WITH AN INTRODUCTION BY DAVID BRADSHAW
For over a hundred years the Pacific island of Pala has been the scene of a unique experiment in civilisation. Its inhabitants live in a society where western science has been brought together with eastern philosophy and humanism to create a paradise on earth. When cynical journalist, Will Farnaby, arrives to search for information ab
The theme is pure Huxley: intelligent, open-minded man gets shipwrecked on a remote tropical island where the native population has managed to create a utopia. The man meets a variety of people over a period of days who explain Pala's (the name of the island) unique culture.
The story is actually a successi ...more
This book is like a savory meal that is extremely good for you. Or any activity that is rewarding in all the right ways. Hardin's 'Tragedy of the Commons' comes to mind, or more a massive extension on its logic in a world where there's a country that fully accepts it. Will brings enough cynicism into the utopia to put up a good fight, but his acceptance ...more
Island is an active dialogue between relatively few characters who bring Huxl ...more
After the release of the acclaimed dystopia known as “Brave New World”, Huxley’s name became forever imprinted into the respectable hall of fame of science fiction writing, which might have hindered his prospects into finding other ways to convey his own opinions. In “Island”, the reader is overcome with the feeling that he might have been coerced into masquer ...more
Strange things, these novels of ideas. You read, you read, so charmed and challenged by the intellectual debate that somewhere along the road you completely forget to pay attention to the plot, to the characters and generally to all that makes the essence of a novel. And only in the end you ask yourself if it is a novel what you’ve just read after all. The explanation is of course quite simple: plot and characters are only embodiments of ideas and such writings, while mimicking the narrative str ...more
He learns to embrace a parallel if not complementary way of living. The Palanese integrate teachings across philosophies (not just religions) of Hinduism, Buddhism, and Christianity and accept the spectrum of individuals (m ...more
On seeing that online listing, I was reminded that I had read the book about a decade after it was originally published (in 1962), while I was in high school. Although most of us growing up in the 1960s were ...more
Huxley's last novel is one of his most flawed. It is his Utopia, contrasting with his masterpiece, Brave New World. Basically, the island of Pala is a hippie paradise; a Buddhist state in the Indian Ocean, with a drug to bring higher consciousness (like LSD, in which Huxley was interested, was supposed to). Western journalist Will Farnaby is washed ashore on Pala, and falls for the charm of its inhabitants.
The novel basically consists of a g ...more
While all dystopias and utopias are comments on society, and almost all utopia/dystopia authors have an agenda which they would like the reader to come to after reading the work, ...more
Ono što je važno reći, da je stilski milijunima svjetlosnih godina od Vrlog novog svijeta, brižljivo promišljana, semantički perfektna i ritmično savršena... Djelo prekaljenog majstora koji razvaljuje svakim retkom, svakim likom, svakom porukom...
Ultima e matura opera di Aldous Huxley, L'Isola è un classico romanzo del genere utopistico, classico già nella scelta dello stesso titolo: quale immagine migliore dell'isola?
Pubblicato appena prima della morte dell'autore, scritto parzialmente sotto gli effetti della mescalina, pensato come ad una risposta alla buia distopia de Il mondo nu ...more
The skeleton of a plot exists solely to set up Socratic exchanges between the shipwrecked, cynical Brit and his fantastically benevolent island hosts -- which in turn are vehicles for us to learn about how the island (Pala) became such a fantastic place.
The thing is, the Palanese answers to society's deepest problems are, at root, so simplistic and absurd that they don't provide m ...more
I read this after Huxley's series of lectures, "The Human Situation". That is perhaps more readable than Island, and gives more background for some of his ideas. For instance, the practice in Pala of introducing ...more
Share This Book
Lightly child, lightly. Learn to do everything lightly.
Yes, feel lightly even though you’re feeling deeply.
Just lightly let things happen and lightly cope with them.
I was so preposterously serious in those days, such a humorless little prig.
Lightly, lightly – it’s the best advice ever given me.
When it comes to dying even. Nothing ponderous, or portentous, or emphatic.
No rhetoric, no tremolos,
no self conscious persona putting on its celebrated imitation of Christ or Little Nell.
And of course, no theology, no metaphysics.
Just the fact of dying and the fact of the clear light.
So throw away your baggage and go forward.
There are quicksands all about you, sucking at your feet,
trying to suck you down into fear and self-pity and despair.
That’s why you must walk so lightly.
Lightly my darling,
on tiptoes and no luggage,
not even a sponge bag,