Publication details

The Reception of Iris Murdoch's Work by Czech Readers and Academia



Year of publication 2019
Type Appeared in Conference without Proceedings
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Arts

Description Iris Murdoch was first introduced to the Czech reading public (Czechoslovakian back then) only in 1968, with the translation of Under the Net, fourteen years after its publication. This delay can imply that her reception has not been always smooth but rather problematic. Out of her 26 novels, only five have been translated and the last one —A Severed Head (1961)— in 2005. Only one philosophical essay, “Against Dryness”, was translated in 1992. During the Communist regime, only two of her novels were translated (The Sandcastle and Under the Net), while the other three (Something Special, The Bell and The Severed Head) only after 2000. The question is why has been such a worldwide recognized writer neglected in former Czechoslovakia and later in the Czech Republic? This presentation will try to look into some possible reasons such as the influence of Czech academia that has not always given favourable judgments on Murdoch’s work, the political and religious motives will be discussed and last but not least whether the quality of the translations are to be blamed.
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