Jesus God how I want to write. I want to write a long long and exceedingly obscure novel objectifying the queer conflicts I find within myself and observe in the characters of others. Like Proust I want to escape from the eternal push and rattle of time into the coolness and poise of a work of art. (Agreeing with Huxley for once, I think it is not what one has experienced, but what one does with what one has experienced that matters. The only possible doctrine of course for one who has experienced remarkably little of the big world!) But all this requires peace and calm and time time time which I haven’t got oh blazing hell I haven’t got it.

– Iris Murdoch, Living on Paper: Letters from Iris Murdoch, 1934-1995 (2015)

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