Пространственно-временной континуум в утопии Олдоса Хаксли

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Title Пространственно-временной континуум в утопии Олдоса Хаксли
Tytuł równoległy: A Space-Time Continuum in Aldous Huxley’s Utopia
Autor: Shadurski, Maxim
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/11331/3424
Date: 2011
Źródło: Literary Researches. No 32 (2011), p. 161-168
Abstract: This article examines the specificity of a space-time continuum in Aldous Huxley’s utopia. The structure of the argument is informed by the compensatory nature of the utopian imagination: the critique of the current human situation engenders visions of a better and perhaps happier society; the utopian impulse to transcend reality brings to life a perfected space-time continuum. In his last novel Island (1962), Huxley summons up a vision arguably based, among many other aspects, on the rethinking of landscape which centres around an axis mundi and enables a convergence of values. Huxley uses the term 'pragmatic dream' to describe his utopian endeavours, which find their most potent, and yet precarious, realization on the fictional island of Pala. Having designated this island as a contact zone between East and West, morals and politics, death and immortality, Huxley heralds a project of reconciliation. The 'hybridization of micro-cultures' involves a dialogue of civilizations which are harmonized through various patterns of culture – European, Hindi, Chinese, and others. Since the concept of Pala is derived from varying cultural sources, the reconciliation of their opposites constitutes a convergent model of the world, ensuring a very productive if highly vulnerable exchange of values. Yet such a perfected space-time continuum proves incompatible with the dictates of the wider world. The movement of time outside the island contests Pala’s timelessness to the extent that the alien profit-seeking party eventually infringes on this untimely ideal of enlightened insularity and dissolves it almost completely. However, the framing structure of the novel, opening and concluding at the call for attention, suggests a possibility of regeneration and eternal return: if not on earth, this illuminating vision can be lived and continually resurrected in the enlightened individual’s mind. Huxley’s aspiration to make his utopia at least psychologically attainable underpins the space-time continuum of his novel and thereby defines his fragile 'pragmatic dream'.

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