Iris Murdoch: Under the Net

(1062 words)
  • Cheryl Bove (Independent Scholar - North America)

Iris Murdoch's first published novel, Under the Net, presents the picaresque adventures of Jake Donaghue, a feckless failed artist who guides the reader on pub crawls through London's City district and Paris's Left Bank while he searches for love and meaning in his life. The novel is dedicated to French novelist Raymond Queneau, and Murdoch has admitted his and Samuel Beckett's influence in this work: “I was copying them as hard as I could!” (Rencontres avec Iris Murdoch, ed. Jean-Louis Chevalier, 1978). Yet this is her only clearly derivative and existential novel; she never repeats this pattern in her later works. While lacking the complexity and strengths of her mature novels, Under the Net nevertheless has …

Please log in to consult the article in its entirety. If you are a member (student of staff) of a subscribing institution (see List), you should be able to access the LE on campus directly (without the need to log in), and off-campus either via the institutional log in we offer, or via your institution's remote access facilities, or by creating a personal user account with your institutional email address. If you are not a member of a subscribing institution, you will need to purchase a personal subscription. For more information on how to subscribe as an individual user, please see under Individual Subcriptions.

Bove, Cheryl. "Under the Net". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 18 July 2002
[, accessed 26 September 2016.]