Not exactly nostalgic

The UK Times runs an excerpt from Elias Canetti’s vicious attack on Iris Murdoch (his former lover) and her writing.

You could call Iris Murdoch the bubbling Oxford stewpot. Everything I despise about English life is in her. You could imagine her speaking incessantly, as a tutor, and incessantly listening: in the pub, in bed, in conversation with her male or female lovers. I can’t take her seriously any more. That’s to do with the fact that I’ve known her so well. I know how she came about, she assembled herself practically before my eyes, a kind of all-in-one parasite from Oxford, itself an — attractive — excrescence of humanity.

Murdoch’s The Sea, The Sea, a tremendous novel, won the Booker prize in 1978.


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