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The Judicial ImaginationWriting After Nuremberg$
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Lyndsey Stonebridge

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780748642359

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748642359.001.0001

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The ‘Dark Background of Difference’: Love and the Refugee in Iris Murdoch

The ‘Dark Background of Difference’: Love and the Refugee in Iris Murdoch

(p.141) Chapter 6 The ‘Dark Background of Difference’: Love and the Refugee in Iris Murdoch
The Judicial Imagination

Lyndsey Stonebridge

Edinburgh University Press

Iris Murdoch worked in the UNRRA camps, and her early novels are crowded with exiles, refugees and displaced persons. It is suggested that Murdoch's early writings are an attempt to grasp the elusive figure that appears inbetween the withdrawal and the granting of rights: the refugee or displaced person, or, as Murdoch would probably put it, the human individual. The refugee in Murdoch's writing becomes not only a limit concept of political, juridical and speaking life, but of fiction too, and of the very possibility of a moral novel-writing. This chapter turns its attention to literary ethics in Murdoch through The Flight from the Enchanter. Where Murdoch's love ultimately depends on the unpredictable hazards of the liberal self, Franz Baermann Steiner's ethics are those of the ritual and taboo that were his subjects of study and his grounds for belief.

Keywords:   love, refugee, Iris Murdoch, literary ethics, Flight from Enchanter, Franz Baermann Steiner

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