Erotic love both illuminates and blinds. In The Black Prince,perhaps her most insightful novel about love, Iris Murdoch shows us both facets of erotic love in operation. On the one hand, Bradley's love and the anxiety that is closely related to it blind him to many features of the people around him, as the ego so often, in Murdoch's view, obscures reality. On the other hand, love also supplies real insight, and Murdoch, closely following Plato's Phaedrus, shows how Bradley's passion for Julian forces him out of himself, enabling him to see much more than he had previously seen. I investigate the tension between these two aspects of erotic love, as the novel presents them, and examine the relationship between Murdoch's philosophical arguments about love and the complexities of her fiction.
Martha Nussbaum; “Faint with Secret Knowledge”: Love and Vision in Murdoch's The Black Prince. Poetics Today 1 December 2004; 25 (4): 689–710. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/03335372-25-4-689
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