About the Book
Cartography for Girls, An A - Z of Orientations identified within the Novels of Iris Murdoch, attempts to identify and to map, without hierarchy, all of the experiences of female consciousness in all of Iris Murdoch’s 26 novels, originally published between 1954 and 1995.
Whilst there are many ways of thinking about what might constitute female experience, in this instance, and responding to the author’s warnings about the dangers of classification, the strategy used to compile Cartography for Girls was to apply Iris Murdoch’s philosophical thinking to her particular fictional depictions of female experience.
These experiences relate to love, a major focus of Dame Iris’s work, and for whom truth and love are very much connected. In Metaphysics as a Guide to Morals (1992), she describes loving as “an orientation, a direction of energy, not just a state of mind.” Individual consciousness, she tells us, is ultimately truth seeking, therefore “what we attend to, how we attend and whether we attend” is an integral part of moral activity. Whilst the author clarifies that not all states of consciousness are evaluating (or can be evaluated), it is the thoughts of her female characters that have been collated as ‘orientations’ in Cartography for Girls.
The cost of the book is the cost of production, and no profit will be made by the artist.
I am a visual artist based in the North East of England. I use film, found objects, installation and text in attempts to engage with the discourses of literature and literary criticism. A lot of my work is driven by an interest in taxonomies and systems of classification. Applying classification systems to existing bodies of work can generate both illuminations and absurdities - for me this includes strategies associated with conceptual art and conceptual writing such as listing, procedure and chance. I am interested in what this approach may offer to the critical debate surrounding particular aspects of particular authors’ work.