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Every man is born with his share of Original Sin, to which every writer adds a pinch of Original Vulgarity. Necessarily and quite inevitably.

Vulgarity In Literature

For exhibitionism is always vulgar, even if vulgarity in literature you exhibit is the most exquisitely refined of souls. Some writers are more squeamishly conscious than others of the essential vulgarity of their trade — so much so, that, like Flaubert, they have found it hard to commit that initial offense against good breeding: It is just possible, of course, that the greatest writers have never written; that the world is full of Monsieur Testes and mute inglorious Miltons, too delicate to come before the public.

I should like to believe it; but I find it hard.


Your great writer is possessed by a devil, over which he has very little control. If the devil wants to come out vulgarity in literature, in practice, devils always do want to come outit will do so, however loud the protests of the aristocratic consciousness, with which it uneasily cohabits.

Aldous Huxley, Essays: Vulgarity in Literature | united architects - essays

II To be pale, to have no appetite, to swoon at the slightest provocation — these, not so long ago, were the signs of maidenly good breeding. In other words, when a girl was marked with the stigmata of anemia and chronic constipation, you knew she was a lady.

Virtues are generally fashioned more or less elegantly, according to the skill of the moral couturier out of necessities. Rich girls had no need to work; the aristocratic tradition discouraged them from vulgarity in literature working; and the Christian tradition discouraged vulgarity in literature from compromising their maiden modesty by taking anything like violent exercise.


Good carriage-roads and, finally, railways spared them the healthy fatigues of riding. The virtues of Fresh Air had vulgarity in literature yet been discovered and the Draft was still the commonest, as it was almost the most dangerous, manifestation of the Diabolic Principle.

More perverse than Chinese foot-squeezers, the topiarists of European fashion had decreed that the elegant should have all her viscera constricted and displaced by tight lacing. In a word, the rich girl lived a life scientifically calculated to vulgarity in literature her unhealthy.

A virtue was made of humiliating necessity, and the pale ethereal swooner of romantic literature remained for years the type and mirror of refined young womanhood. Something of the same kind happens from time to time in vulgarity in literature realm of literature.

Vulgarity in literature: digressions from a theme - Aldous Huxley - Google книги

Moments vulgarity in literature when too conspicuous a show of vigor, too frank an interest in common things are signs of literary vulgarity. To be really lady-like, the Muses, like their mortal sisters, must be anemic and constipated.

On the more sensitive writers of certain epochs circumstances impose an artistic wasting away, a literary consumption. This distressing fatality is at once transformed into a virtue, which it becomes a duty for all to cultivate. Nos valets le feront pour nous. The vulgarity of this having to walk and talk; to open and close the eyes; to think vulgarity in literature drink and every day, yes, every day, to eat, eat and excrete.

No, no — too gross, too stupidly low.

Vulgarity in literature :digressions from a theme /by Aldous Huxley. – National Library

At the same point, but on another plane, of the great spiral of history, Prince Gotama, more than two thousand years before, had also discovered the vulgarity of living.

The sight of a corpse rotting by the roadside had set him thinking. It was his first introduction to death. Now, a corpse, poor thing, is an untouchable vulgarity in literature the process of decay is, of all pieces of bad manners, the vulgarest imaginable.

  • Vulgarity In Literature by Aldous, Huxley
  • Aldous Huxley, Essays: Vulgarity in Literature

For a corpse is, by definition, a person absolutely devoid of savoir vivre. Even your sweeper knows better.

But in every greatest king, in every loveliest flowery princess, in every poet most refined, every best dressed dandy, every holiest and most spiritual teacher, there lurks, waiting, waiting for the moment to emerge, an outcaste of the outcastes, a dung carrier, a dog, lower than the lowest, bottomlessly vulgar.

What with making their way and enjoying what they have won, heroes have no time to think. But the sons of heroes — ah, they have all the necessary leisure. The future Buddha belonged vulgarity in literature the generation which has time.

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