Crome Yellow is the first novel by British author Aldous Huxley, published by Chatto & Windus in 1921, followed by a U.S. edition by George H. Doran Company in 1922. Though a social satire of its time, it is still appreciated and has been adapted to different media.
Crome Yellow was written during the summer of 1921 in the Tuscan seaside resort of Forte dei Marmi and published in November of that year. In view of its episodic nature, the novel was described in The Spectator as "a Cubist Peacock". This was in recognition of the fact that it was modelled on (and publicized as in the tradition of) Thomas Love Peacock’s country-house novels. There diverse types of the period are exhibited interacting with each other and holding forth on their personal intellectual conceits. There is little plot development. Indeed, H. L. Mencken questioned whether its comedy of manners could be called a novel at all but hailed with delight the author's "shrewdness, ingenuity, sophistication, impudence, waggishness and contumacy."
At the same time F. Scott Fitzgerald observed how within the novel's ambiguous form Huxley created structures and then demolished them "with something too ironic to be called satire and too scornful to be called irony." In addition, the open treatment of sexuality there appeared significant to Henry Seidel. Although "Nothing important happens…the story floats and sails upon the turbid intensity of restless sex.
Aldous Leonard Huxley
(26 July 1894 – 22 November 1963) was an English writer and philosopher. He wrote nearly fifty books—both novels and non-fiction works—as well as wide-ranging essays, narratives, and poems.
Born into the prominent Huxley family, he graduated from Balliol College, Oxford with an undergraduate degree in English literature. Early in his career, he published short stories and poetry and edited the literary magazine Oxford Poetry, before going on to publish travel writing, satire, and screenplays. He spent the latter part of his life in the United States, living in Los Angeles from 1937 until his death. By the end of his life, Huxley was widely acknowledged as one of the foremost intellectuals of his time. He was nominated for the Nobel Prize in Literature seven times and was elected Companion of Literature by the Royal Society of Literature in 1962.
Huxley was a pacifist. He grew interested in philosophical mysticism and universalism, addressing these subjects with works such as The Perennial Philosophy (1945)—which illustrates commonalities between Western and Eastern mysticism—and The Doors of Perception (1954)—which interprets his own psychedelic experience with mescaline. In his most famous novel Brave New World (1932) and his final novel Island (1962), he presented his vision of dystopia and utopia, respectively.
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