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Thread: Plot? Story Line??

  1. #1
    Marcus Perman
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    Plot? Story Line??

    The previous person's comment that Crome Yellow had little or now story line to follow has peaked my interest. I would say that the story line was so simple and obvious that it could go unnoticed. The story line is exactly what Mr. Scogan "intuits" Denis' story line to be- a troubled artist trying to understand life and love. But that has almost nothing to do with the meaning of the story itself- which is of course why everyone like the book so much. What I find interesting is that the copy I have is very old (it has an add in the back for prints of Picasso for 10 cents, and claims the book is 35 cents, but I paid $2) and its front cover states that the book is "A bold exploration into love an sex, it is the modern classic which shocked and enlightened a generation" - What a rediculous mistake of a description- am I missing something? The book had nothing to do with sex, it had to do with Aldous Huxley expressing his philosophical ideas through Mr. Scogan and the interplay of characters and their ideas- it was almost completely satire, but for a few points that Mr. Scogan argued, that were in fact mostly satirical themeselves. The book was excellent, but not amazing, it was mearely good- In fact the ending was rediculous, if I handed in a story like this to my professor he would give me a B and ask what the story really meant- for all its satire and interesting characters Crome Yellow fails to present a truly coherent idea about anything- it flutters about in an attempt to get at existentialism but merely fails to do so. Denis is so rediculous a character and the book ends in such an unfinished sort of way, one wonders if Aldous simply got tired and stopped writing.

  2. #2
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    Perman, I'm afraid you've misunderstood 'Crome Yellow'. Sure, it ends in 'an unfinished sort of way' but that's not b/c Huxley simply 'got tired of writing'! The ending is in the manner of the rest of the work. It resonates and anything else would've been out of place and stilted. A story without plot is not going to suddenly imitate the trite line of other novels where there HAS to be a climax and resolution in conclusion! You also said your professor would give you a B if you handed in a story like that. Well I think he would be surprised you could write it. Perhaps you should look up how to spell 'rediculous'. Lastly, one's interest is not 'peaked'... Why are you on the literature network?

  3. #3
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    Perman, I agree with you on one thing: Crome Yellow was an excellent work of satire; not Huxley's best, but amusing and insightful enough to warrant its place as a minor twentieth century classic. I think, though, that you've missed the point by analysing the novel in terms of meaning. Huxley was no existentialist: the comedy and drama of Crome Yellow are essentially observational. To appreciate Huxley, you really need to be in sympathy with his insight that "The trouble with fiction ... is that is that it makes too much sense: reality never makes sense". Huxley was much too interested in depicting the detailed, rambling and sometimes ridiculous spectacle of real life - in its intellectual as well as its ordinary aspects - to moralise or philosophise too explicitly. Don't read him to attain enlightenment; read him to see the world through the filter of his accutely analytical mind, and you'll get a lot more out of the experience.

  4. #4
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    Aitken, wow, you really take this Literature Net thing seriously, I didn't realize I would offend. I am surprised you didn't note the other misspelled words in my previous entry. I was a bit inebriated at the time and your truculent reply indicates you may have been as well. Apparently this website has been changed around a bit as I believe I was actually responding to someone else who suggested that there was no story line at all in Crome Yellow. Furthermore, I am piqued by your suggestion that people who can’t spell as well as you can while inebriated should not be on the Literature Network. You probably piqued yourself on your witty response, but it is probably of more use to the Lit. Net community to attack the argument I made in the way PJ did, by responding with a competent rebuttal.
    PJ’s comments did pique my interest and were quite informative. I do wonder however, about the comment as to Huxley’s existentialism and about the proposition that Crome Yellow be considered a ‘minor classic’. I could be ill-informed, but I have heard Huxley presented along with humanistic existentialism. Now, I don’t think I would say he was actually a card carrying existentialist based on the few books I have read, but it seems there is a connection. I believe he even wrote on it, although I’m not going to go search around now to find out what he said, maybe it was as belligerent Mr. Aitkens’ response. In any case PJ can certainly enlighten us on the subject. As to the second point of interest, on what grounds would we place Crome Yellow on the short list of ‘minor classics’? Frankly, some of my previous comments still stand, the book was merely good. I did see that he was trying to present the ridiculous spectacle of ‘real’ life, but I am saying he didn’t do a great job, especially with the character Denis. Clearly I do not think that Huxley actually “got tired and stopped writing”, but the affect of the book was to make me consider the possibility. So, what precisely can we say about the writing that helps me to understand this ‘minor classic’? Surely Huxley had an analytical mind, surely he had good reasons for the choices he made, but did he actually succeed in putting them forth in a way worthy of the title ‘minor classic’? Maybe, what do you think Mr. PJ?

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