Book Meme: ‘Psichore’s Day Nine

The Book Meme Challenge: A book you thought you wouldn’t like but ended up loving

You must admit that this is a bit of a ticklish category.  If I thought I wouldn’t like it, then why, outside academic compulsion, would I submit to reading it?  If I ended up loving it, how could I recall the expectation of dislike?

Possibly because it’s so droll saying you haven’t read the book of the moment when you haven’t.  Or because you’re interested in someone who is quite keen on an unlikely-looking libellus (or liber, or whatever word might represent a large book).

For whatever reason I ended up reading it, I might yet be stretching the semantic range of “loving” a bit with Mr. Huxley’s Brave New World.

As with many other books on the “100 best English-language novels of the 20th century” list, I regarded it with suspicion, which did not fully abate when I began reading of this curious dystopic novel.  How dreadful the dearth of real emotion, the weak parodies of church and statesmanship, the disregard for the true and beautiful, and the embracing of practices which seem to me quite unnatural!

But of course, that is the point.  And Huxley’s libellus does a better job than any other dystopia I’ve ever read, in that it keeps the eyes reading, the mind pondering, and the soul glorifying God for bestowing on men free will – a will which may yet be submitted to Him rather than bottled in blood-surrogate, atrophied away into blind pleasure-seeking nothingness.

Granted, Brave New World is not altogether pleasant (especially not the end), but what a relief to look up from reading it and see that the world is not so!  That people are different, flawed, utterly themselves, incomprehensible much of the time, and can choose how to treat each other!  That I have a mother and father, and three brothers!  That there may be instability, and with them, nobility and heroism and courage!

How many goodly creatures are there here! How beauteous mankind is! O brave new world that has such people in it!


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