Iris Murdoch Love Quotes and Sayings
#1 The Bell
1. God can always show us, if we will, a higher and a better way; and we can only learn to love by loving. Remember that all our failures are ultimately failures in love. Imperfect love must not be condemned and rejected, but made perfect. The way is always forward, never back.
2. Falling out of love is chiefly a matter of forgetting how charming someone is.
#3 The Sublime and the Good, in the Chicago Review, Vol. 13 Issue 3, Autumn 1959
3. Love is the extremely difficult realisation that something other than oneself is real. Love, and so art and morals, is the discovery of reality.
4. Loving is an orientation, a direction of energy, not just a state of mind.
#5 The Nice And The Good
5. A love without reservation ought to be a life force compelling the world into order and beauty. But that love can be so strong and yet so entirely powerless is what breaks the heart.
#6 An Unofficial Rose
6. Goodness accepts the contingent. Love accepts the contingent. Nothing is more fatal to love than to want everything to have form.
Excerpt from Wikipedia: Dame Iris Murdoch (15 July 1919 – 8 February 1999) was an Irish author and philosopher, best known for her novels about sexual relationships, morality, and the power of the unconscious. Her first published novel, Under the Net, was selected in 2001 by the editorial board of the American Modern Library as one of the 100 best English-language novels of the 20th century. In 1987, she was made a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire.
Sayings by Iris Murdoch
#1 The Nice and the Good, 1968
1. Happiness is a matter of one’s most ordinary everyday mode of consciousness being busy and lively and unconcerned with self. To be damned is for one’s ordinary everyday mode of consciousness to be unremitting agonising preoccupation with self.
#2 A Fairly Honourable Defeat, 1970
2. People from a planet without flowers would think we must be mad with joy the whole time to have such things about us.
#3 The Black Prince
3. The absolute yearning of one human body for another particular one and its indifference to substitutes is one of life’s major mysteries.
#4 Profiles Iris Murdoch Crusading in a Fantasy World, Billington, Rachel, The Times (London), 25 April 1983
4. I believe we live in a fantasy world, a world of illusion. And the great task in life is to find reality.
5. One of the secrets of a happy life is continuous small treats, and if some of these can be inexpensive and quickly procured so much the better.
6. Dogs, like humans, can be disturbed forever by an unhappy childhood.
#7 The Bell, 1958
7. The chief requirement of the good life is that one should have some conception of one’s capacities. One must know oneself sufficiently to know what is the next thing. One must study carefully how best to use such strength as one has.
8. I think being a woman is like being Irish. Everyone says you’re important and nice, but you take second place all the same.
#9 Sartre: Romantic Rationalist, 1953
9. We know that the real lesson to be taught is that the human person is precious and unique; but we seem unable to set it forth except in terms of ideology and abstraction.
#10 BRANS, JO, and Iris Murdoch. “Virtuous Dogs and a Unicorn: An Interview with Iris Murdoch.” Southwest Review, vol. 70, no. 1, 1985, pp. 43–54
10. I think that goodness at every level of sophistication demands the ability to face life and be truthful, and the ability to be honest and faithful and loving, and the ability to give help.
#11 An Accidental Man
11. One shouldn’t dream too much about other people’s destinies, even if they are one’s children.