Condition: Hardcover, no dust jacket. Spine sunned and slightly frayed. Binding tight, text clean. Some tanning and foxing to edges.
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An eclectic collection of essays, reviews and other ephemera, mostly relating to writing, publishing, literature, film, humor, travel. Post a Comment. My current work in progress takes place in a lost world, a time and place I have never been and never will be, of which only the dimmest, rustiest shadows remain, almost all of them at the bottom of the dark sea.
I am well challenged. A guy can only grow up so much. Research into the s carries me afar. I skim here, read closely there, mining, dredging facts, then wring them through the sieve of my imagination. From there, I slowly--very slowly with his book--weave the strands into colorful, picturesque sometimes grotesque exciting narrative—hopefully stitching is so skillful that I fool us both into thinking I was there, ninety years ago.
With you right there alongside my imagined self, the smells of salt air, coalsmoke and oil filling your mind, as you brace yourself on the swerving deck, leaning against the cold wet wind, as storm rises ahead, as white froth breaks upon the black sea.
Gunfire from the bridge! A pirate ship on the horizon! Mutiny below! Among my towers of research sources are travel books written in the early part of the twentieth century, written by those who were there; or at least passed through. Before then, most traveled only out of necessity. Starting in the late nineteenth century, thanks to technological and economic booms, travel became safer and with safety, pleasure was added like frosting.
So it came within reach of the mass of Westerners and the genre of travel writing moved beyond the scope of Marco Polo and Lewis and Clark. Huxley is best remembered as the author of Brave New World and The Doors of Perception , which is one of the first personal accounts of psychedelic usage that other kind of travel.
Huxley was a pioneering thinker of his times: a socialist, atheist, pacifist whose influence is still with us though he seems to have sloughed off his atheism in later years in favor of an Eastern spirituality. Much of his fiction is satirical, a genre out of fashion in our age of self-serious novels. Huxley also suffered from poor eyesight for most of his life.
Pilate , the first of them, tells of a year-long journey through India, Burma, Malaya, and Japan, before winding up America, to which he would return to live out his life, dying the same day as C. Lewis and President John F.
Kennedy, his final request an injection of LSD. The cover of my copy Paragon House, depicts a sportily dressed English tourist lounging on a spindly chair, suitcase by his side, his feet up on the clouds as only the English seem to be able to do. Far far in the distance, across an expanse of water, in the lower corner, sits the Taj Mahal, an image almost like a tchotchke made for a doll house.
Huxley is still a great writer and thinker. His opinions are strong, witty, articulate. The observations he makes. I got a special kick out of his razor-sharp takedown of popular Hollywood filmmaking of the s, and how American movies grossly, absurdly misrepresent the West to Asian audiences. He makes the highbrow conservatism that seemed oppressive in my anything-goes youth seem refreshing and rebellious in this age of musclebound, muscle-headed Marvel Superheroes.
Maybe I will write about that cloud of flies hovering around my sink after all! Make them a Metaphor for Everything!
Nobel here I come! He was a man of his time, seeing through his own poor eyes as I see through my better ones. And modernity was still shiny and new.
Air travel had not even begun. Still, Huxley makes his judgments. Huxley is not always a descriptive or detailing writer. I sometimes encountered a great gulf between observer and observed. Modern readers whose politics are delicate will find Huxley insufferably English, a snobby son of the Empire, down to his wellies.
He tends to carpet his sensibilities over the sweltering poverty of the world he travels through. Useful enough. Copyright by Thomas Burchfield. Photo by author. Posted by Thomas Burchfield at AM. Labels: Aldous Huxley , Jesting Pilate review. No comments:. Newer Post Older Post Home. Subscribe to: Post Comments Atom. Subscribe To Posts Atom. Comments Atom. About Me Thomas Burchfield View my complete profile.
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Jesting Pilate – Aldous Huxley (1926) (1st edition)
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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. The phrase Jesting Pilate can be: a phrase coined by Francis Bacon in the opening sentence of his essay Of Truth a name for the Biblical verse to which Bacon was referring, namely John the title of a book by Aldous Huxley the title of a book by Sir Owen Dixon Disambiguation page providing links to topics that could be referred to by the same search term. Categories : Disambiguation page with short description Disambiguation pages. Hidden categories: All article disambiguation pages All disambiguation pages. Namespaces Article Talk. Views Read Edit View history.
Jesting Pilate : an intellectual holyday
An eclectic collection of essays, reviews and other ephemera, mostly relating to writing, publishing, literature, film, humor, travel. Post a Comment. My current work in progress takes place in a lost world, a time and place I have never been and never will be, of which only the dimmest, rustiest shadows remain, almost all of them at the bottom of the dark sea. I am well challenged. A guy can only grow up so much. Research into the s carries me afar. I skim here, read closely there, mining, dredging facts, then wring them through the sieve of my imagination.