Read Antic Hay by Aldous Huxley Free Online
Book Title: Antic Hay|
The author of the book: Aldous Huxley
Edition: Chatto & Windus
Date of issue: November 1923
ISBN: No data
ISBN 13: No data
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 9.87 MB
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Reader ratings: 4.6
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My men, like satyrs grazing on the lawns,
Shall with their goat-feet dance the antic hay
Edward II by Christopher Marlowe
This is Brenda Salkeld dancing the antic hay. Orwell had recommended Antic Hay to her in the 1930s, but alas she wouldn't dance with him.
Huxley wanted to dance with Nancy Cunard but she likened his advances to being crawled over by slugs.
Nancy Cunard & slug
So he crawled away and he wrote this zany and very smart satire.
The characters Myra Viveash and Theodore Gumbril Jr are based on Nancy Cunard and Huxley. Gumbril Jr is a teacher but hates it, just as Huxley did when he had been a teacher at Eton.
No, this was really impossible. Definitely, it couldn’t go on, it could not go on. There were thirteen weeks in the summer term, there would be thirteen in the autumn and eleven or twelve in the spring; and then another summer of thirteen, and so it would go on for ever. For ever. It wouldn’t do. He would go away and live uncomfortably on his three hundred. Or, no, he would go away and he would make money – that was more like it – money on a large scale, easily; he would be free and he would live. For the first time, he would live.
He gets an idea for making money, and quits,
The real remedy, it suddenly flashed across his mind, would be trousers with pneumatic seats. For all occasions; not merely for church-going.
And so Gumbril’s Patent Small-Clothes are invented.
But don't be too concerned about the plot. Huxley explained his true intentions in a letter,
I will only point out that it is a book written by a member of what I may call the war-generation for others of his kind; and that it is intended to reflect - fantastically, of course, but none the less faithfully - the life and opinions of an age which has seen the violent disruption of almost all the standards, conventions and values current in the previous epoch.
There's a sadness here that casts a shadow on the comedy. Poor Nancy Cunard. She could not forget her one true love who was killed in the war, and this also is the reason for Myra Viveash's ennui,
She remembered suddenly one shining day like this in the summer of 1917, when she had walked along this same street, slowly, like this, on the sunny side, with Tony Lamb. All that day, that night, it had been one long goodbye. He was going back the next morning. Less than a week later he was dead. Never again, never again: there had been a time when she could make herself cry, simply by saying those two words once or twice, under her breath. Never again, never again. She repeated them softly now. But she felt no tears behind her eyes. Grief doesn’t kill, love doesn’t kill; but time kills everything, kills desire, kills sorrow, kills in the end the mind that feels them; wrinkles and softens the body while it still lives, rots it like a medlar, kills it too at last. Never again, never again. Instead of crying, she laughed, laughed aloud.
Antic Hay is blue in more than one sense. It had been banned on grounds of obscenity. Shocking indeed! Rosie ends up reading Le Sopha,
'No education can be called complete without a knowledge of that divine book.' He darted to the bookshelf and came back with a small volume bound in white vellum. 'The hero’s soul,' he explained, handing her the volume, 'passes, by the laws of metempsychosis, into a sofa. He is doomed to remain a sofa until such time as two persons consummate upon his bosom their reciprocal and equal loves. The book is the record of the poor sofa’s hopes and disappointments.'
Rosie's assignations had something to do with it too,
The Complete Man lifted her up, walked across the room carrying the fastidious lady in his arms and deposited her on the rosy catafalque of the bed. Lying there with her eyes shut, she did her best to pretend she was dead.
Gumbril had looked at his wristwatch and found that it was six o’clock. Already? He prepared himself to take his departure. Wrapped in a pink kimono, she came out into the hall to wish him farewell.
The erotica takes place between the lines but sometimes a good cover can help.
Huxley wrote this book in 2 months. Never underestimate a man who takes LSD on his deathbed...
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Read information about the authorAldous Leonard Huxley was an English writer and one of the most prominent members of the famous Huxley family. He spent the latter part of his life in the United States, living in Los Angeles from 1937 until his death in 1963. Best known for his novels and wide-ranging output of essays, he also published short stories, poetry, travel writing, and film stories and scripts. Through his novels and essays Huxley functioned as an examiner and sometimes critic of social mores, norms and ideals. Huxley was a humanist but was also interested towards the end of his life in spiritual subjects such as parapsychology and philosophical mysticism. By the end of his life, Huxley was widely acknowledged as one of the pre-eminent intellectuals of his time.
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