2 Apr

 “You love words, don’t you?” asked John. “Well, if one doesn’t have words, how does one think?” she replied.

A few weeks ago, I stumbled upon this wonderful movie – Iris -, based on the Biography written by John Bayley. Iris Murdoch was a novelist, philosopher, playwright and free-thinker who defied conformity. She lived for her words, within her words, and all her days, her life revolved around her words. During the last five years, in the end of her life, she lost all her words to Alzheimer’s. She died in 1999. She was 79. John Bayley, Literary Critic and Philosopher, who was married to this brilliant woman for 43 years, stayed by her side to the finish. Since her death, John has moved on with his life. As most people do.

During the span of 40 years, Iris wrote 26 books. The last one (Jackson‘s Dilemma), was written in the beginning throes of her disease at a time when the words she so loved had already begun to slip away. Despite the obvious descent into the loss of her cognitive mind, her final words were published in 1994.

“You love words, don’t you?” asked John. “Well, if one doesn’t have words, how does one think?” she replied.


Dame Iris Murdoch (1919-1999)
John Bayley (1925-)


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