Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item:
|Title:||Aldous Huxley and the Visual Arts|
|Authors:||Schumacher, Douglas Paul|
|Keywords:||English Language and Literature;English Language and Literature|
|Abstract:||<p>Art is not the discovery of Reality -- whatever Reality may be, and no human being can possibly know. It is the organization of chaotic appearance into an orderly and human universe. -Jesting Pilate</p> <p>There is no doubt that Aldous Huxley took a keen interest in the visual arts and their place in society, particularly during the nineteen twenties and early nineteen thirties. This quotation from Jesting Pilate (1926) accurately reflects the young writer's view on the creation of works of art. Order and humanity are key virtues to be pursued, not only artistically but socially as well. The social fragmentation, disillusionment and chaos which had befallen western society after August 1914, was echoed -- many persons thought in the modern visual arts. In his early satirical novels and essays, Huxley sought to thwart the fragmentary, egotistical, and morally bankrupt drift of his society -- as he viewed it. -- with a call for wholeness and a sense of values, collectively and individually.</p> <p>In later years, Huxley acknowledged the limitations of art as a social corrective. However, he did come to perceive the transcendent qualities of the visual arts. There was a shift from the pessimistic, cynical graduate of Balliol with his Goyaesque view of postwar society to the semi-mystical humanist and social meliorist of the late nineteen fifties and early nineteen sixties.</p> <p>This study will focus on Huxley's aesthetic views and the expression of his values in the visual arts, particularly during the period from 1920 to 1932, when the bulk of his art criticisms was produced. An attempt will be made to integrate Huxley's view of the artist and the arts with his view of society. It would be unfair to totally isolate Huxley's writings on art from his thoughts on society. The visual arts were deemed to be a vital and integral component of the social structure. It should also be noted and commented upon that the visual arts virtually vanish as a key element in the novels after Point Counter Point (1928).</p> <p>This dissertation has a limited focus and is not intended to be a general critical assessment of Aldous Huxley as a novelist or essayist. What he had to say about the visual arts, generally remains as intelligent, pellucid and refreshing as it did when it was first published. What emerges from this study of Huxley's writings on the visual arts will be a justification of Kenneth Clark's view of Huxley as "one of the most discerning lookers of our time".</p>|
|Appears in Collections:||Open Access Dissertations and Theses|
Items in MacSphere are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.