What I’ve Been Reading

Posted by on Nov 10, 2017 in What I've Been Reading | 0 comments

BraveNewWorld_FirstEditionIf you get bold enough to read 1984, of course you’ve got to follow it up with Brave New World. Which I must say I liked significantly less.

I get Huxley’s point, I really do, warning us that human beings don’t need a totalitarian system to crush the our spirit into sand….we can entertain ourselves into dumbness and passivity and inert happiness. Can’t argue with that. But the sour and savage distaste for the female body in this book–either as a voluptuous, pneumatic instrument of seduction and promiscuity and more of that mindless pleasure that’s going to ruin us all, or as a fat (horrors!), filthy, weak, flabby embodiment (literally) of mortality and corruption–well, that made it hard to appreciate the savage satiric genius. I could see that the genius was there, but I couldn’t much enjoy it.

And it’s not just the body, it’s the human spirit that is rendered disgusting in Huxley’s antiseptically clean prose. 1984 made me feel that the humanity was at risk, but still precious. Brave New World made me feel that the human spirit wasn’t worth the struggle. Might as will take a gram of soma and go to the feelies and watch it disintegrate.

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