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The Genius and the Goddess: A Novel

3.79 of 5 stars 3.79  ·  rating details  ·  1,110 ratings  ·  60 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
This has become one of my all-time favorite works of fiction, and my second favorite work by Huxley. The story is essentially an elderly professor (John Rivers) having a Christmas Eve reminisce with an old friend about his days as a young lab assistant for a well-respected yet socially retarded physicist (Henry Maartens; the genius). Back in the 1920's, he stays with the Maartens family and St. Louis, and becomes like a member of them. He develops a respectful fondness for Henry's wife, Katy (th ...more
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.
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
Heidi Liu
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
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
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.
Ruby Madden
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
Adelina Gabriela
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
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".
"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..." ---
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
Dec 04, 2007 Paul rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  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.
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.
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
We're all aware of Huxley's famous work Brave New World. I was unaware of his other works until running across this little gem in a pile of used books. It is not science fiction or dystopian, but it is certainly an investigation into the social aspect of family, friends, and colleagues. It is also, as one reviewer astutely observed, a bit of Lolita in reverse.

Huxley had certainly crafted a fine story, if not terribly original in its theme. There is an element of surprise and intrigue for all re
So, I don't know what to make of this book since I understood it less than I would've liked and expected. I guess that is because I'm yet too young to grasp the concepts of adulthood in this book, one of them possibly being dealing with the loss of faith and innocence which I have yet to fully deal with.
What I did get from this book though is that there is a struggle between the awkwardly inhumane, the great depth of the intellect, and the lively humane, the great depth of the sensual. The Geni
"Problema e ca fictiunea este prea limpede, logica, pe cand realitatea n-are niciodata noima"

"Criteriul realitatii il reprezinta irelevanta ei intrinseca."
Very intense book. It mixes so well philosophy, psychology, remarkable characters that get stuch in your memory, out of the ordinary destinies...
Ea era o zeita care se prabusise si-si gasea drumul inapoi spre Olimp pe calea senzualitatii.
Kelly Gkountani
Aug 23, 2014 Kelly Gkountani rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  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
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
So much expression within so few pages.
"From one minute to another- the transformation of lead into gold, of solemn professorial hogwash into poetry, the kind of poetry life was all the time..."
"One escapes into reminiscence as one escapes into gin or sodium Amytal."
"If you want to live at every moment as it presents itself, you've got to die at every other moment."
Shamim E. Haque
Well, I picked this for RS 100 only as a second hand book from Mirza Ghalib Street in Kolkata, India. I thought it was too expensive as a paper back that originally sold only for US 35 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 human observations, that's Huxley. This book was written when Huxle ...more
This book just came at the right time for me. Huxley's ingenious weaving of his philosophy of life into a story told by an old guy sitting down with his buddies made for a fun afternoon of reading and pondering.
Bogdan Spoitu
A novel with an outpouring set of linguistic techniques which summarizes, if one can say so, the Huxleyan novelistic style. WIth a more than generous theme, it satisfies both the casual and pretentious reader.
Puncte de vedere despre adolescență, surprize intre mamă și fiică, un geniu cu toane dubioase... Irezistibil
Rob Carr
Surprisingly good for such a short book written entirely in the style of a person retelling a short to another.
Adrian Buck
A novella rather a novel, it can be read in a day. It may be well to do so, for this reads as if it was written at great pace. This dynamism is unusual in Huxley, his narrative generally carries a great deal of reflection. Here there is a real sense of urgency about the story. Surprising and compelling, this is the first of Huxley's novels that make me curious about his life.
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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
More about Aldous Huxley...
Brave New World Brave New World / Brave New World Revisited The Doors of Perception & Heaven and Hell Island Brave New World Revisited

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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.” 94 likes
“God isn't the son of Memory; He's the son of Immediate Experience. You can't worship a spirit in spirit, unless you do it now. Wallowing in the past may be good literature. As wisdom, it's hopeless. Time Regained is Paradise Lost, and Time Lost is Paradise Regained. Let the dead bury their dead. If you want to live at every moment as it presents itself, you've got to die to every other moment.” 92 likes
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