Aldous Huxley, “Crome Yellow”, 1921 was the topic of an earlier blog post.
Aldous Huxley, “Ape and Essence”, 1948 also was the topic of an earlier blog post.
Here I present: Aldous Huxley (1894-1963), “Eyeless in Gaza”, 1936.
This book consists fifty-four (54) chapters, untitled & without chronological order (first sentence listed BELOW).
Chapter #. “First Sentence”.
#1. “The snapshots had become almost as dim as memories.”
#2. “Five words sum up every biography.”
#3. “From the flat roof of the house the eye was drawn first towards the west, where the pines slanted down to the sea.”
#4. “Horns with a frizzle of hair between; the pink muzzle lowered enquiringly towards a tiny cup and saucer; eyes expressive of a more than human astonishment.”
#5. “You wouldn’t dare, Joyce said.”
#6. “The guard whistled, and obediently the train began to move – past Keating, at a crawl; past Branson; past Pickwick, Owl and Waverley; past Beecham, Owbridge, Carter, Pears, in accelerated succession.”
#7. “Conditioned reflex: what a lot of satisfaction I got out of old Pavlov, when first I read him.”
#8. “These vile horseflies: Helen rubbed the reddening spot on her arm.”
#9. “At Paddington, Mr. Beavis and Anthony got into an empty third-class compartment and waited for the train to start.”
#10. “Books: the table in Anthony’s room was covered with them.”
#11. “Condar intra MEUM latus: It is the only place of refuge left to us.”
#12. “A faint rustling caressed the half-conscious fringes of their torpor, swelled gradually, as though a shell were being brought closer and closer to the ear, and became at last a clattering roar that brutally insisted on attention.”
#13. “Made my second speech yesterday night: without serious nervousness.”
#14. “By dinner-time it was already a Story: the latest addition to Mary Amberley’s repertory.”
#15. “It had become a rite, a scarament, that was how John Beavis described it to himself.”
#16. “Anthony’s fluency, as they walked to the station, was a symptom of his inward sense of guilt.”
#17. “Literature for peace of what kind: one can concentrate on economics: trade barriers, disorganized currency, impediments in the way of migration, private interest bent on making profits at all costs.”
#18. “More guests kept arriving – young people mostly, friends of Joyce and Helen.”
#19. “Mrs. Foxe was looking through her engagement book.”
#20. “Tiptoeing out of the back drawing-room: Hugh Ledwidge had hoped to find the refreshment of solitude.”
#21. “Helen rang the bell, then listened: in the silence behind the closed door, nothing stirred.”
#22. “Mark lived in dingy house off the Fulham Road: dark brown brick with terra-cotta trimmings.”
#23. “Tonight, at dinner with Mark, saw Helen, for the first time since my return from America.”
#24. “She couldn’t afford it but that didn’t matter: Mrs. Amberley was used to doing things she couldn’t afford.”
#25. “It was another knock – Fitzsimmons, Jefferies, Jack Johnson, Carpentier, Dempsey, Gene Tunney: the champions came and went.”
#26. “It was after two o’clock: Anthony lay on his back staring up into the darkness.”
#27. “Anthony came down to breakfast to find his father explaining to the two children the etymology of what they were eating.”
#28. “The facility with which one could become a Stiggins in modern dress: a much subtler, and therefore more detestable, and dangerous Stiggins.”
#29. “The blinds were up, the sunlight lay bright across the dressing-room table: Helen, as usual, was still in bed.”
#30. “So far as Mary Amberley was concerned, that spring and summer had been extremely dull: Anthony was a charming boy, no doubt, but two years was a long time and he had lost his novelty.”
#31. “Death, said Mark Staithes: it’s the only thing we haven’t succeeded in completely vulgarizing.”
#32. “With Helen today to hear Miller speaking at Tower Hill, during the dinner hour: a big crowd and he spoke well.”
#33. “The curtain rose, and before them was Venice, green in the moonlight, with Iago and Roderigo talking together in the deserted street.”
#34. “Reorganization … Readjustment … Writing down the capital values in the light of existing trade conditions: Anthony lifted his eyes from the printed page.”
#35. “Returned depressed from an evening with Helen and half a dozen of her young political friends.”
#36. “In the train going north, Anthony thought of what was in store for him.”
#37. It took longer than Mark expected to dispose of his business, and at moments, during the long weeks that preceded their departure, the temptation to throw up the whole ridiculous enterprise and scuttle back into the delicious other-world of Mediterranean sunshine and abstract ideas became, for Anthony, almost irresistible.”
#38. “Today Helen talked again about Miller: talked with a kind of resentful vehemence.”
#39. “When Helen kept her eyes closed, the red darkness behind the lids came wildly and chaotically to life.”
#40. “With Miller to see a show of scientific films: development of the sea urchin – fertilization, cell division, growth.”
#41. “At Colon they drove in a cab, at evening, along an esplanade.”
#42. “Have built up during the last few days a meditation on a phrase of William Penn’s.”
#43. “The right, the auspicious moment for telling Brian the truth – or at any rate as much of the truth as it was expedient for him to know – never seemed to present itself.”
#44. “Remarks by St. Teresa: let us look at our own faults, and not at other people’s.”
#45. “Happiness inexpressible – that was what her letter should have brought him.”
#46. “Mark, at dinner, said he’d been re-reading Anna Karenina: found it good, as novels go.”
#47. “Ostensibly, Don Jorge’s telegram was an order for the immediate sale of six hundred bags of coffee.”
#48. “Anthony had dozed off again after being called and was late for breakfast.”
#49. “It was dark in the little rancho, and from noon till sunset stifling hot; then cold all through the night.”
#50. “God – a person or not a person, Quien sabe: only revelation can decide such metaphysical questions?”
#51. “Dr. Miller dismounted at the open door, left his beast with the mozo, and stepped into the hut.”
#52. “There were four of them in the search-party: Anthony, the policeman, an old shepherd, and the baker’s son.”
#53. “Helen came into the sitting-room, holding a frying-pan in which the bacon was still spluttering from the fire.”
#54. “Anthony had spent morning at the offices of the organization, dictating letters.”
#END. “Whatever it might be, he knew now that all would be well.”
Here I presented: Aldous Huxley (1894-1963), “Eyeless in Gaza”, 1936.
The novel focuses on four periods in the life of socialite Anthony Beavis (the protagonist) between the 1890’s and 1936. The chapters of the novel are not ordered chronologically from the 1890’s to 1936. Mary Amberley is a novel character who is a morphine addict; and, the lack of chronology in the novel creates mood of drug addiction.
Semi-autobiographical, Aldous Huxley in the character of Anthony Beavis is a cynical libertine Oxford graduate who comes of age in the vacuum left by World War I. Unfulfilled by his life, loves and adventures Anthony Beavis is persuaded to become Marxist and take up arms in with Mexican revolutionaries. When this embrace of violence nearly kills him Anthony Beavis seeks meaning in pacifism and then mysticism. Again, this is semi-autobiographical of Aldous Huxley’s critique of the dearth of spiritual values in contemporary society.
BELOW is the Timeline of SciFi novels that influenced me. In color groups below are five authors: Mary Shelley, Jules Verne, H. G. Wells, Aldous Huxley, and Michael Crichton. I consider Aldous Huxley my favorite 20th Century writer of SciFi. Jules Verne is my favorite SciFi writer of all-time.
Aldous Huxley, “Island”, 1962 was the topic of an earlier blog post.
Aldous Huxley, “The Brave New World”, 1932 also was the topic of an earlier blog post.