Love is the difficult realization that something other than oneself is real.
– Iris Murdoch
Honestly, the only novel by Murdoch that I’ve read has been The Unicorn, which I remember liking, because it was all Gothic and philosophical, set in a big English manor somewhere in an English countryside, with strange characters who were a little touched, but I have never plunged into the Murdoch oeuvre. Whenever I look at her books, I get the sense that they’re very dry and dusty, though very intelligent. I’d like to keep the intelligent but get rid of at least the dryness. I think that’s what I did like about The Unicorn, but I haven’t managed to move on to any others. But then I come across quotes like this from Murdoch, and they make me want to look into her books again. If there are any real Murdoch fans out there reading this, send me honest to goodness suggestions as to which of her books I really should read. I still can’t imagine myself ripping through all of her work, but I would read another Murdoch novel if I had it on good authority that one or two of them are absolute must-reads.
It’s spring, or so it seems for the moment, and my inner English novelist is calling for a good cup of tea and a desire to read about vicars and rummage sales. Early spring seems to always do this to me. And I’m fresh out of A.S. Byatt. I did read through all of her books a long time ago.