Cartography for Girls_front cover

An A – Z of Orientations identified within the Novels of Iris Murdoch

Carol Sommer

Price £16.19 (ex.VAT) +pp
ISBN 9781907468254
Year 2016
Edition print on demand
Pages 464
Binding softback
Illustration text only
Dimensions 130 x 200 mm

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This book attempts to identify and map, without hierarchy, all of the experiences of female consciousness depicted in all of Iris Murdoch’s 26 novels, which were originally published between 1954 and 1995.

Whilst there are many ways of thinking about what might constitute female experience, Sommer borrows and reflects Murdoch’s own philosophical thinking and the latter’s warnings about the dangers of classification. Using the indexical, abecadarian logic of the Geographer’s A-Z Street Atlas – another British institution – Cartography for Girls charts the strong connections between truth and love through nothing but direct quotation.

In Metaphysics as a Guide to Morals (1992), Murdoch describes loving as “an orientation, a direction of energy, not just a state of mind.” Individual consciousness, she tells us, is ultimately truth seeking, therefore “what we attend to, how we attend and whether we attend” is an integral part of moral activity. Whilst Murdoch clarifies that not all states of consciousness are evaluating (or can be evaluated), it is the thoughts of her fictional female characters that Sommer has collated as ‘orientations’ in Cartography for Girls.

The cost of the book is the cost of production. No profit will be made by the artist.

Cartography for Girls

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