Winter 1965 • Vol. XXVII No. 1 Nonfiction |

The Poignant Prophet

Aldous Huxley's professional life divided sharply: he won his first audience as a satirist and attracted his second as a prophet. Toward the end he was often called a philosopher. His anthology of mysticism, which he named The Perennial Philosophy, was taken to show that he had constructed a specific system of thought. Huxley's eye for foibles and his fascination with the grotesque gave him his original impetus. Boredom, as he told his intimates, was his main terror. In comparison with his own extraordinarily stocked mind and the originality of its arrangements, the information and conversation of most people seemed platitudinous, jejune, banal. He could, then, only entertain himself by studying the irrational quirks, the ludicrous inconsistencies, the absurd reflexes and reactions whereby the average person gives the involuntary lie to his dreary pretensions. But, as he often pointed out in his conversation, satire is a secondary manner of thought and mode of judgment. Sati

Already have an account? Login

Join KR for even more to read.

Register for a free account to read five free pieces a month from our current issue and digital archive.
Register for Free and Read This Piece



Or become a subscriber today and get complete, immediate access to our digital archives at every subscription level.

Read More

This Dying Lark

By Thomas MacIntyre

Aldous Huxley's professional life divided sharply: he won his first audience as a satirist and attracted his second as a prophet. Toward the end he was often called a philosopher. […]

Subscribe

Your free registration with Kenyon review incudes access to exclusive content, early access to program registration, and more.

Donate

With your support, we’ll continue 
to cultivate talent and publish extraordinary literature from diverse voices around the world.