is in hell. Well, we all are. Life is torture, consciousness is torture. All our little devices are just morphia to stop us from screaming ... We're each of us screaming away in our own private padded cell.

--Iris Murdoch

couple sitting near trees during golden hour

Writing is like getting married. One should never commit oneself until one is amazed at one's luck.

--Iris Murdoch

bird in the sky

It is necessary to write, that much is clear, and to write in a way quite unlike any way which I have employed before.

--Iris Murdoch

two women making peace sign near the Golden Gate bridge

Falling out of love is very enlightening. For a short while you see the world with new eyes.

--Iris Murdoch

None

I am out of the saga, he thought. He had a heavy sense of being left in total isolation; everyone had withdrawn from him and the person who could most have helped him was pre-empted by another.

--Iris Murdoch

low-angle photo of white daisy

And suffering we know breeds images, it breeds the most beautiful images of all.

--Iris Murdoch


toddler hugging siberian husky

I think we belong to each other.

--Iris Murdoch

focus photo of a hummingbird on leaf

She was not just a wild creature, she was a wounded creature.

--Iris Murdoch

snowflake

Tuesday? My whole concept of the future had crumpled.

--Iris Murdoch

person wearing black leather shoe

He had always thought of himself as a muddler, a sufferer, a victim.

--Iris Murdoch

blue and white light digital wallpaper

I felt blank dismay, instant fear for myself. I did not want to be involved in any mess of Priscilla's. I did not even want to have to be sorry for Priscilla.

--Iris Murdoch

silhouette of tall trees

I am sorry that our friendship, or whatever name one may give to the obsessive relationship which has bound us together for so many years, should end in this way. This is not the place to utter its elegy.

--Iris Murdoch

blue sky

The agony was of suddenly feeling herself so separate and so secret.

--Iris Murdoch

silhouette of stones during golden hour

Please excuse this outpouring which perhaps makes no sense but is the utter darkness of my spirit pouring from me like black blood.

--Iris Murdoch

bird on pier

How hardening to the heart it must be to do this thing: to change an innocent soaring being into a bundle of struggling rags and pain.

--Iris Murdoch

close up shot of white flower

I adore your jealousy, especially when it's so misplaced. I expect Shakespeare wrote a sonnet about that.

--Iris Murdoch

high-angle photography of beach side

But the spark vanished, there was no longed-for recognition, no dawning sign of recovery. The love she had learnt in tending him was an enclosed love, muted and maimed, already mourning. They would never communicate now.

--Iris Murdoch


None

Politicians aren't concerned with justice being done, they're concerned with justice seeming to be done as a result of their keen-eyed vigilance.

--Iris Murdoch

flat lay photography of several hanging ornaments

I'm made for misery, misery, misery, I'm made to be destroyed!

--Iris Murdoch


green trees under white sky during daytime

For a while everything became too terrible, one could scarcely bear to be conscious.

--Iris Murdoch

blue and white abstract painting

You've got to see me, Martin. I'm to blame. I've never been quite and entirely myself with you. The situation didn't let me be. The untruthfulness infected everything. I must break out a little? Do you see at all?

--Iris Murdoch

snow covered mountain under blue sky during daytime

I don't like you, I love you. You're a portent for me, a sign. I've always lived by signs.

--Iris Murdoch

man in black and white striped shirt sitting on brown rock during daytime

How easily one is hurt. Or is it only I who am so stupidly vulnerable.

--Iris Murdoch

photo of gray moon

Perhaps this 'dead' feeling was also brought on by an intensification of her old secret sorrow. Perhaps one day this sorrow might end. But she did not think it would end or see how it could end.

--Iris Murdoch

multicolored heart LED light on wall

Not to have been born is undoubtedly best, but sound sleep is second best.

--Iris Murdoch

black and white bird on seashore

I run, I run, I am gathered to your heart. But no, she thought, it's not like that. I am alone. I cannot reach anybody.

--Iris Murdoch

brown sand under blue sky during daytime

We shall meet, but as strangers. It is the end of an era. A whole part of my life is torn away.

--Iris Murdoch

black fishes

Art is a kind of artificial memory and the pain which attends all serious art is a sense of that factitiousness.

--Iris Murdoch

cloudy sky

I am not a very nice character. You must get to know me some time.

--Iris Murdoch

photo of outer space

Marriage isn't a tram. It doesn't have to get anywhere.

--Iris Murdoch

orange moon during nighttime

But these speculations are too nightmarish. Better to feel 'I shall never know.'

--Iris Murdoch

Dark purple to red to orange gradient

But there are times of suffering which remain in our lives like black absolutes and are not blotted out. Fortunate are those for whom these black stars shed some sort of light.

--Iris Murdoch

white brick wall planning

Look Moy, see the chimneys, they've lit all the fires, they must have known we were going to try to drown ourselves. And Anax is running on ahead to bring the news.

--Iris Murdoch


mountains covered with fog

We are all potentially demons to each other, but some close relationships are saved from this fate.

--Iris Murdoch

green leafed plant on clear glass vase filled with water

I will not attempt to describe how I got through the next few days. There are desolations of the spirit which can only be hinted at. I sat there huge-eyed in the wreck of myself.

--Iris Murdoch

silhouette of person wearing cowboy hat during sunset

Of course, my dear, I cannot, how could I, altogether regret what has happened.

--Iris Murdoch

shallow focus photo of green leaves

He was attentive but impersonal, and esteemed rather than loved.

--Iris Murdoch

None

But oh -- time has become such a torture, a slow torture. One tries to capture a piece of time that lies ahead and is full of light ... but thinking about that just makes this awful black time even blacker.

--Iris Murdoch

sunset

Theo wanted to call him back. But then he thought, oh let him go, there's no mending a fruitless love, it just has to be endured.

--Iris Murdoch


blue and white water surface

This is an age of demons and amoral angels and all sorts of deep fears, like the first centuries of the Christian era, it's an age of extreme solutions.

--Iris Murdoch

three women sitting on rock near body of water

I see myself as Rhoda, not Mary Tyler Moore.

--Iris Murdoch

brown and grey trees and rock formation painting

He was extremely angry with Bellamy who had, when Clement needed him, refused to be with him.

--Iris Murdoch

calm ocean

If at that moment Clement had caught sight of the dog and had managed to capture him, the fates of a number of people in this story would have been entirely different. Such is the vast play of chance in human lives.

--Iris Murdoch

silhouette photography of wavy ocean

Art and psychoanalysis give shape and meaning to life and that is why we adore them, but life as it is lived has no shape and meaning, and that is what I am experiencing just now.

--Iris Murdoch

couple sitting on the field facing the city

I did love her in a way, but it was under the sign of doom.

--Iris Murdoch

black, purple, and orange basketball court beside concrete buildings at daytime

Of course reading and thinking are important but, my God, food is important too.

--Iris Murdoch

yellow sunflowers

How could two such different worlds co-exist, how could they communicate?

--Iris Murdoch

sunflower with sunglasses under blue sky during daytime

Little pictures out of hell.

--Iris Murdoch

green tree under blue sky during night time

One's capacity to forget absolutely is immense.

--Iris Murdoch

green grass field with smoke

Most of our love is shabby stuff, but there is always a thin line of gold, the bit of pure love on which all the rest depends -- and which redeems all the rest.

--Iris Murdoch

view of mountaintops with clouds

Are we not somehow compelled by love? I shall not let one day pass without giving you the assurance of mine. Surely there is a future for us together. I am yours yours yours.

--Iris Murdoch

purple textile in close up photography

He had lived throughout upon magic, upon romantic love in its fullest sense, and this magic, now that she was gone, seemed sometimes likely to kill him.

--Iris Murdoch


rocky mountain

Anyway, as you say, what the hell. I know, I've been to hell, I've seen it, I've been shown round. I'll kill myself. You'll see, you'll be sorry.

--Iris Murdoch

cosmic view during night time

In the torpor of the afternoon the remembered road had the slightly menacing and elusive familiarity of a place in a dream when one thinks: I have been here, yet where is it and what is going to happen?

--Iris Murdoch


red yellow and blue paint

Come in, defeat, come in and make yourself at home.

--Iris Murdoch


closeup photography of wall

He lay on his back listening to his mother's quiet snoring and thinking how increasingly awful his life was becoming. It was as if he were being squeezed out of the world.

--Iris Murdoch

yellow flower field near bare trees during daytime

Of what value after all is a power which one could never use, or at any rate did not know how to use?

--Iris Murdoch

orange moon during nighttime

Perhaps one could not live with such knowledge. One might die for it, or of it.

--Iris Murdoch


purple and green light digital wallpaper

There was a shadowy light, not exactly twilight, but an uncertain vivid yet hazy illumination, wherein people walked like spirits, bathed in light and not revealed.

--Iris Murdoch


closeup photo of orange petaled flowers

I'm being led -- on some dark way.

--Iris Murdoch


time lapse photography body of water

Only take someone's hand in a certain way, even look into their eyes in a certain way, and the world is changed forever.

--Iris Murdoch


milky way wallpaper

Lately Louise had decided to give up wearing make-up altogether, but had not yet acted upon the decision.

--Iris Murdoch



green leafed trees

She thought, I am becoming a recluse. Yes, that's it, that is the way.

--Iris Murdoch

houses and trees during nighttime

I told you I was going to retire from the world. That's still on. You remember that.

--Iris Murdoch

rock formation under starry skies

And she looked at her life and seemed to understand it and to grieve over it as if it were already over.

--Iris Murdoch


woman standing on forest

He thought about the future and it was a vibrating darkness. He felt fear.

--Iris Murdoch

bird on pier

The absolute yearning of one human body for another particular body and its indifference to substitutes is one of life's major mysteries.

--Iris Murdoch

brown textile

The human soul is not framed for continued proximity, and the result of this enforced neighbourhood is often an appalling loneliness for which the rules of the game forbid assuagement.

--Iris Murdoch

sunset over hill

I know people can be awful dooms for each other.

--Iris Murdoch

moon near mountain ridge

We think with our body, with its yearnings and its shrinkings and its ghostly walkings.

--Iris Murdoch

None

Moreover, and of course, she loved him; but in Sefton's stern code her love had always been chained up, and howled fruitlessly, as indeed it did now.

--Iris Murdoch

forest and body of water

Falling out of love is very enlightening; for a short while you see the world with new eyes.

--Iris Murdoch

black mountain under blue sky during night time

Charles, don't destroy yourself," said James. "Why are you always so intent on breaking everything that surrounds and supports you?

--Iris Murdoch

None

She had never been filled with her love like a calm brimming vessel. She had rather suffered it, as a tree might suffer a cold wind, and the image of a coldness was somehow mingled with her memories of marital love.

--Iris Murdoch


sunset

Literature could be said to be a sort of disciplined technique for arousing certain emotions.

--Iris Murdoch

selective focus photo of brown guitar on white pillow

Between saying and doing, many a pair of shoes is worn out.

--Iris Murdoch

red rose

That love all belonged to the elapsed moment.

--Iris Murdoch

time lapse photography of fire

There is nothing like the bootless solitude of those who are caged together.

--Iris Murdoch


body of water

And now in her deep heart an even sharper pain was stirring, a pain which would stay with her always.

--Iris Murdoch

snow covered mountain under blue sky during daytime

Some inner organ would give way, her heart would literally break, if she did not see him soon.

--Iris Murdoch

man standing outdoors

Let me sleep at last. I've had misery enough in my life. You said there was nowhere to go to. There is death to go to. I've had misery enough in my life.

--Iris Murdoch

None

There are eternal bonds which are made in registry offices and in churches, there are eternal bonds which are made in other and stranger and more terrible ways.

--Iris Murdoch



brown mountain

Darkness was staining all the intricate channels of what had once seemed so perfect.

--Iris Murdoch


white brick wall planning

The room had the rather sinister tedium which some bedrooms have, a sort of weary banality which is a reminder of death. A dressing table can be a terrible thing.

--Iris Murdoch

green leafed tree on snowfield under white cloudy sky at daytime

No one, thank God, has attempted to befriend me.

--Iris Murdoch

yellow green leaf

She was a part, an evidence, of some pure uncracked unfissured confidence in the good which was never there for me again.

--Iris Murdoch

couple kissing under gray clouds

Every book is the wreck of a perfect idea.

--Iris Murdoch

brown and grey trees and rock formation painting

You get so worked up and flowery! You sound as if you were quoting something all the time!

--Iris Murdoch

fine trees waving

He wished he was not always young again in his dreams, it made waking up so sad.

--Iris Murdoch


person wearing black top

Sometimes I feel I am crammed with demons.

--Iris Murdoch


person holding sunflower

It is necessary at this point to recount what actually occurred, as opposed to what was generally supposed to have occurred, on that terrible evening when Lucas killed a man.

--Iris Murdoch


person wearing black top

She lived in private with her own horror.

--Iris Murdoch

pair of white lace-up shoes

I have battered destructively and in vain upon the mystery of someone else's life and must cease at last.

--Iris Murdoch

crescent moon above mountain

The place was still there, present in the sunshine, instead of being hidden far away in darkness in the confines of some tragic opera.

--Iris Murdoch



black portable vinyl records

Most real relationships are involuntary.

--Iris Murdoch

sun

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.

--Iris Murdoch

closeup photo of bird beside purple petal flowers

Perhaps he has realised now that he's trapped here and has to suffer with us and become mortal and die.

--Iris Murdoch

silhouette of elephant on brown sand during sunset

A childhood hatred, like a childhood love, can last a lifetime.

--Iris Murdoch

white wooden table near brown chair

But she felt that she had to see him or she would die.

--Iris Murdoch

blue, yellow, and brown wall decor

True love gallops, it flies, it is the swiftest of all modes of thought, swifter even than hate and fear.

--Iris Murdoch



sunset

In a happy marriage there is a continuous dense magnetic sense of communication.

--Iris Murdoch

sunset

The theatre is a tragic place, full of endings and partings and heartbreak.

--Iris Murdoch

yellow flower field near mountain during daytime

Happiness must exist. It can't all be made of pain. But what is happiness made of?

--Iris Murdoch

body of water

The new world, he thought, the new life, and how sad it is. I suppose I should be congratulating myself, it may even be that later I shall look back on this as heaven.

--Iris Murdoch


blue and white painted wall

I've been so unhappy for years, so unhappy ... I don't understand how a human being can be so unhappy all the time and still be alive.

--Iris Murdoch

black and white giraffe on brown grass field

And even in those seconds, and even as I wondered with anguish whether I would ever see her again, I lived with her in some angelic timeless world of quiet communication and absolute understanding.

--Iris Murdoch

aerial's photo of metropolitan during night time\

How much harm, eddying outward in fateful circles, Clement was beginning to foresee.

--Iris Murdoch

women's black and pink monokini

On this planet ... many things are 'the rule' which are thoroughly evil and pernicious.

--Iris Murdoch

gray and white concrete floor

We are not isolated free choosers, monarchs of all we survey, but benighted creatures sunk in a reality whose nature we are constantly and overwhelmingly tempted to deform by fantasy.

--Iris Murdoch

green plants beside brown wooden door

Only love has clear vision. Hatred has cloudy vision. When we hate we know not what we do.

--Iris Murdoch

green lizard

No good would come of all these fine intentions.

--Iris Murdoch

leafless tree on snow covered ground

There is a time limit to how long a spirited young person can be kept in cold storage.

--Iris Murdoch

low-angle photo of white daisy

What was to change many lives happened, and happened very fast in the next moments.

--Iris Murdoch


green and brown mountains under blue sky during daytime

I am just a past with no present.

--Iris Murdoch

yellow green leaf

I think being a woman is like being Irish. Everyone says you're important and nice, but you take second place all the same.

--Iris Murdoch

green and white bird on black wire during daytime

You can't magic yourself out of the situation, you've got to live it as decently and as grimly as you can.

--Iris Murdoch

man riding on boat on body of water

I daresay anything can be made holy by being sincerely worshipped.

--Iris Murdoch

brown textile

You're such an agonizer, Bradley. You romanticize art. You're a masochist about it, you want to suffer, you want to feel that your inability to create is continuously significant.

--Iris Murdoch

white boat on sea under white sky during daytime

He looked so sad. I never saw him look sad before, he was always so superior, everywhere the king. You once called him a god from elsewhere who had lost his way.

--Iris Murdoch


silhouette of person wearing cowboy hat during sunset

He was capable of hurting Ludens even to the point sometimes of deliberate malice.

--Iris Murdoch

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