Pop Culture
Dec 24, 2014, 09:39AM

So Few People Can

A 1960 Paris Review interview with author Aldous Huxley an 2009 E-Flux interview with author/philosopher Raoul Vaneigem.

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Aldous Huxley: It’s a very salutary thing to realize that the rather dull universe in which most of us spend most of our time is not the only universe there is.

Raoul Vaneigem: Our internal space-time is maze-like. What should we do with it?

Huxley: I’m not sure what I’m going to do with it all.


Vaneigem: There are still a few districts suitable for nice walks.

Huxley: They leave most people with no hangover, and they are not habit-forming.

Vaneigem: I don’t keep any kind of score.

Huxley: So few people can.


Vaneigem: I don’t collaborate with anyone.

Huxley: All my thoughts are second thoughts.

Vaneigem: Curiosity feeds the desire to know.

Huxley: Don’t ask me how.


Vaneigem: Freeness is the only absolute weapon capable of shattering the mighty self-destruction machine set in motion by consumer society, whose implosion is still releasing, like a deadly gas, bottom-line mentality, cupidity, financial gain, profit, and predation.

Huxley: It’s gone very slowly because I’ve had to struggle with the fable, the framework to carry the expository part. These are difficult things for me.

Vaneigem: Survival is budgeted life. The voice of lived poetry will sweep away the last remaining echoes of a discourse in which words are in profit’s pay.

Huxley: It forces you to write on everything under the sun, it develops your facility, it teaches you to master your material quickly, and it makes you look at things.

Vaneigem: The break with patriarchal values is final. Still, insurrectional consciousness always sleeps with one eye open.

Huxley: I prefer to read at night.


Vaneigem: Urbanism is the ideological gridding and control of individuals and society by an economic system that exploits man and Earth and transforms life into a commodity.

Huxley: Oh, no, no, no. We need it.

Vaneigem: Everywhere.


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