Reluctant Modernists: Aldous Huxley and Some Contemporaries
A Collection of Essays edited by Evelyn S. Firchow and Bernfried Nugel With an Introduction by Jerome Meckier and a Personal Memoir by Janice Rossen Presented on the Occasion of his 65th Birthday December 16, 2002
The essays collected here deal with modernist writers who, on the whole, felt 'reluctant' about their modernist status because they believed that it was just as important to look backward as it was to look forward. Indeed, for most of them looking backward was more important because it was only through the past that one could understand one's proper place in the present and in the future. That is why in Huxley's Brave New World it is the rejection of the past in the future - and by implication in the present - that makes its satire so penetrating. Modernism, in other words, means for these writers not a radical break with the past but a continuing search for what still connects them (and us) vitally with it.
Peter Firchow, Professor of English at the University of Minnesota, is the author of several books on modern and modernist literary subjects, including books on Huxley, Conrad, and Auden. The publication of some of his hitherto uncollected essays in the volume is intended to honor him on the occasion of his sixty-fifth birthday.