The rush to books and universities is like the rush to the public house. People want to drown their realization of the difficulties of living properly in this grotesque contemporary world, they want to forget their own deplorable inefficiency as artists in life.
Aldous Huxley (1894–1963), British novelist. Philip Quarles, in Point Counter Point, ch. 6 (1939).
This passage comes from the notebook of Philip Quarles, the principal character in the narrative. As a writer committed to the novel of ideas, Quarles is in large part Huxley's self- portrait. Here Quarles expresses one of Huxley's principal themes: the evasion of reality through shallow intellectualism.