Synopses & Reviews
Aldous Huxley spares no one in his ironic, piercing portrayal of a group gathered in an Italian palace by the socially ambitious and self-professed lover of art, Mrs. Aldwinkle. Here, Mrs. Aldwinkle yearns to recapture the glories of the Italian Renaissance, but her guests ultimately fail to fulfill her naïve expectations.
Among her entourage are: a suffering poet and reluctant editor of the Rabbit Fanciers' Gazette who silently bears the widowed Mrs. Aldwinkle's desperate advances; a popular novelist who records every detail of her affair with another guest, the amorous Calamy, for future literary endeavors; and an aging sensualist philosopher who pursues a wealthy yet mentally-disabled heiress.
Stripping the houseguests of their pretensions, Huxley reveals the superficiality of the cultural elite. Deliciously satirical, Those Barren Leaves bites the hands of those who dare to posture or feign sophistication and is as comically fresh today as when first published.
Brilliantly done; Those Barren Leaveshas humour, daring, some excellent fooling, remarkable erudition and plenty of Huxley's salacious irony.Huxley has an utterly ruthless habit of building up an elaborate andsometimes almost romantic structure and then blowing it down withsomething too ironic to be called satire and too scornful to be calledirony. -- F. Scott Fitzgerald
"Brilliantly done; Those Barren Leaves has humour, daring, some excellent fooling, remarkable erudition and plenty of Huxley's salacious irony." The Guardian
"Huxley has an utterly ruthless habit of building up an elaborate and sometimes almost romantic structure and then blowing it down with something too ironic to be called satire and too scornful to be called irony." F. Scott Fitzgerald
It is brilliant and daring . . . humorous, witty, clever, cultured.The many-toned wit of the book, the beauty and shrewdness of itsdescriptions, the learning, the thought, the richness of character, theintellectual and artistic honesty of it . . . show that Mr. Huxley . .. will be a great novelist.
"Huxley has never written a richer book."--The Nation
About the Author
Considered to be one of the most significant British writers of the twentieth century, Aldous Huxley is the author of a dozen novels, including Brave New World, Point Counter Point, Time Must Have a Stop, Antic Hay, Crome Yellow, and Those Barren Leaves. He also wrote over thirty volumes of poetry, short stories, and essays during his lifetime.