Quotations From ALDOUS HUXLEY

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  • Hell isn't merely paved with good intentions; it's walled and roofed with them. Yes, and furnished too.
    Aldous Huxley (1894-1963), British novelist. Eustace Barnack, in Time Must Have a Stop, ch. 12 (1944). Eustace Barnack extends this time-worn aphorism to express his contempt for puritanical reformers who have traditionally used violence to install their moral and religious visions.
  • Now, a corpse, poor thing, is an untouchable and the process of decay is, of all pieces of bad manners, the vulgarest imaginable. For a corpse is, by definition, a person absolutely devoid of savoir vivre.
    Aldous Huxley (1894-1963), British author. repr. In Music at Night and Other Essays (1949). "Vulgarity in Literature," (1930).
  • Official dignity tends to increase in inverse ratio to the importance of the country in which the office is held.
    Aldous Huxley (1894-1963), British author. Beyond the Mexique Bay, "Puerto Barrios," (1934).
  • If Men and Women took their Pleasures as noisily as the Cats, what Londoner could ever hope to sleep of nights?
    Aldous Huxley (1894-1963), British novelist. The Fifth Earl of Gonister, in After Many a Summer Dies the Swan, pt. II, ch. 4 (1939). This witticism is found in the diaries of the Fifth Earl of Gonister, Huxley's invention of an eighteenth-century aristocrat of almost superhuman cynicism.

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  • The more powerful and original a mind, the more it will incline towards the religion of solitude.
    Aldous Huxley (1894-1963), British author. "The Essence of Religion: Solitaries and Sociables," Proper Studies (1927).

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  • Specialized meaninglessness has come to be regarded, in certain circles, as a kind of hall-mark of true science.
    Aldous Huxley (1894-1963), British author. "Beliefs," ch. 14, Ends and Means (1937).
  • It was one of those evenings when men feel that truth, goodness and beauty are one. In the morning, when they commit their discovery to paper, when others read it written there, it looks wholly ridiculous.
    Aldous Huxley (1894-1963), British novelist. Antic Hay, ch. 21 (1923).

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  • But a priest's life is not supposed to be well-rounded; it is supposed to be one-pointed—a compass, not a weathercock.
    Aldous Huxley (1894-1963), British author. The Devils of Loudun, ch. 1 (1952).

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  • Pure Spirit, one hundred degrees proof—that's a drink that only the most hardened contemplation-guzzlers indulge in. Bodhisattvas dilute their Nirvana with equal parts of love and work.
    Aldous Huxley (1894-1963), British author. Susila, in Island, ch. 15 (1962).

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  • The philosophy of action for action, power for the sake of power, had become an established orthodoxy. "Thou has conquered, O go-getting Babbitt."
    Aldous Huxley (1894-1963), British novelist. Eustace Barnack, in Time Must Have a Stop, ch. 12 (1944). In this passage the narrator reports Eustace Barnack's thoughts and concludes with his reworking of Algernon Charles Swinburne's poem "An Interlude," "Thou hast conquered, O pale Galilean" substituting Sinclair Lewis's character who represents the ideology of small- town capitalism.

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