Saturday, December 09, 2017


The Human Vomedy

Aldous Huxley (1894-1963), "On Deviating into Sense," On the Margin: Notes & Essays (London: Chatto and Windus, 1923; rpt. 1928), pp. 81-86 (at 81-82):
No one will ever know the history of all the happy mistakes, the accidents and unconscious deviations into genius, that have helped to enrich the world's art. They are probably countless. I myself have deviated more than once into accidental felicities. Recently, for example, the hazards of careless typewriting caused me to invent a new portmanteau word of the most brilliantly Laforguian quality. I had meant to write the phrase "the Human Comedy," but, by a happy slip, I put my finger on the letter that stands next to "C" on the universal keyboard. When I came to read over the completed page I found that I had written "the Human Vomedy". Was there ever a criticism of life more succinct and expressive? To the more sensitive and queasy among the gods the last few years must indeed have seemed a vomedy of the first order.
Hat tip: Eric Thomson.

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