Aldous Huxley published this, his first novel, when he was twenty-seven years old. Themes announced in this satirical, loosely knit work were to characterize his future production also: How can people of the modern world find the solutions required by the present to the age-old problems of humanity? What constitutes value? To what extent can historical imperatives be avoided, or, if they still mean something, to what extent can they continue to be implemented? In his justly famous novel of 1932, Brave New World, Huxley poses these problems in a way far more integral to the plot. In Crome Yellow, such questions—and putative solutions—are put in the mouths of various characters. Since none of these (even Denis Stone, the protagonist and from whose point of view events are seen) is clearly sympathetic, it is not possible to discern in which direction Huxley himself throws his weight. It is more a case of “a plague on all your houses”—nobody escapes Huxley’s satirical deconstruction. Romanticism is especially attacked, and such attacks are repeated and developed throughout what might be considered the trilogy formed by his first three novels—Crome Yellow, Antic Hay (1923), and Those Barren Leaves (1925)—and even through the seven-novel series, including Point Counter Point (1928), Brave New World, Eyeless in Gaza (1936), and After Many a Summer Dies the Swan (1939), that...
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