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Aldous Huxley's The Olive Tree 1947


Title: The Olive Tree
Author: Aldous Huxley
Publisher: Chatto & Windus
Publication Date: 1947
Format: Hardback
Condition: This book is in good condition for its age other than some minor signs of wear. No dust-jacket, faded spine lettering, clean pages.

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Reader's note

A delightful collection of essays by the brilliant Aldous Huxley. The Olive Tree features sixteen essays, focusing more on the psychology of individuals. An excerpt from the essay 'New Fashioned Christmas': 'Thus, art and industry have flourished from time to time immemorial in the rich soil of bereavement and the fear of death. Weddings have been almost as profitable to commerce as funerals, and within the last few years an American Man of genius has discovered how even filial affection may be made a justification for increased consumption; the florists and candy manufacturers of the United States have reason to bless the inventor of Mother's Day. The love of excitement is as deeply planted in human nature as the love of a mother; the desire for change, for novelty, for a relief from the monotony of every day, as strong as sexual desire or the terror of death. Men have instituted festivals and holidays to satisfy these cravings. Mr. Pickwick's Christmas was a typical feast day of the old style - a time of jollification and excitement, a gaudily glittering 'captain jewel in the carnet' of grey, uneventful days. Psychologically, it performed its function. Not economically, however,-that is, so far as we are concerned. The Pickwickian Christmas did very little to stimulate consumption; it was mainly a gratuitous festivity. A few vintners and distillers and poulters were the only people whom it greatly profited financially. This was the state of things which an ever-increasingly efficient industrialism could not possibly afford to tolerate. Christmas, accordingly, was canalized into an important economic event'.