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Point Counter Point ()

Modern Library Top 100 Novels of the 20th Century (44)

This was probably the most disappointing book on this list.  I loved Brave New World, but it seems that I misunderstood one of it's main points.  Huxley apparently opposed science and meant the book to be as much a warning about a science dominated future, as a warning about authoritarian government in general.  From this perspective, Brave New World is nearly a crypto-Luddite tract.

Huxley was generally something of a sensualist and an anti-rationalist.  Like most men before him, he was troubled by the body/mind dichotomy that uniquely confronts humankind.  But unlike the great thinkers who have been responsible for nearly all human progress, he (along with his friend DH Lawrence) came down on the side of the body and sensory experience, rejecting reason, science, religion, etc..  It seems to me that to choose the body over the mind is to reject the divine spark in man in favor of the animal instinct.

Point Counter Point, a voluminous, wildly overpopulated, completely outdated roman a clef is meant to vindicate his viewpoint, but is so sarcastic as to undermine even his own arguments.  Despite some funny set pieces and some interesting ideas, I'd not recommend this book and may have to revisit Brave New World.


Grade: (D)


Aldous Huxley Links:

    -WIKIPEDIA: Aldous Huxley
    -ESSAY: Whose Nightmare Are We Living In: Orwell’s or Huxley’s?: Andrew Keen Investigates Dual Literary Visions of Society’s Collapse (Andrew Keen, June 24, 2022, LitHub)
    -REVIEW ESSAY: Brave New World: Revisited (Francis X. Maier, July 30, 2020, First Things)
    -REVIEW: of Aldous Huxley: A Biography by Sybille Bedford (Benjamin Schwarz, The Atlantic Monthly)
    -REVIEW: of ALDOUS HUXLEY by Jake Poller (Gerri Kimber, TLS))

Book-related and General Links:
    -Aldous Huxley
    -Literary Research Guide: Aldous Huxley (1894 - 1963)
    -REVIEW: Aldous Huxley: A Biography by Sybille Bedford Huxley at Home (Robert Craft, NY Review of Books)
    -REVIEW: of Aldous Huxley Brave New World Ý(1932) (Leon R. Kass, First Things)


You are missing the point completely! Helllllloo.

- mollywog

- Jan-11-2007, 20:29


why can't you see the underlying lessons. Why do Mark and Mary Rampion end up the happiest, huh? Take a look at the social pressure aspect and maybe you'll see how good this book really is. Leave the rationilm and body/mind dichotomy out.


- Jan-10-2007, 19:00


Huxley sought a middle road betweeen the out-of-body rationalism of Philip and the animal pleasure he found so prevalent in the Roaring Twenties of his times. While viewing his later work as abandonment of the mind for the sensual, I view Point Counter Point as an all-encompassing satire on the humanity Huxley experinced daily.

- Bry

- Sep-02-2006, 18:24


Have you never heard of capital letters?

- Hello?

- Nov-08-2003, 13:40


aside from misspelling "its," i think you missed the whole point of the novel. it's not an indictment of science and rationality as much as a critique of the upper classes and their various intellectual preoccupations.

i loved it.

- mrgr1mm

- Jul-22-2003, 20:18