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The Genius and the Goddess: A Novel

3.77  ·  Rating Details ·  1,523 Ratings  ·  79 Reviews
Thirty years ago, ecstasy and torment took hold of John Rivers, shocking him out of “half-baked imbecility into something more nearly resembling the human form.” He had an affair with the wife of his mentor, Henry Maartens—a pathbreaking physicist, winner of the Nobel Prize, and a figure of blinding brilliance—bringing the couple to ruin. Now, on Christmas Eve while a smal ...more
ebook, 192 pages
Published February 5th 2013 by Harper Perennial (first published 1955)
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Scribble Orca
I am sitting here with a USB stick I have just received from Australia, compliments of my mother, on which she has painstakingly copied hundreds of files from the floppy disks of my youth, amongst which I am convinced lies the key to my writerly fame and fortune.

(The last said very much tongue in cheek - not that I'm not convinced, just that I'm a fool. For thinking that either the files are readable - most are not, we're talking files that pre-date even MS DOS - or that fame and fortune await i
Nov 09, 2014 Jim rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Aldous Huxley was at one time one of my favorite writers, about three or four decades ago. I still love reading him, because I never know when I will turn a corner and suddenly encounter myself as a young man. That young man was impressed by sheer portentousness, by the introduction of philosophical elements in essays and fiction.

Now I see that Huxley was a dualist, deeply torn between the intellect and man's animal nature. This comes out most particularly in Brave New World, and also to a large
Sasha  Mizaree (Reviews)
This book had a Lolita feel, only in reverse. You will see what I mean when you read it.
The major themes, as far as i remember as this was a while ago, are the results of a sheltered life
and dedicating oneself to education alone, neglecting personal experience. It is also about doing
everything in order to please someone else, namely your parents. I have never read anyone describe a sex scene in such a manner, but it is to be expected.
Heidi Liu
Jan 23, 2014 Heidi Liu rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A brief attempt at capturing human ecstasy - Huxley captures the difference between loving out of obligation and involuntary adoration. As much as we try to create the person we are and are to become, the deep-rooted elements of our personalities develop subconsciously and beyond our control. This novel may be short but is a holistic exploration of sensuality and sexuality and freedom and containment from the perspective of a man who tries to be more than just a man. Most quotable book, like, ev ...more
William Aicher
Absolutely loved this book. Beautiful examination of what it means to be human. Has taken the place as my favorite book I've ever read.
Nov 30, 2010 Cristina rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Am zis ca e timpul sa incep sa scriu cat mai repede despre romanele pe care le termin, altminteri se aduna prea multe, si e posibil sa uit amanunte relativ importante despre subiectele lor.

E prima mea incercare cu domnul Huxley, desi am fost in scurta posesie si a Minunatei lume noi, asta-vara, dar n-am avut rabdarea necesara sa o parcurg. Intr-un fel, imi pare rau, dar, la acea vreme, traversam o perioada intr-atat de proasta incat chiar nu prea aveam chef de lectura, daramite de vreun fel de p
Kelly Gkountani
Feb 21, 2014 Kelly Gkountani rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone with an interest in studying human nature
First thought as I closed this book: "I need to read this again."
The theories were a bit tiring to read in the way they were fitted into the story. (It always shows when a non-fiction writer writes fiction, eg. Carl Sagan in "Contact".) Once the story started moving and the large theories gave way (a bit), it became more interesting. The story itself, universal and timeless, is plain and simple in the sense of every-day normality, no unnaturally dramatic twists or peculiar events. Even the awe-s
Ruby Madden
Jan 19, 2014 Ruby Madden rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love it when I accidentally stumble upon a piece of literary treasure that leaves me changed, for the better, in having read it.

Huxley manages to capture the Grace of a Goddess, her husband, a Genius, the dynamics of their family unit and household and the unsuspecting guest (John Rivers) who is invited into their world and lives. Told conversationally and in recollection over the course of one evening, we learn of the impact made to John Rivers' life and universe when he experiences love, pas
Nov 20, 2016 Venky rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: bibliocase
Yet another devastating masterpiece by one of the greatest writers of out time. "The Genius and The Goddess" is vintage Huxley at his desolate best! A scarring tragedy where impiety jousts with instinct, petulance grapples with philosophy and rationality loses out to ravishing lust. A young and talented John Rivers arrives at the family home of the eccentric albeit enormously gifted Theoretical Physicist and Nobel Laureate Henry Maartens after accepting an offer to be his laboratory and teaching ...more
May 29, 2016 Valentina rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: narrativa
Esta obra nada tiene que ver con el estilo, género y temática de la conocida Un mundo feliz. Es una aproximación filosófica y psicológica a temas como el amor, el placer, las experiencias, el deseo, el arte y la ciencia con una prosa ingeniosa y divertida. A pesar de su estructura convencional (un personaje le cuenta la historia en orden cronológico a otro), y de que la historia en sí no terminó de seducirme, reconozco que tiene muy buenos momentos y que marqué varios pasajes durante la lectura. ...more
Adelina Gabriela
Jul 03, 2012 Adelina Gabriela rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Personajele care au cel mai mare impact asupra cititorului sunt Katy şi Ruth. Katy, femeia puternică la exterior, dar neîmplinită pe plan spiritual îşi înşală soţul, geniul care o iubeşte atât de mult încât se îmbolnăveşte din cauza ei, cu portejatul acestuia. John Rivers pare incapabil să se opună şi, nutrind pentru această "zeiţă" o dragoste platonică la început, carnală spre final, atrage gelozia lui Ruth, fiica familiei Maartens.
Pe măsură ce Ruth îşi diversifică lecturile şi survin schimb
beautiful book--huxley does a fantastic job of portraying the life of a young man and his growth over so eloquently and beautifully. because the whole story is told by the perspective of a young man recalling past events, it paints a wonderful image of the speaker's almost posthumous recollection of events. this also does a fantastic job of providing suspense in the subtlest way--the reader is kept at the edge of his seat wanting to know what comes next but also given the peace of mind that ever ...more
Feb 18, 2013 Denz rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: british
За щастие няма много общо с "Прекрасния нов свят", за която авторът сам признава, че би преработил, но се е сдържал. Пълна с референции, благодаря на преводача за уловените и обяснените, особено ми хареса тази за "блудния син, току що завърнал се от странстванията си и диетата на рожкове". Съвсем в началото съм, но цялото описание на влизането на Ривърс в дома на Маартенс ме хвана за яката. Дано се появят и онези цинични нотки, заради които препрочитах преди години няколко пъти "Имението Кроум".
Oct 16, 2012 Vyara rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"Разказвайки за случилото се преди тридесет години, Джон Ривърс осъзнава, че то е променило живота му изцяло. Вмъкнатите в разказа му размишления за съдбата, живота, смъртта и всичко останало, превръщат книгата "Геният и богинята" не в поредната клиширана любовна историята, а в един философски разговор за вечните неща. Неща, до които всички ние се сблъскваме рано или късно..." ---
Apr 28, 2013 Matthew rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A psychoanalytic character study that finds its greatest achievements in moments of brute clarity, when the dross of the language of intellectual deconstruction, which the protagonist scorns and yet cannot help but use to explore the past, present and future, is cleared away to reveal the raw, naked emotions of fear, jealousy, and shame.
Dec 03, 2007 Paul rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: literature and fiction fans
This is a rather short novella easily read in a single, highly enjoyable sitting. Over the course of less than 100 pages Huxley develops a very gripping tale of forbidden love and lust and delves deeply into human nature. This work is much more successful than his much-more-often-touted Crome Yellow at establishing character and exposing and exploring human passions and foibles.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 22, 2017 Devi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ich fand diesen Huxley Roman mehr als gelungen. Ich hätte nicht gedacht, dass es sich so gut lesen lassen würde (nachdem ich die Schöne Neue Welt nach ein paar Seiten bei Seite legte) ... Huxley zeigt in diesem Buch Humor, Witz, schräge Charakterstudien und noch nen Plot, den ich mochte.
Jan 12, 2016 Beatlezu rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
!Tengo que leer todo lo que haya escrito Huxley! OMG hagan una película de este libro plis plis plis.
Jun 12, 2012 Andreea rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very intense book. It mixes so well philosophy, psychology, remarkable characters that get stuch in your memory, out of the ordinary destinies...
Raluca Colac
Mar 03, 2013 Raluca Colac rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ea era o zeita care se prabusise si-si gasea drumul inapoi spre Olimp pe calea senzualitatii.
Lucas Johnson
Huxley refers to the Pickwick Papers in more than one novel, and its proto-Freudian tinge colors several more. Of course, he is not too logical or lockstep with the worldview, any more than Dickens, but a completely Freudian viewpoint would not make for a novel. Divine causes and effects cannot be eliminated, but they hardly require preachers either.
Vladimir Smirnov
May 08, 2017 Vladimir Smirnov rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Vladimir by: Nikita Grinevich
Вполне банальный сюжет разворачивается в шекспировскую трагедию. Мне всегда становится неловко, когда в каком-то герое если не узнаешь себя, то видишь определенные сходства характера, мотивации и поведения. И испытываешь испанский стыд. Это был как раз тот случай. Очень трогательная и живая история о любви, ревности, самопожертвовании, измене, комплексах, тяжелом бремени брака, религиозности.

После прочтения таких романов понимешь, что не хочешь взрослеть. Хочется как и младший сын Гения думать
Jan 10, 2015 Pagulane rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Aldous Huxley lühike lektüür nimega „Geenius ja jumalanna“ näis lausa moraaliepistlina, mis ometi kaldus kõrvale, patustama. Taaskord kõneletakse ülemaist. „Aga tegelikult on ainult üks lahendus, ja seda on võimalik väljendada kaheksatähelise sõnaga, mis on nii šokeeriv, et isegi markii de Sade oli selle kasutamisega kitsi.“ Ta ütles selle tähthaaval välja.“A-R-M-A-S-T-U-S. Või kui sa eelistad õpetatud keelte siivsat hämarust – Agape, Caritas, Mahakaruna.“ (18) Esikohale tõstetakse praktikat ja ...more
Gabriel Nita
E o carte foarte micuță, poate mai degrabă o nuvelă decât un roman: într-o discuție cu un prieten scriitor, fizicianul John Rivers îi oferă, ca inspirație, o întâmplare dramatică din chiar tinerețea lui – iar povestea sa, dezvăluită treptat-treptat, are într-adevăr toate ingredientele literaturii: personaje extravagante, roluri exemplare, o iubire interzisă, o alta neîmpărtășită, dorință, morală, gelozie, idealismul adolescenței, judecăți filozofice, gesturi tragice, un final teatral. Și totuși, ...more
Autor prolific, Aldous Huxley a fost unul dintre romancierii atipici ai secolului al XX-lea. Atras de misticism, s-a vrut un inițiat în filozofiile cu iz ocult de proveniență indiană patronate de personaje ca Jiddu Krishnamurti, filozofii care i-au prilejuit scrierea unui volum ca The Perennial Philosophy. Nu a dat înapoi nici de la experimentarea drogurilor psihedelice, și aici mă refer la mescalină, experiență descrisă în The Doors of Perception, titlu care a inspirat, de altfel, și numele for ...more
Lauren  Addicott
Jan 22, 2016 Lauren Addicott rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This short novel was my first return to Huxley since studying his canonical dystopian text Brave New World, which, admittedly, put me off for a few years. But The Genius and the Goddess is a far cry from Huxley's straight-talking and somewhat laboured illustration of false utopia, which may not be a surprise since it is 24 years its senior.

Despite the very traditional choice of narrative structure, oral storytelling, and the fact that this text is effectively a soapbox for Huxley's opinions on
Ioana Crețu
Jul 06, 2016 Ioana Crețu rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

„ Inconvenientul literaturii constă în caracterul ei prea logic. Realitatea nu-l are niciodată.
Literatura are unitate, are stil. Lucrurile întâmplate aievea nu au așa ceva.

Filozofia noastră de viață este în mod inevitabil un produs adiacent al limbii care separă în idee ceea ce în fapt este întotdeauna inseparabil. Separă și evaluează în același timp. Una dintre abstracții este „bine”; cealaltă „rău”. Nu judecați ca să nu fiți judecați. Dar limba are o astfel de natură, încât nu poți să nu judec
Jul 01, 2016 Abbi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have such a soft spot for vintage romance novels. The language in them is so much more capable of conveying adoration, so it really tugs on the heart strings. Whatever negativity I had been harbouring about Huxley's writing since reading Brave New World, this book dissipated it. The writing was rich with feeling and flair - it wasn't so obnoxious and correct that it didn't seem like a story was being told by one character to another, but was stylistic enough for me to notice and therefore admi ...more
Shamim E. Haque
Well, I picked this up for only RS 100 as a second hand book from a Mirza Ghalib Street hole in the wall second hand book shop in Kolkata, India. I thought it was too expensive as a paper back that originally sold only for 35 US cents back in 1956. The book was in a dilapidated condition and as I read it the brittle paper of the binding came loose. But what a rewarding read it was!! I enjoyed every page and every paragraph. Huxley is a genius. Full of insight and accurate observations on the pli ...more
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Aldous 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 es ...more
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“What a gulf between impression and expression! That’s our ironic fate—to have Shakespearean feelings and (unless by some billion-to-one chance we happen to be Shakespeare) to talk about them like automobile salesmen or teen-agers or college professors. We practice alchemy in reverse—touch gold and it turns into lead; touch the pure lyrics of experience, and they turn into the verbal equivalents of tripe and hogwash.” 127 likes
“Why do you love the woman you're in love with? Because she is. And that, after all, is God's own definition of Himself; I am that I am. The girl is who she is. Some of her isness spills over and impregnates the entire universe. Objects and events cease to be mere representations of classes and become their own uniqueness; cease to be illustrations of verbal abstractions and become fully concrete. Then you stop being in love, and the universe collapses, with an almost audible squeak of derision, into its normal insignificance.” 101 likes
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