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By Ronald T. Sion

Aldous Huxley, writer of 11 novels, continues to be one of many towering figures of the 20 th century, his paintings proof against passing fads in literature. This serious biography explores Huxley's life-long quest for self-actualization via interfacing the occasions of his existence with info of the artistic interval that produced every one e-book. The textual content weaves Huxley's letters, essays and interviews with the thematic content material of every novel, delivering a distinct check out the man's existence and paintings. of maximum significance is the depiction of someone striving for the highbrow development that might yield a legitimate philosophical and non secular view of existence, one he infused into his paintings.

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Extra resources for Aldous Huxley and the Search for Meaning: A Study of the Eleven Novels

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14 If there is no place for Denis in the Rational State, is there any place for him in the irrational milieu of Crome? Despite his painful inadequacies in matters of the heart and the fact that he was his own worst critic, Denis Stone still did see himself as above others. When he went to Piccadilly Circus, he imagined himself to be the one conscious individual among the masses. Could there actually be a world outside himself as complete as the one he experienced within? Occasionally, this outer world did come into sharp focus as when he opened Jenny’s private notebook and found a caricature of himself with Anne and Gombauld dancing in the background.

Very much the iconoclast, Huxley — at least in his novel — makes no judgment, but the outrageous juxtaposition is crafted to amuse and to fly in the face of post–Victorian sensibilities. While Huxley’s depiction may have proved amusing to the secular and offensive to the pious, it is in his unconventional and flagrant regard for matters of sexuality that the novel proved to be controversial. ” Here also is a disagreeable moment between Anne and Gombauld over matters of the flesh. Anne accuses Gombauld of the same trait she sees in all male “savages” who blame their lustful desires on the women who allure them.

Ernest Hemingway was to develop a similar theme in The Sun Also Rises, the 1926 novel that some critics regard as his finest work. Here, a lost generation of alienated expatriates wanders aimlessly through Spain. The narrator, Jake Barnes, is sexually impotent from a war wound, while other characters are symbolically impotent in their inability to achieve a purpose in life. Critics have observed a strong similarity between Myra Viveash, the socialite character in Antic Hay, and the sophisticated Bret Ashley in Hemingway’s story.

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