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By Ronald T. Sion

Aldous Huxley, writer of 11 novels, is still one of many towering figures of the 20th century, his paintings proof against passing fads in literature. This severe biography explores Huxley's life-long quest for self-actualization by means of interfacing the occasions of his lifestyles with info of the inventive interval that produced each one e-book. The textual content weaves Huxley's letters, essays and interviews with the thematic content material of every novel, delivering a special check out the man's existence and paintings. of extreme value is the depiction of somebody striving for the highbrow development that will yield a valid philosophical and religious view of lifestyles, one he infused into his paintings.

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30 Satyrs in Greek mythology were riotous woodland creatures whose physical features — goat’s ears, legs, and horns — indicate that they shared human and animal traits. For Huxley, the city of London was filled with satyr-like residents — a pleasure-driven social class living idle lives fulfilling little human purpose and ignoring moral responsibilities. The hero of the novel is Theodore Gumbril, who was to become the typical Huxleyan protagonist — an innocent eye through whom the reader both objectively and subjectively interacts with his world.

This general mood of alienation is strong in the novel. Early in the story, one of the cynics observes to his companion: “Does it occur to you ... ”55 On receiving no reply, the questioner taps on the pavement as if he were searching for some crack that would reveal the secret of their lives. These lives are not only alienated but also devoid of meaning. ” The lyrics are repeated by Gumbril and Viveash as they glide across the dance floor: “I am nothing to you. ” Myra confesses that she adores the tune.

40 In 1965, Eliot wrote a brief remembrance of his meetings with Huxley, first at Oxford and later at a weekend house party. Eliot candidly reveals his less than favorable response to one of Huxley’s youthful volumes of verse. Over the years, however, recognizing a kindred critic in the essayist, Eliot also admired Huxley’s skillful development of the satiric novel. 41 On the American literary scene, F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novel The Great Gatsby (1925) is a parallel story of a young man seeking his fortune against the backdrop of a dissolute, materialistic society.

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