August 19, 2005

Murdoch's Prose

It's eerie to the point of painful (given the type of death she would experience) to read the following passage from Iris Murdoch, who died after a struggle with Alzheimer's (from her novel "Bruno's Dream"):

"Philosophers say we own our own deaths. I don't think so. Death contradicts ownership and self."
Other excerpts:
"Do you think one must worship something?"
"Yes. But real worship involves waiting. If you wait He comes, He finds you."
Do you know, Nigel, that there is a spider called Amaurobius, which lives in a burrow and has its young in the late summer, and then it dies when the frosts begin, and the young spiders live through the cold by eating their mother's dead body. One can't believe that's an accident. I don't know that I imagined God as having thought it all out, but somehow He was connected with the pattern, He was the pattern...
Inside the railings the uncut grass made the cemetery look like a field, or more like a ruined city with its formal yet grassy streets and squares: Ostia, Pompeii, Mycenae.

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