Abstract

abstract:

Aldous Huxley’s final novel, Island (1962), famously combines Eastern and Western thought. However, many readings of the novel compartmentalize the engagement with science in the novel as Western and its engagement with philosophy as Eastern, with the consequence that aspects of the novel rooted in Western philosophy are often overlooked. This article argues that, among Western writing, attention to Henri Bergson is particularly revealing with respect to Island. Both Bergson’s philosophy of the function of the mind and his reflections on social evolution have major parallels within Huxley’s novel. The reflection of Bergsonian ideas in Island marks the culmination of a long journey for Huxley: he had been familiar with Bergson for fifty years prior to its publication. This article traces Huxley’s progress from initial coolness toward the then-modish Bergson to eventual acclamation, culminating in Island.

pdf

Additional Information

ISSN
2154-9648
Print ISSN
1045-991X
Pages
pp. 362-379
Launched on MUSE
2019-01-05
Open Access
No
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.