Iris Murdoch Quotes

Most popular Iris Murdoch Quotes

Youth is a marvelous garment.


The cry of equality pulls everyone down.
— Iris Murdoch


Every book is the wreck of a perfect idea.


Remember that all our failures are ultimately failures in love.


Another person's illness is often harder to bear than one's own.


I daresay anything can be made holy by being sincerely worshipped.
— Iris Murdoch


All art is the struggle to be, in a particular sort of way, virtuous.


Bereavement is a darkness impenetrable to the imagination of the unbereaved.
One doesn't have to get anywhere in a marriage.  It's not a public conveyance.


Mankind's creative struggle, our search for wisdom and truth, is a love story.
— Iris Murdoch
In philosophy if you aren't moving at a snail's pace you aren't moving at all.


Every artist is an unhappy lover.  And unhappy lovers want to tell their story.


To be understood is not a human right.  Even to understand oneself is not a human right.

understanding others

We live in a fantasy world, a world of illusion. The great task in life is to find reality.
— Iris Murdoch
Art is the final cunning of the human soul which would rather do anything than face the gods.


There is no substitute for the comfort supplied by the utterly taken-for-granted relationship.


They are universal places, like churches, hallowed meeting places of all mankind, and each one is different.
As the world runs, evil soon makes tools out of those who don't hate it.  Hatred [of evil] is our best protection.


People from a planet without flowers would think we must be mad with joy the whole time to have such things about us.


Remember that the secret of all learning is patience and that curiosity is not the same thing as a thirst for knowledge.


Jealousy is the most dreadfully involuntary of all sins.  It is at once one of the  ugliest and one of the most pardonable.


The absolute yearning of one human body for another particular body and its indifference to substitutes is one of life's major mysteries.
— Iris Murdoch
The sin of pride may be a small or a great thing in someone's life, and hurt vanity a passing pinprick or a self-destroying or even murderous obsession. Possibly, more people kill themselves and others out of hurt vanity than out of envy, jealousy, malice or desire for revenge.

pride vanity