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The Modernist Party$
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Kate McLoughlin

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780748647316

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: September 2013

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748647316.001.0001

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‘Pleasure too often repeated’:1 Aldous Huxley’s Modernity

‘Pleasure too often repeated’:1 Aldous Huxley’s Modernity

(p.210) Chapter 12 ‘Pleasure too often repeated’:1 Aldous Huxley’s Modernity
The Modernist Party

Morag Shiach

Edinburgh University Press

In ‘“Pleasure too often repeated”: Aldous Huxley’s Modernity’, Morag Shiach focuses on three kinds of Huxleyan repetition: quotation, circulating sexual energies and social rituals. Huxley’s ‘accumulating drops of allusion and quotation’ represent not only a literary style but also ‘the characteristic universe’ of his fictional parties, ‘where meaning emerges from the cumulative drops of fragmented conversation and quotation rather than presenting itself as continuous or coherent’. Serial sexual encounters at parties, together with the taking of narcotics, figure ‘paralysis and obsessive return’, while the ‘repetitions and rituals’ of ‘enforced sociability’ occasion psychic damage. Linking these symptoms in Crome Yellow (1921), Point Counter Point (1928) and Brave New World (1932) to Huxley’s vision of modernity, Shiach explores how Huxley’s textual strategies mimic party behaviours.

Keywords:   Aldous Huxley, Crome Yellow, Point Counter Point, Brave New World, Repetition, Quotation, Sexuality, Sociality

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