Iris Murdoch's The Black Prince: a valorization of metafiction as a virtuous aesthetic practice

Title: Iris Murdoch's The Black Prince: a valorization of metafiction as a virtuous aesthetic practice
Source document: Brno studies in English. 2014, vol. 40, iss. 2, pp. [91]-107
  • ISSN
    0524-6881 (print)
    1805-0867 (online)
Type: Article
License: Not specified license

Notice: These citations are automatically created and might not follow citation rules properly.

Having a self-conscious narrator who is obsessed by the question of art-truth relationship, The Black Prince is the paradigm of metafiction among Iris Murdoch's works. A discourse about the problems of writing fiction, the novel actually exposes the ontological status of all literary fiction, i.e. its quasi-referentiality, its indeterminacy and its existence as a linguistic world. This paper argues that more than being a thematic concern, metafiction is the integral part of The Black Prince whose fragmented form mirrors the complexity of reality. It concludes that such a full-fledged metafictional project does not resonate with the anti-fictional convictions but aspires to validate metafiction as the perfect moral form of fiction.
[1] Bellamy, Michael O. (1977) "An Interview with Iris Murdoch". Contemporary Literature 18, 129– 140. | DOI 10.2307/1208039

[2] Bove, Cheryl Browning (1993) Understanding Iris Murdoch. Columbia: University of South Carolina Press.

[3] Hague, Angela (1984) Iris Murdoch's Comic Vision. Cranbury: Susquehanna University Press.

[4] Hornbuckle, Calley A. (2006) "Exploring Aesthetic Perception of the Real in Iris Murdoch's The Black Prince". In: Tymieniecka, Anna-Teresa (ed.). Logos of Phenomenology and Phenomenology of the Logos. Dordrecht: Springer, 221–235.

[5] Murdoch, Iris (1958) The Bell. London: Vintage.

[6] Murdoch, Iris (1973) The Black Princ. London: Chatto.

[7] Nicol, Bran (1999) Iris Murdoch: The Retrospective Fiction. New York: St. Martin's.

[8] Nussbaum, Martha Craven (2004) "'Faint with Secret Knowledge': Love and Vision in Murdoch's The Black Prince". Poetics Today 25, 689–710. | DOI 10.1215/03335372-25-4-689

[9] Rimmon-Kenan, Shlomith (2002) Narrative Fiction: Contemporary Poetics, 2nd ed. London: Routledge.

[10] Rowe, Anne (ed.) (2007) Iris Murdoch: A Reassessment. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.

[11] Scholes, Robert (1975) Structural Fabulation. Notre Dame: University of Notre Dame Press.

[12] Waugh, Patricia (1984) Metafiction: The Theory and Practice of Self-Conscious Fiction. London: Methuen.

[13] Whitehouse, J. C. (2001) "Men, Women, God, and So Forth". Logos: A Journal of Catholic Thought and Culture 4, 54–75.

[14] Wolter, Jürgen (1994) "'Novels are ... the most dangerous kind of reading': Metafictional Discourse in Early American Literature". Connotations: A Journal for Critical Debate 4, 67–82.