On the invention of simplicity

by look i have opinions

“It is remarkable how late in the history of every literature simplicity is invented. The first attempts of any people to be consciously literary are always productive of the most elaborate artificiality.”

—Aldous Huxley

Is this really true? It seems to me that, long before anybody thinks of being “literary,” they’re already producing literature in the form of legends and jokes and songs. If Huxley intends to limit the definition of literature to “consciously literary” works, I have to disagree.