• Madison White

A Story a Day #7: Aldous Huxley



February 12th, 2020

"Young Archimedes"

Aldous Huxley


A young English family moves to Italy and live next to some peculiar people. One is a peasant family and the other is their landlord and lady, most notably, the woman who can't seem to stop meddling in other people's business. The couple's son soon begins playing with one of the peasant boys and the narrator notices that the child is somewhat of a genius. He begins schooling him in music and math. The landlady, however, is also interested in adopting the child for herself. The English couple goes for a vacation in Switzerland to escape the heat and return to find that the landlady had suceeded in taking the child and that the child was now dead.


This was one of the longer short stories I had read and I often wondered what the story arc would be based on the title. From what I know of Huxley's most famous book, Brave New World, I thought perhaps this would be a science fiction type story but it was anything but. It was very firmly rooted in description of the surroundings and caught within the precarious web of human emotion and desire. It is a tragic story, but it left me feeling almost sadder for the people having lost a prodigy rather than sad for the child himself. Perhaps this is a deliberate play on perspective and what we value in others.


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