September 7th, 2015


Murdoch's Press

A couple of weeks ago they were regularly trailing the Iris Murdoch season on BBC Radio 4, and one line in the trailer ran: "He [perhaps "she"] was the kind of person who lived for others. You could tell the others by their haunted expression." This is of course a mangled quotation from C. S. Lewis (The Screwtape Letters, if memory serves), so what was it doing in a trailer for Murdoch? It's not as if Murdoch didn't come up with some memorable thoughts and lines of her own.

If anyone happened to hear the programme in which it was actually used I'd be interested to know the context, and whether it was misattributed. (I can imagine Murdoch quoting it and then someone assuming it was her own, for example.)

For the record, I'm not sure how well Murdoch knew Lewis, though I believe she gave a paper at the Socratic club during his tenure as President.