Beautiful new world

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Brave New World ( English Brave New World ) is a 1932 published dystopian novel by Aldous Huxley , which describes a society in the future, in the year 2540 n. Chr., Seem guaranteed by the "stability, peace and freedom".

World - where? German first edition, Insel 1932

By means of physical manipulation of the embryos and fetuses as well as the subsequent mental indoctrination of the toddlers, the people are shaped according to the respective social castes to which they should belong and which range from Alpha-Plus (for management positions) to Epsilon-Minus (for the simplest activities).

What all castes have in common is the conditioning for permanent satisfaction through consumption, sex and the drug Soma , which removes the need for critical thinking and questioning of their world order from members of this society. The government of that world is made up of controllers , alpha plus people who are worshiped like idols by the population .

The work is one of the most influential novels of the 20th century . It inspired authors of all generations to create their own visions for the future. In 1998 the Modern Library, a major English-language institution for literature and art, selected him as number 5 of the 100 best English-language novels of the 20th century . Brave New World also appeared on similar lists from the BBC and the Observer .

Furthermore, Brave New World is an Abitur-relevant reading in some German federal states. Alongside George Orwell's 1984, the novel is considered a prime example of a totalitarian dictatorship in literature.


The title refers to a dialogue in the 8th chapter of the novel, in which from Shakespeare's drama The Tempest is quoted (5th act, verses 181-183): “O, wonder! How many goodly creatures are there here! How beauteous mankind is! O brave new world, that has such people in't! " (Eng. " O, miracles! How many wonderful creatures there are here! How beautiful man is! O brave new world that carries such citizens! " ( Schlegel- Tieck translation )).


The book begins with a French quote from Nikolai Alexandrowitsch Berdjajew , in which he questions the desirability of utopias and expresses his hope to return "to a non-utopian society, less perfect and therefore freer":

“Les utopies apparaissent comme bien plus realisables qu'on ne le croyait autrefois. Et nous nous trouvons actuellement devant une question bien autrement angoissante: Comment éviter leur réalisation définitive? Les utopies sont realisables. La vie marche vers les utopies. Et peut-être un siècle nouveau commence-t-il, un siècle où les intellectuels et la classe cultivée rêveront aux moyens d'éviter les utopies et de retourner à une société non utopique, moins parfaite et plus libre.

(Utopias seem more feasible than was previously believed. We find ourselves confronted with a new, worrying question: How should we prevent their ultimate realization? Utopias are realizable. Life marches towards them. And perhaps a new era begins, in which intellectuals and the The educated class will think about how to prevent utopias and return to a non-utopian society, less perfect and more free.) "

- Nikolai Alexandrovich Berdyayev

German translation

The novel was translated into German by Herberth E. Herlitschka in the year it was published and immediately after 1933 it appeared on the list of publications prohibited under National Socialism . First as a world - where to? appeared, the title was changed to Brave New World in 1950 and in later editions to Brave New World - after it was recognized that the English adjective "brave" still meant "beautiful" in Shakespeare's time and not "brave" as it does today in modern English “May be translated.

In the German version from 1932 authorized by the author, the plot has been moved to Berlin and Northern Germany. Some of the names of characters in the plot have also been changed: in the original many people are named after well-known British entrepreneurs, in the German edition they are named after German entrepreneurs; Henry Ford , the most important entrepreneur for the novel , remained unchanged .

In 1978 a German translation by Eva Walch was published, which again uses the original places and names. In the meantime, a new translation by Uda Strätling has been published by S. Fischer-Verlag, which also leaves the proper names of the original unchanged.


The novel takes place around the year 632 AF, which corresponds to the year 2540 in the traditional calendar. After the end of the Nine Years War in 150 AF (2058 AD), the vast majority of humanity was united in a single world state under one world government . At this point in time the “modern civilization” began, in which humans no longer reproduce naturally and grow up raised by their parents, but are produced in state breeding and rearing centers.

People are already divided into castes in the breeding and rearing center: the alphas form the highest castes . The epsilons , the members of the lowest caste, who are later to take on subordinate tasks, are deprived of oxygen in the embryo stage, making them mentally limited people. In addition, alcohol is mixed into the blood surrogate of the embryos of the lower castes so that the members of the lower castes do not become as large as the higher ones. How many members are produced for the various castes is decided according to state and economic requirements.

At the beginning, the director of the "Central London Hatchery and Conditioning Center" (in the German translation the "Brut- und Normzentrale Berlin-Dahlem") familiarizes a group of students with the operations of the company as new employees: Human embryos and fetuses develop in artificial wombs called "bottles". Further stops on the tour are the kindergarten, in which babies are conditioned by noise and electric shocks to fear books and flowers, a dormitory in which the children are indoctrinated with ideological ideas through "sleep learning" (e.g. "Ending is better than mending " consumerism " ), and the garden, where children are encouraged to have fun with sexual games. There the group meets Mustapha Mond (German Mustafa Mannesmann ), the world supervisory board for Western Europe. He explains the history of the world state to the students and praises its successes, such as the erasure of strong feelings and the immediate satisfaction of every wish.

Lenina Crowne (German: Lenina Braun ), a beta and employee of the center, is criticized by her friend Fanny (German: Stinni ): Lenina meets too often and only with Henry Foster (German: Henry Päppler ), this contradicts what the state wanted Promiscuity . Lenina admits that she is attracted to the lonely, extremely intelligent, but physically underdeveloped alpha male Bernard Marx (German: Sigmund Marx ) due to a presumably “manufacturing defect” . Bernard suffers from his relatively short stature and compensates for his inferiority complex with nonconformist views and inflammatory remarks. His only friend is the good-natured Alpha Helmholtz Watson (German Helmholtz Holmes-Watson ), who tolerates Bernard's rebellious attitude. In his spare time, Bernard is obliged to take part in an orgy-porgy group, which meets regularly to sing and dance together and then have group sex , using the drug "Soma".

Lenina accepts Bernard's invitation to take a short vacation together on a reservation in New Mexico . The reserves are areas in which people live who are considered "wild" and cannot be integrated into modern society. Here human reproduction still takes place naturally, which in “civilization” is considered offensive and embarrassing.

When Bernard asked the director of the center to sign him for permission to visit the reserve, he remembers visiting the reserve himself twenty years ago and losing his girlfriend there in a storm. The woman could never be found. The director gives Bernard permission, but at the same time cautions him for his inappropriate behavior and threatens to send him to another center in Iceland . Bernard does not take the threat seriously and even feels flattered to be seen as a “rebel” and thus as an individual. However, when he heard from Helmholtz by telephone on the trip that the director had actually arranged for his transfer, he panic and fell into depression .

Lenina and Bernard perceive the reserve and its inhabitants as primitive and dirty and are shocked by the unfamiliar sight of old, frail and sick people. When they watch a religious flagellation ritual, they get to know the fair-skinned "savage" John (Eng. Michel ), who has been ostracized in the village since early childhood. They find out that his mother Linda (dt. Filine ) is the director's friend, who has disappeared so far, who was nursed back to health by the "savages" after an accident, but was unable to adapt to life in the village community. After the birth of her son, Linda became an alcoholic , which led to premature physical decline. John's father is the director. Bernard asks Mustapha Mond, John and his mother to give permission to leave the reservation and return to "civilization". Moon is curious to get to know the "savage" and therefore grants permission.

When he returns to headquarters, the director is already waiting for Bernard. He wants to make an example and send Bernard into exile in front of the entire workforce . Bernard presents Linda and John to the staff. The public shame of being a father prompts the director to quit his job.

While Linda retreats to her home and spends the time intoxicated with drugs, Bernard and Helmholtz are entrusted with looking after the "savage". John becomes an Alpha Society star because of the strange life he led on the reservation . Bernard also became popular as the discoverer and protector of the “wild”. He uses his new status to sleep with as many women as possible and to give numerous dinner parties. Most of his guests despise him, but are ready to deal with him in order to come into contact with the "savage". At first, John is impressed by the wonders of modern society; but he is more and more disturbed by their customs. When he defiantly refuses to greet Bernard's guests one evening, Bernard's recently- earned social standing falls and he becomes a grumpy outsider again.

John falls in love with Lenina. She is fascinated by his otherness, but unable to develop a real emotional bond with him. Her overt, purely sexual advances destroy his idealized image of her. Disgusted, he rejects her advances . The object of his worship becomes the target of his contempt and a trigger for his self-hatred.

Linda is dying from excessive drug use. During his visit to the hospital, John experiences how a group of children are conditioned against fear of death by their educators. When two boys make fun of the appearance of his dying mother, he loses his composure and hits one of the boys.

On the way home, John tries to incite a revolt from a group of Deltas that he happens to meet at the Soma dispensing point in the hospital. He throws the Soma distributed to the deltas out of the window and calls them to think freely . However, the Deltas react aggressively to his interference and a brawl ensues. Bernard and Helmholtz are telephoned by the Alpha who had previously distributed the Soma to the deltas , and they rush over. Helmholtz comes to John’s aid, Bernard retreats fearfully into the background. The argument is finally ended by soma vapors and verbal manipulation from loudspeakers. John, Bernard and Helmholtz are arrested and Mustapha Mond is shown, who banishes Bernard and Helmholtz to Iceland or the Falkland Islands.

John and Mond discuss the advantages (general happiness and social stability) and the disadvantages (the futility of such a human existence) of the “brave new world”. Religion, art, love, free thinking and strong, real emotions are no longer needed. Everyone only does what he can, what he was born to do and knows no failure, no sorrow, no unrequited love , no aging, no premature death. But this life has to be bought with the loss of freedom: Those who want to be free also accept the associated disadvantages. Moon asks John if he is willing to accept all negative aspects of human freedom. After a moment, John answers the question in the affirmative. The moon sends him into exile too. Since John does not get permission to accompany Bernard or Helmholtz, he chooses an abandoned lighthouse to live.

In his loneliness he feels a longing for Lenina, for which he would like to atone by self-flagellation , a ritual that he knows from his life on the reservation. Some Delta Minus farm workers watch him and report to the press about his strange behavior. John is secretly filmed. As a result, hordes of onlookers besiege his house and ask him to scourge himself. Henry and Lenina also visit the spectacle with Henry's private helicopter. Lenina wants to hug John in greeting. John loses control of himself out of anger and falls on her with the Scourge. Henry gets himself to safety in the helicopter and leaves Lenina behind. The bystanders misunderstand John's aggressive behavior as orgiastic debauchery and follow the pattern that has been impressed on them: they begin to sing, dance, and become sexually active. In his madness, John joins the group. When he woke up the next morning, he was overcome with horror at the memory and he hanged himself. In the 1981 film adaptation of "Brave New World" by BBC Television Production, John finds Lenina lifeless the next morning near the lighthouse. He thinks the sleeping woman is dead (like Shakespeare's Romeo his Juliet) and hangs himself.


Lenina Crowne

Lenina Crowne (German: Lenina Braun ) belongs to the beta class and is a perfect citizen of the “brave new world”: always happy and adjusted in behavior, she fulfills her function in this society completely and apparently voluntarily. Lenina is described as very pretty, big-breasted and red-haired. She works in the center for brood and standard rearing. She is an object of sexual desire for a number of minor and main characters. Her relationships with Bernard and John fail because both men want a relationship with her that goes beyond superficial leisure activities and sexuality, which she perceives as "abnormal". Her closest friends are Fanny and Henry.

Bernard Marx

Bernard Marx (German: Sigmund Marx ) is an outsider, intelligent and belonging to the alpha class, but physically much smaller than the other alphas , which is why he is sometimes not respected by the others at work. Only Helmholtz, his only friend, and Lenina treat him with respect and interest. Lenina feels that Bernard is “cute” in his slimness, Helmholtz is amused by Bernard's rebellious behavior. Bernard ponders social problems such as the treatment of women as "flesh", the lack of respect for the lower classes, and the constant rain of radio and television. He is not interested in sports, loves being alone, prefers melancholy to soma and often makes nonconformist remarks. But when his social status increased with the discovery of the "wild" John, Bernard enjoyed his new-found apparent popularity to the fullest. In crisis situations, Bernard shows himself to be a weak character who quickly falls into fears and ultimately needs the comfort of modern society for his well-being.

Helmholtz Watson

Helmholtz Watson (German: Helmholtz Holmes-Watson ) is an Alpha Plus that stands out from its group due to its exceptionally good looks, its high intelligence and its natural, non-drug-related, balanced disposition. He works as a lecturer at the "College of Emotional Engineering" ("College for Emotion Technology") - "Department of Writing" ("Department of Writing"). Helmholtz has a character of integrity who acts out of genuine conviction and supports weaker people like Bernard. After his acquaintance with John, he begins to write poetry and expresses the desire to be active as a writer. He therefore sees his exile on the Falkland Islands less as a punishment, but more as an opportunity for more personal freedom.

John Savage

John (Eng. Michel ), called the "Wilde", is the son of the director of the hatchery and rearing center and grew up with his mother Linda ( Eng . Filine ) on a reservation. The consummate outsider, he was naturally conceived, born on the reservation and raised by his mother and the village community. His mother taught him to read with an instruction manual. Later an old Shakespeare Complete Edition, which was forbidden in “civilization”, falls into his hands. As an adult, he draws his entire worldview from Shakespeare's dramas, from which he frequently quotes. Through his mother he learned about the modern world, which he really wants to get to know. However, the "civilization" has a repulsive effect on him, so that he cannot fit in. Above all, he is irritated by people's constant drug consumption, the banality of the entertainment media and the sexuality practiced.

Mustapha moon

Mustapha moon (Eng. Mustafa Mannesmann ) is the world's Supervisory Board (Engl. Resident World Controller ) for Western Europe, where it is met with by subordinates as the director of the Center awe and reverence. He confides in Helmholtz Watson that as a young man he dared some forbidden, real scientific experiments. Moon reveals to John that he has read Shakespeare and the Bible precisely because it is forbidden. He is familiar with the idea of ​​a God and a human soul who longs for beauty and real feelings, but he suppresses these philosophical thoughts for the common good. As an Alpha-Plus-Plus, the world controller is fully aware of the negative sides of the modern world, but behaves in accordance with the system so as not to endanger its continued existence and its leadership role. In a conversation with John he explains the consequences of the “brave new world” for people and society.

The "brave new world"

The world state

In his novel, Huxley describes a world in which it has been possible to create a perfectly functioning society with the help of artificial reproduction, conditioning and indoctrination . The year 1 of that world corresponds to the year 1908 CE, in which the Model T from Henry Ford first rolled off the assembly line. In 141 AF (Anno Ford, based on AD; anno domini ), i.e. in 2049 AD, a nine-year war broke out in which chemical and biological weapons of mass destruction were used. This was followed by a global economic collapse. The governments of that time therefore formed a world government and tried to enforce a consumption ideology among the population. In doing so, however, they encountered resistance in parts of the population that could not be controlled by force. The world government therefore decided on a long-term peaceful reformation. In order to create a continually happy and prosperous community, propaganda against natural reproduction was made and the first breeding and rearing centers were established. This campaign also included closing all museums, destroying all monuments and banning all books written before 150 AF. The novel is set in the year 632 AF, at a time when the world state has fully established itself and almost everyone on earth is under its control. There is a totalitarian but not violent political system under the primacy of "community, unity, constancy". A relic of the old “primitive” culture is tolerated by the world government in small isolated reserves. The people on the reservations live in a traditional tribal culture that includes natural life processes such as birth, disease and aging.

Man in the "brave new world"

Caste system

All members of society have a predetermined task. The people are artificially “bred” in a kind of mass production in the laboratory and prepared for their role through conditioning. They are produced in reproduction factories in five sets (alphas, betas, gammas, deltas or epsilons) depending on economic needs. So that people are no longer naturally conceived and born and the state does not lose control over the number and characteristics of its citizens, people are conditioned to regard natural conception and parenthood as something indecent from barbaric times. In addition, most women are sterilized ; the few fertile women take contraceptives according to a regular ritual. In the production of children, i.e. new citizens, the development of the embryos is controlled according to the class to which the child is supposed to belong. The manufacturing process consists of two different processes for the two upper and three lower boxes. In the so-called Bokanowsky procedure, a fertilized egg cell is stimulated to divide, from which 8 to 96 embryos arise. Here, clones develop, identical people, who are, however, underdeveloped and develop into "gammas", "deltas" and "epsilons". Future members of the lower castes are also given targeted harmful substances such as alcohol and deprived of oxygen in order to inhibit their development and keep their intelligence low. Alphas and betas, on the other hand, arise from an undivided egg cell; they are individuals. They are provided with substances and vaccinations that are important for development.

After birth, people are conditioned according to their “production class”. This conditioning includes as basic lessons for all castes:

  • One is happy to belong to one's caste and not to any other.
  • All classes are essential to the community.
  • One can only be happy in a community; loneliness is a bad thing.

The conditioning takes place by two methods: on the one hand by rewarding or punishing actions , on the other hand by playing tapes with simple, catchy messages during the sleep of the children and adolescents, the "sleep school" (in the original: "hypnopaedia"). It stabilizes society by guaranteeing that everyone is happy with the system. The common, uniform worldview conveyed in this way allows the individual to become fully integrated into society; only there does he feel secure.


The social norms demand numerous sexual contacts from the citizens with continuously changing partners, which should exclusively serve the pleasure. Love and emotional passion endanger stability, according to the world government. Art and literature have been replaced by the "Fühlkino" (in the original: Feelies ), in which physical sensations are also transmitted to the viewer physiologically. The plot of the pieces shown has no deeper meaning, however, as the emotional impoverishment of the people means there is no basis for sophisticated content. The stories are therefore trivial and uniformly designed for action and eroticism.

The drug Soma

To avoid major mood swings that can lead to negative moods, people regularly take Soma , a drug that is mood-enhancing and stimulating and is also used as an aphrodisiac . Unlike alcohol, it has no side effects at the usual dosage and is produced synthetically. Motto: Trying a gram is better than swearing. The term was taken from Hinduism, but the drug does not work like the local "Soma", but more like modern sedatives.

Disease and aging

There are no more diseases, they are eradicated through prenatal vaccinations. People are always healthy and productive. The aging happens almost imperceptibly. People do not feel any physical decline in performance and the appearance of sports activities and the use of modern cosmetics changes only slightly. The human lifetime is limited to an age between 60 and 70 years. Until then, people remain vital and then die very quickly and painlessly in soma half-sleep. The fear of death is removed through conditioning, in that groups of children are led through hospitals for the dying, where the dying can be seen silently slamming in front of them.


Education is limited to a pragmatic transfer of knowledge that is useful for the community. Humanistic education is socially undesirable because it stimulates people to think and enables them to have a more critical view of the world. Since it is not in the general interest to make people aware of the defects of this society, any education that is based on cultural tradition is suppressed. "History is nonsense" (Original: History is bunk , a well-known saying by Henry Ford) is one of the guiding principles of the world government. The official propaganda about the bad conditions in the “old world” is the only knowledge of history for the vast majority of citizens. Technical progress is also restricted in order not to endanger the stability of society. So z. For example, labor-saving inventions are ignored or forbidden because unemployment, even with material wealth, leads to dissatisfaction.

Cult acts

In place of religion, there is a cult of worship for the automobile manufacturer Henry Ford . Important personalities are addressed as "Fordschaft" (Original: "Fordship"). The symbol of the cult is the letter T in memory of the Model T of the Ford Group and also based on the Christian cross, which was replaced by a T. A variant of the Ford cult is the worship of Sigmund Freud , the founder of psychoanalysis . The frequently used phrase “Oh, God” became the exclamation “Oh, Ford” or “Oh, Freud”. In the so-called "Solidarity Service", a kind of church service with singing and dancing is celebrated, which ends in a group sex orgy after taking Soma.

The people in the reserve live according to a religious cult that combines Christian ideas with Indian belief in nature. This also includes initiation and flagellation rituals.

Scientific background

The division of people into the five castes does not take place in the novel through genetic engineering , but through prenatal biological influence and postnatal conditioning of the mentality. Genetic engineering only became possible with the deciphering of the genetic code by scientists James Watson and Francis Crick in the 1950s. Genetic engineering began in the 1970s, after molecular biologist Ray Wu first succeeded in sequencing and cloning DNA in 1970 .

Julian Huxley , a brother of the writer, was chairman of the Eugenics Society , which dealt with the application of the results of Mendel's doctrine of inheritance to humans and society ( eugenics ).

Aldous Huxley on the "brave new world"

Preface to the second edition

In the foreword to the second edition of Brave New World (1949) or Welt - Wohin? (1950 under the title Wackere neue Welt. A novel of the future ) Aldous Huxley exercises self-criticism of his “literary inadequacies”, the greatest of which is that he offered “the wild” John (German: Michel ) only two possibilities of life: a “crazy one Life in the land of Utopia or the [crazy] life of a primitive in an Indian village ”. A third way of life between the two extremes would be "the possibility of a healthy life, realized in a community of exiles and fugitives from the brave new world" with a non-centralized economy, a cooperative politics and a natural science and technology that serves people and does not enslave them . In this third form of life, religion - located between pure mythology and the purest areligiosity - would become a kind of rational religion in the sense of a "striving for mental health of the freely interacting individuals". The aim here is a “higher utilitarianism in which the principle of greatest happiness is subordinate to that of the highest purpose”, namely the end purpose of achieving “a unifying knowledge of the immanent Taos or Logos” - and thus also social stability.

Therein lies the “really revolutionary revolution that can only be brought about [with the help of biology and psychology, that is scientifically based] in the souls and bodies of people”, but not in any external form, e.g. B. a superficial political one like Robespierre , an economic one like Babeuf or a sexually connoted, ultimately chaotic and destructive one like the Marquis de Sade , but also not purely scientific.

The question of a novel of the future should be how far its prophecies could become reality. Does mankind have the reason not to wage wars or to wage wars in such a restricted way in order to minimize such damage? Do not determine e.g. B. does atomic physics have a Procrustical bed into which humanity must fit? It must learn to tame nuclear power and, as the immediate past has shown, it is very likely that it will use “highly centralized totalitarian governments”; because: technical upheavals always tended to lead to economic and social unrest in a “mass-producing economy and predominantly dispossessed population”. "Only a very large popular movement aimed at decentralization and self-help could stop the current trend towards state omnipotence."

This totalitarianism does not rule over a population of forced laborers as it has been up to now with bludgeoning power, but far more efficiently by teaching the people to love their slavery through propaganda, media and school education. It is particularly effective not to attack the population with arguments in order to prevent undesirable developments, but to specifically hide information: "The truth is great, but greater, from a practical point of view, is the concealment of the truth". The prerequisite for this is economic security, which is likely to be the first priority of such a totalitarian state to maintain. Further state manipulations are to be expected: 1) suggestion from early childhood and use of medication; 2) state-maximized and promoted clear allocation of ranks within society for the purpose of increasing general satisfaction, 3) still-to-be-imagined intoxicants that are less dangerous than alcohol or heroin, but allow a break from the daily grind to increase general well-being; finally 4) eugenic standardization of future humans. In literary terms, in the “brave new world”, the latter is just as perfectly developed by means of incubators and standardization institutions as is the feel-good drug Soma or the medication in the form of hormones and vaccinations.

Viewed from the present around 1950, the equivalents for the intoxicant soma, hypnopedics (sleep school, suggestion) and the scientifically conducted caste system are only three to four generations away, but the sexual promiscuity of the “brave new world” is showing already in clearer outline (increasing divorce rates). “The more political and economic freedom diminishes, the more sexual freedom strives to increase, to compensate for it. The dictator [...] will do well to promote this freedom. In connection with the freedom of daydreaming under the influence of intoxicants, cinema and radio, sexual freedom will help to reconcile one's subjects with the slavery that is their lot. ”In these respects,“ Utopia ”is likely to be much more realized than you think at first glance.

Collection of essays

Brave New World Revisited (Harper, New York 1958 (first edition)) or Thirty Years Later or Reunion with the Brave New World (Piper, Munich 1960 (German second edition)) is a collection of twelve essays, which are the ones in the foreword to the second edition the "brave new world" (1949 and 1950) further elaborates; more on this under Brave New World Revisited .


Philosophical discussion

How similar our world is to the “brave new world” in terms of biotechnological possibilities was discussed in September / October 1999 in the weekly newspaper Die Zeit . The discussion sparked off at a lecture by the philosopher Peter Sloterdijk entitled Rules for the Human Park, in which he questions traditional humanistic recipes for the improvement of mankind and instead considers “anthropotechnical” measures. A binding version of this lecture for the discourse that had just started at the time was published by Peter Sloterdijk in the weekly newspaper Die Zeit (readers' opinions). Philosophers, legal scholars and bioethicists such as Thomas Assheuer (readers' views on this and Assheuer's overview of the debate in other media), Jürgen Habermas , Manfred Frank , Ludger Lütkehaus and Ernst Tugendhat and - in response to or attack on Thomas Assheuer - took part in the Sloterdijk debate at the time and Jürgen Habermas and Critical Theory - Peter Sloterdijk (readers' comments). In 2000 Helmut Walther provided a concise summary of this debate; further contributions to the discourse from 1999 can be found in the reference already mentioned above .

The novel elementary particles

Michel Houellebecq deals intensively with Aldous Huxley and his brother Julian in his 1998 novel Elementarteilchen (in the 10th chapter of the 2nd part) . He argues that it is hypocrisy to see the book as a totalitarian nightmare, that it is a paradise in terms of genetic control, sexual freedom, the fight against aging and leisure culture. Aldous Huxley only later tried to present his novel as an indictment and satire in his volume of essays Brave New World Revisited ( thirty years later ). In 1999, in the context of the Sloterdijk debate at the time, Norbert Niemann published a review of this novel in the weekly newspaper Die Zeit , which addresses both the biotechnological possibilities of improving humanity and the partial loss of human existence in the purely sexual - with reference to the “brave new world” .

Radio plays

Stage versions

On October 8, 1994, the stage premiere of Brave New World took place as a musical in the Kulturhaus Osterfeld in Pforzheim. The music comes from Stefan Wurz , who combined rock and musical music with twelve-tone elements; the libretto by Roland Maier.

In 1998, the composer and musician Achim Gieseler was given the German-language musical rights for a stage performance of the novel Brave New World in a personal conversation with Aldous Huxley's widow , Laura Huxley . The dramatization of the novel was written by the author Volker Ludwig .

On November 2, 2006, the world premiere of the musical Brave New World took place in the GRIPS Theater in Berlin . The Middle Saxon Theater Freiberg und Döbeln brought the musical to the stage for the first time on May 19, 2007.

In early September 2012 the American Drama Group started a month-long European tour with Brave New World .

The world premiere of the play Brave New World , adapted by Robert Koall, took place on September 12, 2014 at the Dresden State Theater. It was directed by Roger Vontobel .



  • In 2015 the band Algiers began the song Blood with the line "For all your love of soma " as a metaphor for a society longing for anesthesia.

Film and series

Brave New World has only been filmed for television so far.

  • In 1980 the first film was released under the title Brave New World . It was directed by Burt Brinckerhoff and produced by the US television station Universal TV.
  • In 1998, Dan Wigutow Productions filmed the material again as a cloned future (original title again Brave New World ) for television. In supporting roles were u. a. Peter Gallagher (Bernard Marx), Rya Kihlstedt (Lenina Crowne), Tim Guinee (John), Sally Kirkland (Linda), Miguel Ferrer (DHC) and Leonard Nimoy (Mustapha Mond) can be seen.
  • In 2008, a remake directed by Ridley Scott and starring Leonardo DiCaprio as John was announced, but it was not realized in the following years and according to an interview with Scott in 2012 it may fizzle out because it is "very difficult to implement" and “maybe it should stay a book”.
  • In 2020 a series started with Brave New World .

Book editions

  • World - where? A novel of the future (translated by Herberth E. Herlitschka ), Insel, Leipzig 1932, OCLC 72070200 .
  • Brave new world. A novel of the future . 2nd edition. With the foreword to the new English edition in 1949. German by Herberth E. Herlitschka, Steinberg, Zurich 1950, OCLC 72070204 .
  • Beautiful new world. Dream dream and nightmare of the future . Translated into German by Herberth E. Herlitschka, (Fischer Bücherei Taschenbuch 26). Fischer, 1953.
  • Beautiful new world. Utopian novel . Translated from the English by Eva Walch. With an afterword by Horst Höhne, Das neue Berlin, Berlin 1978 ( DNB 790194880 ), and in 1988 from Reclam, Leipzig ( DNB 880835842 )
  • Thirty years after, or a reunion with the brave new world . Essay volume. (Original title: Brave New World Revisited ). Piper, Munich 1960 ( DNB 452152453 ).

Translation by Herberth E. Herlitschka:

  • Beautiful new world. A novel of the future. Fischer Taschenbuch, Frankfurt am Main 2007, ISBN 978-3-596-17577-2 .

New translation by Uda Strätling

  • Beautiful new world. A novel of the future. Fischer Taschenbuch, Frankfurt am Main 2013, ISBN 978-3-596-95015-7 .

See also


Web links

Individual evidence

  1. 100 Best Novels. Retrieved February 8, 2015 .
  2. ^ BBC - The Big Read - Top 100 Books. Retrieved February 8, 2015 .
  3. The 100 greatest novels of all time: The list. Retrieved February 8, 2015 .
  4. Readings for the Abitur - comprehensively interpreted and analyzed. Retrieved February 8, 2015 .
  5. Brave New World. A novel of the future. Fischer Taschenbuch, Frankfurt am Main 2007, verso of the title page.
  6. In allusion to AD (Anno Domini = in the year of the Lord, so "after Christ") AF means "Anno Fordii" or "After Ford " = after (Henry) Ford . The year 1908, when the first T-model rolled off the assembly line, serves as a reference point .
  7. ^ Brave New World
  8. Manipulation of people and masses through drugs
  9. The following quotations in quotation marks are from the translation by Herberth E. Herlitschka.
  10. Extract from the lecture (pp. 38–60)
  11. “But whether the long-term development will also lead to a genetic reform of the genus characteristics - whether a future anthropotechnology will advance to an explicit feature planning; whether humanity will be able to make a generic change from birth fatalism to optional birth and prenatal selection - these are questions on which, however vague and uneasy, the evolutionary horizon begins to clear in front of us. "Peter Sloterdijk: Rules for the people park; in: Die Zeit No. 38 of September 16, 1999.
  12. ^ Peter Sloterdijk: Rules for the human park. A reply to the letter on humanism - Peter Sloterdijk's Elmauer speech. In: Die Zeit No. 38 of September 16, 1999.
  13. a b Readers agree: * Peter Sloterdijk: "Open letter to Thomas Assheuer and Jürgen Habermas", ZEIT No. 37 / * "Rules for the human park ", ZEIT No. 38. In: Die Zeit No. 41 from October 7th 1999.
  14. Thomas Assheuer: The Zarathustra Project. The philosopher Peter Sloterdijk calls for a genetic revision of humanity. In: Die Zeit No. 36 of September 2, 1999.
  15. Readers agree: The female genome: almost deformed. Thomas Assheuer: "The Zarathustra Project", ZEIT No. 36. In: Die Zeit No. 39 of September 23, 1999.
  16. Thomas Assheuer: What is German? Sloterdijk and the intellectual foundations of the republic. In: Die Zeit No. 40 of September 30, 1999
  17. Juergen Habermas: Replique to Peter Sloterdijk: "The critical theory is dead" - Open letter to Thomas Assheuer and Jürgen Habermas, Die Zeit No. 37. In: Die Zeit No. 38 of September 16, 1999.
  18. ^ Manfred Frank: Geschweife and Geschwefel. The gloomy, prophetic Elmauer speech about the "human park" worries ... An open letter (to Peter Sloterdijk). In: Die Zeit No. 39 of September 23, 1999.
  19. ^ Ludger Lütkehaus: Dictation of the birth. The Life Sciences Attack on Natality and Childhood. In: Die Zeit No. 52 of December 22, 1999.
  20. Ernst Tugendhat: There are no genes for morality. Sloterdijk simply turns the relationship between ethics and genetic engineering on its head. In: Die Zeit No. 39 of September 23, 1999.
  21. Peter Sloterdijk: Critical Theory is dead. Peter Sloterdijk writes to Assheuer and Habermas. In: Die Zeit No. 37 of September 9, 1999.
  22. Helmut Walther: The Sloterdijk debate on the occasion of the "rules for the human park". Presentation of February 2nd. 2000 before the Society for Critical Philosophy Nuremberg (GKPN).
  23. Norbert Niemann: Corrections to the beautiful new world. Michel Houellebecq's scandalous novel about parting with love. In: Die Zeit No. 44 of October 30, 1999.
  24. "Huxley's predictions from 1932, Houellebecq Bruno Clément [one of the main characters in the novel], Michels' brother, say in 1998, have proven to be 'incredibly accurate'. We actually live today in a society devoid of ethos that is solely concerned with managing the satisfaction of our needs. […] But although we have come so close to Huxley's vision, we are infinitely far removed from the supposedly resulting, calm, but 'happy society'. Because on one decisive point, says Bruno, Huxley - like all philosophy before him - was wrong. Suffering cannot be undone by satisfying all desires. On the contrary, it would encourage them all the more. […] The result is a brutal sexual competition on the level of ranking battles in the primate pack. ”Norbert Niemann, corrections to the beautiful new world, in: Die Zeit No. 44 of October 30, 1999.
  25. Archived copy ( memento of the original dated December 17, 2009 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was automatically inserted and not yet checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. , Part 1 , part 2 @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  26. The making-of: "Brave Neue Welt". (No longer available online.) In: Westdeutscher Rundfunk, January 29, 2013, archived from the original on July 14, 2014 ; accessed on July 2, 2014 : “The radio play examines our world: How close are we to totalitarian structures from Huxley's dystopia? A pseudo-individualized, artificially produced person encounters our civilization, which is struggling to regain consciousness in the social media hype. ” Info: The archive link was automatically inserted and not yet checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  27. Brave New World. (No longer available online.), archived from the original on September 8, 2014 ; accessed on September 15, 2014 . Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  28. ^ Brave New World: Leonardo DiCaprio and Ridley Scott take on the Huxley novel. (No longer available online.) In: Film releases March 30, 2008, archived from the original on October 21, 2013 ; Retrieved November 27, 2012 . Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  29. Peter Sciretta: Interview: Ridley Scott Explains How 'Alien: Paradise' Became 'Prometheus', Planning for a 'Prometheus' Sequel and More. In: / Film, March 30, 2008, accessed June 6, 2012 .