Falska Suns (2014)
“The impulse to worship is deep and ambiguous and old. There are false suns, easier to gaze upon and far more comforting than the true one.” [i]
Worshipping false suns might not be gender specific, but Iris Murdoch’s quote from The Sovereignty of Good sets out a significant Murdochian barrier to virtue, which can be interpreted as a warning. At the same time, Falska Suns sets out to articulate something about language itself as a barrier to virtue; the very great potential for misreading our inner and outer dialogues in relation to matters of a moral nature.
Falska Suns came about after the serendipitous purchase of a spot lamp from Ikea, complete with universal safety warning booklet. Using Google Translate, Iris Murdoch’s universally applicable warning was translated through 29 different languages, and ‘False Suns’ into Swedish.
There may have been something considered virtuous in attempting to translate the text by means other than using Google Translate. However, the only concession to virtue in the translation process was, ironically, having to identify the word ‘difficult’ in each of the languages which is italicised in the original version.
[i] Murdoch, I., (1970) The Sovereignty of Good, London: Routledge & Kegan Paul Ltd