Iris Murdoch: Reading and writing and the preservation of language and its forms and the kind of eloquence and the kind of beauty which the language is capable of is terribly important to the human beings because this is connected to thought.
Iris Murdoch: Every human soul has seen, perhaps before their birth, pure forms such as justice, temperance, beauty and all the great moral qualities which we hold in honour. We are moved towards what is good by the faint memory of these forms, simple and calm and blessed, which we saw once in a pure, clear light, being pure ourselves.
Iris Murdoch: People have obsessions and fears and passions which they don't admit to. I think every character is interesting and has extremes. It's the novelist privilege to see how odd everyone is.
Iris Murdoch: There is only one freedom of any importance, freedom of the mind.
Iris Murdoch: We all worry about going mad, don't we? How would we know? Those of us who live in our minds, anyway. Other people would tell us. Would they John?