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Adventures in Writing, Reading & Book Culture

Iris Murdoch’s wordplay

If you haven’t read Iris Murdoch lately, I recommend “The Black Prince” … truly a wonderful farce that carries you from the first line to the last gasp of its twist-turn ending.


october 8, 2011

‘Bradley, I read such an extraordinary theory about the sonnets –’

“Be silent. So Shakespeare is at this most cryptic when he is talking about himself. How is it that Hamlet is the most famous and accessible of his plays?’

‘But people argue about that too.’

‘Yes, but nevertheless it is the best known work of literature in the world. Indian peasants, Australian lumberjacks, Argentine ranchers, Norwegian sailors, members of the Red Army, Americans, all the most remote and brutish specimens of mankind have heard of Hamlet.’

– Iris Murdoch, “The Black Prince”

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