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~ jwf ~ scribblo ergo sum Started conversation Nov 27, 2007
I came here looking for an explanation of your name's tagline 'gutted about rae' not knowing who or what rae might be or if you're truly gutted.
But then I read your intro and was sufficiently impressed by your capable language skills and the fact that you are an avid reader to wonder if you might be interested in pursuing Aldous Huxley's "After Many A Summer Dies the Swan". It is one of his lesser known works and not an easy read at first, being deeply philosophical at the cusp of WW2 (1939) while also being an indictment of the good life in California, the decadence of the newly rich and the meaning of life. Just thought someone such as yourself with a wide background and language skills might enjoy it.
Personally I am currently obsessed with trying to get others to have a look at it because I found it to be like some 'future echo' of HHGttG with its deep thinking considerations of 'harmlessness' and the 'depressing' qualities of being too intelligent and knowing too much. Even many of the characters seem to be prototypical though I would not be surprised to learn that DNA had never read it. It must be one of them meme thingies where good ideas have lives of their own.
Oh dear, like all old hippies I do go on sometimes.
van-smeiter Posted Nov 30, 2007
Thank you for flattering my language skills and thank you for the recommendation. Rae is an amazing woman who painted my life with more colours than I could find words to describe. However, she recently decided that her life would be better if we never saw each other again; hence the guttedness.
I enjoyed Huxley's Crome Yellow (Pseudo-Wodehouse?) and I was very impressed with Antic Hay (despite the snatches of Latin, Italian, etc that I couldn't understand- just about understood the French.) I haven't been able to read so much in the past year, because I've begun studying an OU degree, but I try to read as much fiction as I can. I've just started Waugh's 'Vile Bodies'.
Stop yer blathering, Van! I used to have a reading plan for each year but I now feel liberated and can read anything that takes my fancy so I shall definitely keep my eyes peeled for "After Many A Summer Dies the Swan". I look forward to talking to you again but, remember...
Young(ish) hippies can go on too!
~ jwf ~ scribblo ergo sum Posted Dec 21, 2007
Just to keep you in the Aldous loop here's a copy/paste of what I've been posting in all the threads where I mentioned Huxley's novel a few weeks ago:
I was never sure why I suddenly became so interested in Aldous Huxley a few weeks ago; it was like some outside force had directed me to the little known novel "After Many A Summer Dies the Swan" which has many future echoes of HHGttG and a DNA-like 'fascination/love' for California.
Then of course the aniversary of his death (Nov.22) was upon us and I noted the occassion in this thread and popped other references into a few other conversations. I still wasn't sure why.
At the time I had no idea he had left a widow or that she had (as his dying wish) given him LSD on his deathbed. So I was really surprised to hear she died last week, 44 years after. That's 'many a summer' after. Anyway, still mystified by this 'coincidence', I feel obliged to mention it here now.
"Laura Huxley's house for the last 50-odd years stood below the first "O" in the fabled "HOLLYWOOD" sign in Los Angeles. The garden was a profusion of triffid-like foliage..."
There are many other amazing comments and observations in the following pages found in some of the 13,500 google search results of her obituary notices:
I think I'll swan off now.
PS: That link didn't work in other copied postings so search for "Aldous Huxley widow dies" if you like.
van-smeiter Posted Aug 24, 2010
I Finally came across a copy and, because of your recommendation, I didn't think twice about buying it. What's more, it's a 1950 hardback copy that's in pretty good nick and cost just £2.
My nose is currently stuck in Henry V because of an upcoming essay deadline, and I have several texts to re-read before my mid-October exams, but I hope to get back to you before Christmas with my thoughts about 'After Many A Summer'.
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