By Iris Murdoch
A strong novel of a family’s look for love amid the wreckage of failed relationships An Unofficial Rose is a narrative of a father and son, either upset with their lives, and either in love with anyone except their other halves. whereas the daddy, a widower, regrets by no means leaving his spouse for his mistress, the son seeks any chance to flee his boring marriage. Written with Murdoch’s masterful mix of comedy and tragedy, An Unofficial Rose is a compelling tale of affection, remorse, and the complexity of human relationships.
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And we, in the Seventies, were frequently ridiculous, too, with our Fallacies and our Seven Types (and Leavis's besieged intensity was ridiculous. H. Lawrence). Emotional egalitarianism, for example, looks hard to attack. I honour it, in a way, but it has to me the pale glow of illusion. It is Utopian, which is to say that reality cannot be expected to support it. Then, too, these 'feelings' are seldom unadulterated; they are admixtures of herd opinions and social anxieties, vanities, touchinesses, and everything else that makes up a self.
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