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James Hull
Aldous Huxley, Representative Man
Edited by Gerhard Wagner
Reihe: "Human Potentialities". Studien zu Aldous Huxley & zeitgenössischer Kultur
Bd. 5, 2004, 624 S., 49.90 EUR, 49.90 CHF, br., ISBN 3-8258-7663-2

This psychological reading of Huxley's oeuvre as a whole traces Huxley's self-transformation in his books and aims to do justice to the artist and the person who was Aldous Huxley. It is safe to regard as basic to his entire work the unfolding of the conflict we find so clearly delineated in his early short story "Farcical History of Richard Greenow" ( Limbo, 1920), with Pearl Bellairs representing the emotional tradition that threatens the synthetic philosopher. Huxley's own story is plainly visible even in Limbo and Crome Yellow (1921), but it is in Antic Hay (1923) that the pattern of the future assumes a solid foundation. There we encounter in full force the tensions that follow him throughout his life: on the one hand an extreme of sensuality and on the other a longing for the "chaste pleasures," for a quiet and mystical worid completely different from that in which he found himself. The question of the relations between body and mind as well as the mystery of human consciousness haunt him to the very last, but after his mid-life crisis, depicted in Eyeless in Gaza (1936), a strong faith in the reality of a spiritual world is obvions. In the end he even manages to reinstate the body in his scheme of things.

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