By June Deery (auth.)
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Additional resources for Aldous Huxley and the Mysticism of Science
From the scientific perspective, one can see the human being as a 'worm' or an 'ex-fish' (PCP 205). But the statement is also amusing because of its initial novelty - this is not how we normally see ourselves - and because there is a real discrepancy between a fish and a fully-developed human being. We are more than fish: the very creation of art (of which this novel is an example) convinces us of that. But the reader is forced to keep the two truths simultaneously in focus and, as Huxley foresaw, this can 'set up the most disquieting reverberations' (Music 40).
Lucy Tantamount (PCP), Veronica Thwale (Time) and, to a lesser extent, Myra Viveash (Antic), are all female versions of the unfeeling, manipulative scientist. 20 Lucy's almost sociopathic coldness is explicitly attributed to her inheriting 'a touch of her father's detached scientific curiosity. She enjoyed experimenting, not with frogs and guinea-pigs, but with human beings' (PCP 114). Mrs Thwale also underlines the dark side, the wantonness of science. 'Cutting bits off frogs and mice, grafting cancer into rabbits, boiling things together in test-tubes - just to see what'll happen, just for the fun of the thing.
He piped of Quanta and hinted darkly at the mysteries of indeterminacy' (Genius 37). Elsewhere music is described in terms of animated mathematics. 'Euclidean axioms made holiday with the formulae of elementary statics. Arithmetic held a wild saturnalian kermesse; algebra cut capers. The music came to an end in an orgy of mathematical merrymaking' (PCP 48). EFFECTS Comedy There are different ways, then, for science to enter the literary text. But what kinds of effect do scientific references create once they are present?
Aldous Huxley and the Mysticism of Science by June Deery (auth.)