- Publisher: Greenwood Press
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0837176972
- ISBN-13: 978-0837176970
- Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
Beyond the Mexique Bay
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This "guide" to Central America and Mexico is, in reality, Huxley pitting his Oxford education against the simplicity of the lives of the local natives he encounters, and the wretched poverty they endure along with the vestiges of colonial Spanish influence still prevalent in their culture, and offering his interpretation of these scenes.
The classic British upper-class intellect of this stunning writer smashes directly into the stifled Latino struggle for survival in a sun-baked world of slow movement and cottage industry, and Huxley examines the New World around him with wit, depth, and a deep level of stoic and detatched sorrow hidden behind his "upper crust" Britishness.
The sentences are richly woven, as this master of composition bombards the reader with countless beautifully constructed sentences that are a celebration of composition and delightfully dance through the mind with graceful fluidity.
In the end one realises it's not so much what Huxley says, and his observations are, as is usual for him, quite observant, but how he says it.
Few modern writers can capture scenes with such vivid brushstrokes, and this charming and antiquated method of learning about the world around us is a reminder that the word education is relative to time and place, and that this intellectual giant humbles us with his grasp of language and breadth of understanding of what lies before his eyes as translated by his superb use of the English language.
After reading this, I would classify Huxley among his ranks of the New Stupid. He states on page 152 that "to civilize primitives may be impossible". He seems to have been influenced (brainwashed?) by D.H. Lawrence's book The Plumed Serpent. According to Huxley, "No-one has ever written more forcibly than Lawrence in The Plumed Serpent of the hopeless squalor and stuffiness of human beings who have not yet reached the spiritual and mental stage of consciousness." In an Indian colonel he sees "a profound, hopeless melancholy". Huxley's explanation: "He had, I suppose, enough of our education to make him aware of his own Indianness."
After reading this, I suspect that people like Huxley and Lawrence had reached the stage of hopeless stuffiness, although it's not clear if Huxley shared Lawrence's view, as expressed in vol 3 of the Letters of D.H. Lawrence, that "To learn plainly to hate mankind, to detest the spawning human being, that is the only cleanliness now," but it seems he was at least on the way to such a perspective.
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