The Devils Of Loudun . Aldous Huxley He had been found guilty of conspiring with the devil to seduce an entire convent of nuns in what was the most. HUXLEY’S MASTERPIECE AND PERHAPS THE MOST ENJOYABLE BOOK ABOUT SPIRITUALITY EVER WRITTEN..” — Washington Post Book WorldAldous. The Devils of Loudun: Aldous Huxley: most important later works are The Devils of Loudun (), a detailed psychological study of a historical incident in .

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Whether or not they’re “demons” proper is sort of beside the point.

The author’s philosophical pondering are all well lohdun good. Too hard on the past, they were at the same time too complacent about their present and far too optimistic in regard to the future – Excellent book – occasionally gets “into the weeds.

The Devils of Loudun

With Urbain burnt to a crisp on the stake, the cabal seems relatively happy. I mean how – how can one suck all life out of a story that is overfilled with passions. The second story of this book for me is eevils most interesting, and I believe it may have been what drew Huxley to write the book in the first place.

Had I wanted to read about Aldous Huxley and his endless musings, ideas and opinions on theology, spirituality, politics, etc.

That all that discourse is so pinheaded and narrow-minded.

Teh carefully, almost relentlessly exposes the self-serving motives of the people involved without resorting to the complacency of hindsight. Once found guilty he was forced to admit his guilt within the final minutes of his lludun.

In case you’re thinking this is all sort of dark, I should mention that he spends a lot of time emphasizing the positive what he calls Original Virtue, rather than Original Sin. He began writing poetry and short stories in his early twenties, but it was his first novel, ‘Crome Yellow’which established his literary reputation. My constructive criticism to Huxley if he wasn’t dead would be to focus on the character of Urbain Grandier.

BOOK REVIEW: The Devils of Loudun by Aldous Huxley | the !n(tro)verted yogi

And authors need to remember, their readers aren’t always as clever as them, so doing things like inserting verses of French poetry and not bothering to translate it is a bit of a wanky thing to do. For the opera, see The Devils of Loudun opera.


Huxley painlessly conveys a wealth of information about mysticism and the unconscious” show more. He examines the evidence offered in the trial in light of that standard. Learn how your comment data is processed. Addressing the catastrophic dangers posed by religious hysteria, this book is by no means an attack on the Christian faith.

Grandier maintained his innocence to the end and four years after his death the nuns were still being subjected to exorcisms to free them from their demonic bondage. Sep 18, Jack rated it really liked it. I found a Vintage Classics paperback version of this book in the Warsaw airport a thhe back, and reading it caused me to immediately buy several more of Huxley’s devlis.

A fascinating and terrifying, and yet often oddly hilarious, glimpse into this horrific episode in history. Huxley is good at inventing interesting concepts but they are interesting in spite of, not because of his writing.

Its difficult to excuse Grandier’s dereliction of trust after his friend Louis Trincant had placed his daugher under Grandier’s care. It’s just the kind of a story that shocks and fascinates with every its turn, that compresses so much of the darkness and nastiness a human is capable of.

But looking back and up, from our vantage point aldoks the descending road of modern history, we now see that all the evils of religion can flourish without any belief in the supernatural, that convinced materialists are ready to worship their own jerry-built creations as though they were the Absolute, and that self-styled humanists will persecute their adversaries with all the zeal of Inquisitors exterminating the devotees of a personal and transcendent Satan.

This idolatrous transformation of the relative into the Absolute and the all to human into the Divine, makes it possible for them to indulge their ugliest passions with a clear conscience and in the certainty that they are working for the Highest Good. The dramatic unfolding of the tragedy is at times comic in that its dogmatic insistence is so transparent even at that time.

The Best Books of Got interested in reading this book after seeing Ken Russell’s “The Devils” the other month. Dec 16, Sam White rated it it was amazing. The self-transcendence is invariably downward into the less than human, the lower than personal.

I love when this type of stuff has been researched and wants to show you where they found it. And when the current beliefs come, in their turn, to look silly, a new set will be invented, so that the immemorial madness may continue to wear its customary mask of legality, idealism and true religion.


For example, there are frequent quotes and snippets of poetry in French—and a few in Latin—and many of these were not translated to English in the edition that I read. Huxley opens a vibrant speculative world that, in this book, provides an extended postscript with more of a feeling of reality than the sensationalistic, impossibly literal ‘main’ story of Grandier. Their decision, the mechanism they thus set in motion, and the karmic fallout are all carefully detailed; and Huxley dwells in a very caring way on this Jesuit mystic who was lucid and capable of profound insight, yet at the same time considered mad by all his colleagues.

Rather, it is an incredibly insightful meditation on the pious life, the ordeals of the devout, and the mysterious workings of God. It speaks to a reader devoted to truth and careful analysis who holds the author and the reader to superlative standards. The writing style can come across as pretentious, needlessly complicated, and slow-moving at times. Yet rereading the text somehow did not depress me this time.

The Devils of Loudun by Aldous Huxley

They just weaken the strength of his narrative in my opinion. Huxley does not over Huxley provides a very interesting summary and explanation of the events surrounding nuns possessed by the devil and the priest who was wrongly accused and burned at the stake for instigating the mayhem. There is no stone left unturned in this gruesome account of alleged demonic possession which led to numerous botched exorcisms.

Let me say first that in spite of the tag-line it actually has almost nothing to do with devils, or “demon possession” as such. Definitely worth a read if you have an interest in this subject or how it pertains to psychology or sociology. Certainly not the easiest of books to read, but beautifully written and an astonishing story so well worth persevering with. This book left me speechless; contemplating days after I had finished it.

And it’s all framed by this fascinating story about this priest and this convent and the political and personal intrigues that came together surrounding them. Sorry, but I didn’t.