Iris Murdoch, Under the Net

Cheryl Bove (Independent Scholar - North America)
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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 fast-paced plot, closely detailed settings, fully developed characters, and…

1062 words

Citation: Bove, Cheryl. "Under the Net". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 18 July 2002 [, accessed 12 June 2024.]

8546 Under the Net 3 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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