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.