Surrealpolitik: Crome Yellow

Author: Aldous Huxley

London: Vintage (2004, first published in 1921)

Quick Summary

Huxley's first novel, a notable work of early modernism. If you ever need an example of a successful book that didn't bother with plot in the least, here's one. It's what they call a "novel of ideas", which basically means (as far as I can tell) that it has no plot and the author puts long speeches in character's mouths to say clever things he doesn't know where else to put. It's slightly tiresome and transparent but on the other hand, there are some clever things said.


There are 2 quotes currently associated with this book.

"Everything that ever gets done in this world is done by madmen," Mr Scogan went on... "People are quite ready to listen to the philosophers for a little amusement, just as they would listen to a fiddler or a mountebank. But as to acting on the advice of the men of reason -- never. Wherever the choice has had to be made between the man of reason and the madman, the world has unhesitatingly followed the madman." (page 122)
Tags: [Politics & Novels, Humor]
[Mr Scogan speaking:] "If you want to get men to act reasonably, you must set about persuading them in a maniacal manner. The very sane precepts of the founders of religions are only made infectious by means of enthusiasms which to a sane man must appear deplorable. It is humiliating to find how impotent unadulterated sanity is. Sanity, for example, informs us that the only way in which we can preserve civilization is by behaving decently and intelligently. Sanity appeals and argues; our rulers persevere in their customary porkishness, while we acquiesce and obey. The only hope is a maniacal crusade; I am ready, when it comes, to beat a tambourine with the loudest, but at the same time I shall feel a little ashamed of myself." (page 123)
Tags: [Politics & Novels, Humor, Rationality]