Those Barren Leaves
Programme 1st Year
The book “Those Barren Leaves” is a satirical social commentary on the intellectual and artistic circles of Europe in the aftermath of World War I. It explores the lives and interactions of a group of characters who gather at a Swiss health spa called “Einfried” (meaning “Peaceful Place” in German).
The novel delves into the superficiality, pretentiousness, and moral decadence of the characters, who are primarily members of the upper class. They engage in various intellectual and artistic pursuits, but often lack genuine depth and purpose in their lives. The characters indulge in hedonism, engage in romantic entanglements, and partake in philosophical debates.
One of the central characters is the protagonist, Mr. Calamy, who serves as a somewhat passive observer of the events and people around him. Through his perspective, Huxley explores the themes of disillusionment, the search for meaning, and the tension between intellectual pursuits and personal fulfillment.
“Those Barren Leaves” is known for its wit and irony and is a critique of the moral and intellectual bankruptcy of the post-war European society. It reflects the disillusionment and cynicism that characterized the era and Huxley’s own commentary on the shallowness of certain intellectual and artistic pursuits.
Reading for next lecture
– Point Counter Point