As any avid reader knows, every once and awhile you will find a certain author that just “speaks your language”. Who writes as you would write, if you knew how. Who describes things in a way that you have always thought about them, but just couldn’t articulate. For me, I have recently discovered that in Aldous Huxley, particularly in “After the Fireworks”.
This collection of three novellas describes everyday facts of life and character at the center of each story. Huxley manages to throw out the final point in the reader’s face as they reach the end seemingly suddenly, but upon reflection readers realize that the story had almost obviously been leading there the entire time.
Huxley’s style is beautifully eloquent and bluntly relatable, as shown in one of my favorite passages,
“For we are all much too curious about the affairs of our neighbours. Particularly about the affairs of an erotic nature. What an itch we have to know whether Mr. Smith makes love to his secretary, whether his wife consoles herself, whether a certain Cabinet Minister is really the satyr he is rumoured to be. And meanwhile the most incredible miracles are happening all around us: stones, when we lift them and let them go, fall to the ground; the sun shines; bees visit the flowers; seeds grow into plants, a cell in nine months multiplies its weight a few thousands of thousands of time, and is a child; and men think, creating the world they live in. These things leave us almost perfectly indifferent.
But concerning the ways in which different individuals satisfy the cravings of one particular instinct, we have, in spite of the frightful monotony of the situation, in spite of the one well-known, inevitable consummation, an endless and ever-fresh curiosity.”
I highly recommend this book for any fan of fiction literature. At this point, I haven’t read Huxley’s most notable work “A Brave New World”, but you can bet it’s now at the top of my reading list.