Aldous Huxley: A Quest for Values

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Transaction Publishers - 230 sivua
In the moral vacuum and world of shifting values following World War I, Aldous Huxley was both a sensitive reflector and an articulate catalyst. This work provides a highly illuminating analysis of Huxley's evolution from skeptic to mystic. As Milton Birnbaum shows, in a perceptive interpretation of Huxley's poetry, fiction, essays and biographies--what evolved in Huxley's moral and intellectual pilgrimage was not so much a change in direction as a shift in emphasis. Even in the sardonic Huxley of the 1920s and 1930s, there is a moral concern. In the later Huxley, there are traces of the satirical skepticism which delighted his readers in the decades preceding World War II.

A man of letters, a keen observer, seeker of new ways while profoundly knowledgeable in the truths of ancient wisdom, Huxley tried to achieve a symbiotic synthesis of the best of all worlds. In clarifying and interpreting Huxley's intellectual, moral, and philosophical development, Birnbaum touches upon all the subjects that came under the scrutiny of a singularly encyclopedic mind.

This book is of great worth to those interested both in Huxley the brilliant satirist and in Huxley the seeker of salvation. In his search, Huxley typified the modern quest for values. Milton Birnbaum's study is an invaluable guide in that journey. His new introduction takes account of research and analysis of Huxley that has occurred since this book's original publication.

Milton Birnbaum is the retired Dean of the School of Arts and Sciences and professor of English at American International College. He has contributed articles on English and American literature to many journals and has published satiric articles in The Chronicle of Higher Education under the logo of "Higher Education, Eh?'"

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huxleys heritage and environment
13
the nature of reality
27
HUXLEYS CHARACTER TYPES
43
EDUCATION
89
THE SOCIETAL SELF
99
LOVE AND NATURE
119
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
139
CONCLUSIONS
175
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Sivu 25 - My great religion is a belief in the blood, the flesh as being wiser than the intellect. We can go wrong in our minds. But what our blood feels and believes and says, is always true.
Sivu 73 - The remotest discoveries of the Chemist, the Botanist, or Mineralogist, will be as proper objects of the Poet's art as any upon which it can be employed, if the time should ever come when these things shall be familiar to us, and the relations under which they are contemplated by the followers of these respective sciences shall be manifestly and palpably material to us as enjoying and suffering beings.
Sivu xiv - Turning and turning in the widening gyre The falcon cannot hear the falconer; Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold; Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world, The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere The ceremony of innocence is drowned; The best lack all conviction, while the worst Are full of passionate intensity.
Sivu 25 - Welcome, O life ! I go to encounter for the millionth time the reality of experience and to forge in the smithy of my soul the uncreated conscience of my race.
Sivu 99 - A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines. With consistency a great soul has simply nothing to do.
Sivu 9 - A novelist modulates by reduplicating situations and characters. He shows several people falling in love,' or dying, or praying in different ways — dissimilars solving the same problem. Or, vice versa, similar people confronted with dissimilar problems. In this way you can modulate through all the aspects of your theme, you can write variations in any number of different moods.
Sivu 132 - ... wiles, Praise, blame, love, kisses, tears, and smiles. And now I see with eye serene The very pulse of the machine; A Being breathing thoughtful breath, A Traveller between life and death; The reason firm, the temperate will, Endurance, foresight, strength, and skill; A perfect Woman, nobly planned, To warn, to comfort, and command; And yet a Spirit still, and bright With something of angelic light.
Sivu 133 - The eye sinks inward, and the heart lies plain, And what we mean, we say, and what we would, we know. A man becomes aware of his life's flow And hears its winding murmur, and he sees The meadows where it glides, the sun, the breeze.
Sivu xvi - We must not live thoughtlessly, taking our illusion for the complete reality, but at the same time we must not live too thoughtfully in the sense of trying to escape from the dream state. We must continually be on our watch for ways in which we may enlarge our consciousness. We must not attempt to live outside the world, which is given us, but we must somehow learn how to transform it and transfigure it./. Too much 'wisdom' is as bad as too little wisdom, and there must be no magic tricks.
Sivu 71 - The facts and even the peculiar jargon of science can be of great service to the writer whose intention is mainly ironical. Juxtapose two accounts of the same human event, one in terms of pure science, the other in terms of religion, aesthetics, passion, even common sense: their discord will set up the most disquieting reverberations in the mind.

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