A. S. Byatt: Degrees of Freedom

(1193 words)
  • Emma Victoria Miller (University of Durham)

Degrees of Freedom was the first book length critical work on the fiction of Iris Murdoch when it was published in 1965; it considers the first eight novels of her oeuvre. The title and the central premise of the work were taken from Murdoch’s article “Against Dryness” (1961). However, to have previously read and understood Murdoch’s essay is not entirely necessary to reading and understanding Byatt’s commentary, especially as the introduction to Byatt’s work explores Murdoch’s views in “Against Dryness”; indeed, Byatt’s approach is eminently accessible to both new readers of Iris Murdoch, as well as the more advanced student of literature. However, to know Murdoch’s purpose and how Byatt has utilised it is t…

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Miller, Emma Victoria. "Degrees of Freedom". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 01 April 2011
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=5666, accessed 30 September 2016.]