Friday, February 5, 2010


I spoke about the Utopian novel Island by Aldous Huxley in my post Make The TAZ a PAZ a long while ago and mentioned the dystopian counterpart written 30 years earlier called Brave New World. Both novels form the cornerstone of Huxley's damning indictment of commercialism based upon goods generally manufactured from other countries. Indeed also, Brave New World (along with Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four and Yevgeni Zamyatin's We) helped form the anti-utopian or dystopian tradition in literature and has become synonymous with a future world in which the human spirit is subject to conditioning and control. Island acts as an antonym to Brave New World; it is described as "one of the truly great philosophical novels". While Brave New World is one of the most bewitching and insidious works of literature ever written. This dystopian world is an unsettling, loveless and even sinister place. This is because Huxley endows his "ideal" society with features calculated to alienate his audience. Aldous Huxley was a humanist and pacifist, and he was latterly interested in spiritual subjects such as parapsychology and philosophical mysticism. He is also well known for advocating and taking psychedelics. By the end of his life Huxley was considered, in some academic circles, a leader of modern thought and an intellectual of the highest rank, and highly regarded as one of the most prominent explorers of visual communication and sight-related theories as well.