Get Aldous Huxley and the Mysticism of Science PDF

By June Deery (auth.)

ISBN-10: 0230375057

ISBN-13: 9780230375055

ISBN-10: 0312159838

ISBN-13: 9780312159832

ISBN-10: 1349394823

ISBN-13: 9781349394821

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Extra resources for Aldous Huxley and the Mysticism of Science

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Huxley challenged the artist to make science relevant and in his own texts often used the traditional literary feature of figurative language to fold science into nonscientific contexts. His tropes draw on physics, chemistry, biology, optics, psychology, philosophy of science, as well as various forms of technology. Some are clever and to the point, others more forced and awkward. A couple of favourite images are repeated throughout Huxley's works, such as the pattern formed by iron filings under a magnet, 6 something he would assume his readers had seen at school.

18 Being middle or working-class also adds to his and to Illidge's sense of inadequacy. They choose to regard their scientific lack of human engagement as a source of power, almost a form 36 Aldous Huxley and the Mysticism of Science of revenge. 'Talking about human beings as though they were indistinguishable from maggots filled [Illidge} with a peculiar satisfaction' (PCP 180), we are told, especially when others continue to discriminate against him for his lower-class origins. There are also elements of the cliched 'absent-minded professor' in some of Huxley's portraits.

In Huxley's case, the utopian form also alleviated some novelistic demands he otherwise failed to meet, such as the need to create rich, multidimensional characters. In Brave New World twodimensional characters are appropriate; rather than being an artistic weakness, they illustrate Huxley's essential point that technology leads to a soulless conformity. Although some artists would like to think otherwise, few novels actually play any direct role in policy. Brave New World is an exception. Like Orwell's dystopian 1984, its vision has shaped our cultural consciousness, so that one only has to mention the phrases 'brave new world' or 'Big Brother' to set off a whole set of ideas and alarms that still shape current debates.

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Aldous Huxley and the Mysticism of Science by June Deery (auth.)


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