Aldous Huxley Between East and West


Editor: C.C. Barfoot
Although the title of this volume is Aldous Huxley between East and West, the order of the articles found within goes from West to East, which naturally imitates Huxley’s own progress, especially since he went to the trouble of stepping out as far West as possible before starting for the East. Indeed one could argue that he was already on his way there before he left for California, a continuous journey, perhaps, since from the Californian shores of the Pacific the East is the further West. After the Introduction which places Huxley between East and West, the book starts with a consideration of Huxley’s family connections, then goes onto his earliest fictions, his interest in science and the issue of modernity, and his experiments with drama and their inherent philosophical concerns. The poetry with which he began his writing career is then viewed as a link between his earlier Western self and his later Oriental interests, suggesting that the latter was always inherent in the former. A number of considerations of the Utopian themes in Huxley’s middle and later fiction leads the volume to a climax with four articles surveying the foibles and the wisdom of Huxley’s encounter with Eastern religious thought and philosophy, his misunderstandings, as well as ours, of what actually he had learned and wished to pass on to the Western world.

Table of contents

Preface 1. Tilmann VETTER: Introduction: Aldous Huxley between East and West 2. Bernard BERGONZI: Aldous Huxley and Aunt Mary 3. Wim TIGGES: White Peacocks in a Waste Land: A Reading of Crome Yellow 4. Robert S. BAKER: Science and Modernity in Aldous Huxley’s Interwar Essays and Novels 5. James SEXTON: Aldous Huxley’s Three Plays, 1931-1948 6. C.C. BARFOOT: Huxley on the Bus: From the Burning Wheel to the Yellow Mustard Seed 7. Dominic BAKER-SMITH: The World to Come: Aldous Huxley and the Utopian Parable 8. Geoff JAEGER: The Palanese Way: Engaged Enlightenment in Aldous Huxley’s Island 9. Bernfried NUGEL: Aldous Huxley’s “Introduction of a Brand New Personage” in Island: Abdul Pierre Bahu, Ambassador of Rendang 10. Lambert SCHMITHAUSEN: Aldous Huxley’s View of Nature 11. Johannes BRONKHORST: The Perennial Philosophy and the Law of Karma 12. Albrecht WEZLER: “Psychedelic” Drugs as Means to Mystical Experience: Aldous Huxley versus Indian Reality 13. Wilhelm HALBFASS: Mescaline and Indian Philosophy: Aldous Huxley and the Mythology of Experience Notes on Contributors Index