May 25, 2020
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My Book of the Century

My Book of the Century
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ALDOUS Huxley's Brave New World is one of the more important books of this century. In this book, not only does Huxley limn the impossible choices people will face in this century, he understands them with an almost uncanny prescience.

On the one hand there is the dubious moral territory that science will enter in the name of progress. Among other things it will clone creatures to deprive them of complexities and create what appears a conflict-free and utopian world.

Huxley's humanism recoils at this prospect. The traditional human, who is seen as a savage, fights for the right to be unhappy because it is through complexity and unhappiness that great art and writing arise.

But complex humans also create a messy world as we can see from the tragic history of this century. It is a choice of evils. Aldous Huxley's Brave New World shows a clear understanding of these impossible choices.

(Eunice de Souza is a poet)

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