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 Brave New World by Aldous Huxley. London. 1932. Chatto & Windus. 306 pages.

 

Aldous Huxley's amazingly prescient novel of a future distopia.

 

brave new worldFROM THE PUBLISHER -

 

   In his new novel Mr. Huxley does for the world of tomorrow what he has already done so successfully in POINT COUNTER POINT for the world of today. Abandoning his mordant criticism of modern men and morals he takes a leap into the future and shows us life as he conceives it may be some thousands of years hence. It is usual for human beings to suppose that, whatever the immediate outlook may be, ultimately all will be for the best in the best of all possible worlds. The philosophers and scientists have encouraged this belief. Mr. Huxley, however, with irrepressible wit and raillery, shows us that there is another side to the coin and warns us against being too optimistic. In a world of auto-gyros, synthetic babies and 'Feelie' Palaces there is much to disquiet and amuse a citizen of our primitive twentieth century. There is also unique opportunity for a fresh display of Mr. Huxley's gaiety and commonsense.

 

FROM THE PENGUIN MODERN CLASSIC EDITION - This fantasy of the future is one of Aldous Huxley's best-known books. Its impact on the modern world has been considerable. Abandoning his mordant criticism of modern men and morals, the author switches to the future and shows us life as he conceives it may be some thousands of years hence. Written in the thirties when - whatever the immediate outlook may have been - people believed that ultimately all would be for the best in the bet of all possible worlds, this novel is a warning against such optimism. With irrepressible wit and raillery, Huxley satirizes the idea of progress put forward by the scientists and philosophers; and his world of test-tube babies and 'feelies' is uncomfortably closer now than it was when the book was first published.

 

 

Huxley Aldous Aldous Huxley was born on 26th July 1894 near Godalming, Surrey. He began writing poetry and short stories in his early twenties, but it was his first novel, CROME YELLOW (1921), which established his literary reputation. This was swiftly followed by ANTIC HAY (1923), THOSE BARREN LEAVES (1925) and POINT COUNTER POINT (1928) - bright, brilliant satires in which Huxley wittily but ruthlessly passed judgment on the shortcomings of contemporary society. For most of the 1920s Huxley lived in Italy and an account of his experiences there can be found in ALONG THE ROAD (1925). The great novels of ideas, including his most famous work BRAVE NEW WORLD (published in 1932 this warned against the dehumanizing aspects of scientific and material 'progress') and the pacifist novel EYELESS IN GAZA (1936) were accompanied by a series of wise and brilliant essays, collected in volume form under titles such as MUSIC AT NIGHT (1931) and ENDS AND MEANS (1937). In 1937, at the height of his fame, Huxley left Europe to live in California, working for a time as a screenwriter in Hollywood. As the West braced itself for war, Huxley came increasingly to believe that the key to solving the world's problems lay in changing the individual through mystical enlightenment. The exploration of the inner life through mysticism and hallucinogenic drugs was to dominate his work for the rest of his life. His beliefs found expression in both fiction (TIME MUST HAVE A STOP, 1944 and ISLAND, 1962) and non-fiction (THE PERENNIAL PHILOSOPHY, 1945, GREY EMINENCE, 1941 and the famous account of his first mescalin experience, THE DOORS OF PERCEPTION, 1954. Huxley died in California on 22nd November 1963.

 


 

 

 


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