The Black Prince is structured as Pearson’s apologia to his editor and friend P.A. Loxias. This allows Murdoch to address an audience directly, pausing for philosophical musings, without engaging in the post-modern trick of acknowledging the reader. Loxias and Pearson both write forewords to the main text. Pearson and four other characters offer competing postscripts. Two deny Loxias’s existence. This fulfills early premonitions about Pearson’s unreliability as a narrator. The first significant piece of dialogue shifts “I may have just killed my wife” to “I may have just killed Rachel” in the first twenty pages. Similar inconsistencies arise throughout. Editor's Foreword
The novel opens with a two-page foreword by the editor, P. Loxias. Loxias is responsible for bringing the book to publication, although he met the author after the events dramatized. He says that the text deals with man's creative struggle for wisdom and truth in art. For this reason, Loxias remarks, it is a love story. Bradley Pearson's Foreword
Bradley Pearson introduces his novel by saying that the events in it took place a few years before, when he was fifty-eight. After having written three books, two novels and a book of "Pensees" or philosophical thoughts, he had decided to quit his lifelong job as a tax inspector in order to create a master novel. Unfortunately even with copious amounts of time, he found himself struck by writer's block. For this reason, he rented a cottage on the English coast for the summer, an action that just precedes the narrative of his tale. Bradley further explains that he will tell his story in a "modern" chronological manner, and that good art, which he is trying to create, represents a form of truth. He dedicates his novel to an unnamed person who has inspired him towards creation. The novel can be read as an engagement with Greek philosophy’s greats. Murdoch was a Plato scholar and Goldstein suggests the text can be understood as a reflection on Plato’s...
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