Aldous Huxley: Island (3639 words)


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If you make a landing on Huxley’s utopian fiction Island expecting an idyll of warm sand and happiness, you discover that it offers instead an uncomfortable terrain of narratorial grit: “ ‘Psycho-physical means to a transcendental end,’ said Vijaya, raising his voice above the grinding screech of the low gear into which he had just shifted …” (Island, Ch. 9, p.149). The preoccupations of the book are indeed “psycho-physical”. This is not a fiction about blissful existence. The book has a “transcendental end”: it invents a whole society organised to keep at bay what its central character refers to as “E.H.”, the “Essential Horror” of …

Citation: Booth, Roy. "Island". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 08 August 2019 [, accessed 18 June 2021.]

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