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The plot thins

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In The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie by Muriel Spark, the heroine teaches in Edinburgh in the 1930s. She has a special set of favourites amongst her pupils, loves one-armed Roman Catholic art teacher and WW1 veteran Teddy Lloyd, and sympathises with Mussolini. A member of her set, Sandy, eventually sleeps with Lloyd and then becomes a nun, writing a book called The Transfiguration of the Commonplace.    What else is true in this novel? Is Venezuela the world’s leading oil exporter? Is the Indian Scout motorcycle produced in Springfield, Massachusetts? Is my father living in Chelmsford? And is it true that around 40 years later, Arthur Danto will write a work of philosophy called The Transfiguration of the Commonplace, named after Sandy’s book? After all, these are all things that were also true in the actual world, at the time when the book is set.  The right answer here is that these facts are not relevant to Spark’s novel and shouldn’t be counted as true in it. Facts that are relevant. . .

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News source: OUPblog » Philosophy

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