A lost generation searches for meaning in chaotic post-WWI London in this satirical novel by the acclaimed author of Brave New World.
First published in 1923, Aldous Huxley’s Antic Hay was banned in Australia and burned in Cairo for its frank depiction of bohemian life in the grim and listless aftermath of the Great War. Set in London, the comic novel follows a large cast of artists and intellectuals through their nihilistic yet determined pursuits. But at the center of these colorful characters is the peculiar man behind Gumbril’s Patent Small Clothes.
While sitting on the hard oak pews of his school’s chapel, disenchanted schoolmaster Theodore Gumbril Junior fantasizes about a pair of trousers with an inflatable air cushion in the seat to make the endless sermon more tolerable. Deciding on a whim to pursue this absurd invention, Gumbril moves to London and soon finds himself among a circle of cynical poets, would-be artists, and bohemian philosophers. Though a timid romantic, Gumbril fashions a rakish alter ego for himself, “The Complete Man,” as he pursues his fortunes in this scathing satire of British conventionality.
Long out of print, this minor modernist classic satirizes Huxley's illustrious circle in the years after World War I.