Old Site Menu

Missive #182

After Many a Summer (1939) is a novel by Aldous Huxley that tells the story of a Hollywood millionaire who fears his impending death. It was published in the United States as After Many a Summer Dies the Swan. Written soon after Huxley left England and settled in California, The readers that give this book a high rating must enjoy the author’s philosophizing. It may be called a novel but take out all of Huxley’s philosophy and it would be a short story. I think this was another of his attempts to ‘arrive, technically, at a perfect fusion of the novel and the essay’. the novel is Huxley’s examination of American culture, particularly what he saw as its narcissism, superficiality, and obsession with youth. This satire also raises philosophical and social issues, some of which would later take the forefront in Huxley’s final novel Island. The novel’s title is taken from Tennyson’s poem Tithonus, about a figure in Greek mythology to whom Aurora gave eternal life but not eternal youth. The book was awarded the 1939 James Tait Black Memorial Prize for fiction. — Wikipedia

You can’t do anything effective about any one if he doesn’t choose or isn’t able to collaborate with you in doing the right thing. For example, you’ve got to help people who are being killed off by malaria. But in practice you can’t help them if they refuse to screen their windows and insist on taking walks near stagnant water in the twilight. It’s exactly the same with the diseases of the body politic. You’ve got to help people if they’re faced by war or ruin or enslavement, if they’re under the menace of sudden revolution or slow degeneration. You’ve got to help. But the fact remains, nevertheless, that you can’t help if they persist in the course of behaviour which originally got them into their trouble. For example, you can’t preserve people from the horrors of war if they won’t give up the pleasures of nationalism. You can’t save them from slumps and depressions so long as they go on thinking exclusively in terms of money and regarding money as the supreme good. You can’t avert revolution and enslavement if they will identify progress with the increase of centralization and prosperity with the intensifying of mass production. — Mr. Propter

Privilege is dead; long live Privilege. The masses of mankind are incapable of Emancipation and too inept to direct their own Destinies. Government must always be by Tyrants or Oligarchs. My opinion of the Peerage and the landed Gentry is exceedingly low; but their own opinion of themselves must be even lower than mine. They believe that the Ballot will rob them of their Power and Privileges, whereas I am sure that, by the exercise of even such little Prudence and Cunning as parsimonious Nature has endowed them with, they can with ease maintain themselves in their present pre-eminence. This being so, let the Rabble amuse itself by voting. An Election is no more than a gratuitous Punch and Judy Show, offered by the Rulers in order to distract the attention of the Ruled. — Mr. Propter
How he’d have enjoyed a modern Communist or Fascist election! — Dr. Obispo.

A girl once asked me if I’d be the sun in her life, and I said yes.

How romantic.

Then she told me to stay 93,000,000 miles away from her.


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *