Aldous Huxley
Writer; author
Aldous Huxley
Aldous Leonard Huxley was an English writer and one of the most prominent members of the famous Huxley family. Best known for his novels including Brave New World and a wide-ranging output of essays, Huxley also edited the magazine Oxford Poetry, and published short stories, poetry, travel writing, film stories and scripts. Huxley spent the later part of his life in the United States, living in Los Angeles from 1937 until his death.
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Obama luxuriates while others suffer - Gloucester County Times -
Google News - over 5 years
It was purported that one of the books he purchased was “Brave New World” by Aldous Huxley, a 1932 dystopian (or nightmare-world) novel about a state which controls the behavior of its people by using technology to keep them superficially happy
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Lessons From Global Medical Brigades - The Emory Wheel
Google News - over 5 years
As I think back to my time in Honduras, I am reminded of the following quote by English writer Aldous Huxley: “Most human beings have an almost infinite capacity for taking things for granted.” While I generally agree with his pessimistic sentiment,
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What's Obama Reading? - National Review Online
Google News - over 5 years
According to reports from the Los Angeles Times and the AP, Obama purchased five books on his trip to the Vineyard bookseller Bunch of Grapes: Marianna Baer's Frost, Aldous Huxley's Brave New World, Daniel Woodrell's Bayou Trilogy, Emma Donoghue's Room ... - -
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What Obama Should Do Right Now - Business Insider
Google News - over 5 years
It's been widely reported that Obama stopped into the "legendary" Bunch of Grapes bookstore in Vineyard Haven on Friday and picked up a copy of Aldous Huxley's classic, "Brave New World", ostensibly for his 13 year old daughter Malia
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Obama's 'Brave New World' and other books - Los Angeles Times
Google News - over 5 years
Among the books reported to be in his stack was Aldous Huxley's "Brave New World," which was probably for 13-year-old Malia, because it's required reading for students going into the eighth grade at Sidwell Friends, the private Quaker school the Obama
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Prophecy: The Rock that Cannot Be Moved - Canada Free Press
Google News - over 5 years
The idea that it is a smattering of future projections like Arthur C. Clarke or Aldous Huxley might conger or the rambling of some syndicated astrological columnist and prognosticator is totally erroneous and wholly absurd. Prophecy is so accurate that
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OPINION; Addictive Personality? You Might be a Leader
NYTimes - over 5 years
David J. Linden is a professor of neuroscience at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and the author of ''The Compass of Pleasure: How Our Brains Make Fatty Foods, Orgasm, Exercise, Marijuana, Generosity, Vodka, Learning, and Gambling Feel So Good.'' Baltimore WHEN we think of the qualities we seek in visionary leaders, we think of
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From Motown to Ghost town: How the once mighty Detroit is heading down a long ... - Daily Mail
Google News - over 5 years
Aldous Huxley's great prophetic novel Brave New World was written on the assumption that the ideas of its founder, Henry Ford, especially that 'history is bunk', would one day take over the planet. He may yet turn out to be right
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Submit this story - Huffington Post
Google News - over 5 years
It is possible, however, if not actually plausible, to seize this datum from the other end and argue, and Aldous Huxley did in his classic essay, The Doors of Perception, that the primary function of the brain could be eliminative: its purpose could be
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Visual art review: "You seem the same as always" | Cara Tolmie | Nina Rhode - Scotsman
Google News - over 5 years
So what does it mean to be looking at the enlarged handprint of Marcel Duchamp, not to mention those of André Breton, Alberto Giacometti, Aldous Huxley? The prints were collected by psychologist Charlotte Wolff in Paris in the 1930s, and are displayed
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Fresh from U.K. tour, Bravestation is here - Brockville Recorder and Times
Google News - over 5 years
Heavily influenced by Aldous Huxley's theme of a dark futuristic vision in his literary work Brave New World and by Robert J. Hastings' inspirational essay The Station, which suggests there is no station in this life and that the journey is the joy
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A matter of reading - The Daily Star
Google News - over 5 years
Perhaps Aldous Huxley said it in a terse statement, 'The proper study of mankind is books.' There can be little doubt that a home without books is symbolic of dismal darkness. What is to blame? Or who is to blame? When a major section of our population
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Our Brave New World -
Google News - over 5 years
In his 1932 classic, brave new World, Aldous Huxley warned of a dystopian future. the future world Huxley foresaw was one in which an enslaved society remained shackled and pacified not by brute force, but by abundant and pervasive spectacle
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Aldous Huxley's psychedelic Los Angeles life - Los Angeles Times
Google News - over 5 years
Aldous Huxley is best remembered for his dystopian novel "Brave New World," depicting a future conformist society in which happiness is mandated and medicated. Huxley, who was born into a family of British intellectuals, was already an established
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Pottermore: If Big Authors Do Not Need Big Publishers, Then What Are Big ... - Huffington Post
Google News - over 5 years
Obama promised us the utopias of Philip K. Dick and Aldous Huxley and all we got was James Cameron: Osama avatars prancing through security in PETN-enhanced underpants. thatdrew I think @petecashmore is behind pottermore. I can smell branding from
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Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Aldous Huxley
  • 1963
    Age 68
    Huxley's memorial service took place in London in December 1963 which was led by his older brother Julian, and his ashes were interred in the family grave at the Watts Cemetery, home of the Watts Mortuary Chapel in Compton, a village near Guildford, Surrey, England.
    More Details Hide Details Huxley had been a long-time friend of Russian composer Igor Stravinsky, who later dedicated his last orchestral composition to Huxley. Stravinsky began Variations in Santa Fé, New Mexico, in July 1963, and completed the composition in Hollywood on 28 October 1964. It was first performed in Chicago on 17 April 1965, by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra conducted by Robert Craft.
    The society invited Huxley to appear at a banquet and give a lecture at Somerset House, London in June 1963.
    More Details Hide Details Huxley wrote a draft of the speech he intended to give at the society; however, his deteriorating health meant he would not be able to attend. On his deathbed, unable to speak due to advanced laryngeal cancer, Huxley made a written request to his wife Laura for "LSD, 100 µg, intramuscular".
  • 1962
    Age 67
    On 9 April 1962, Huxley was informed he was elected Companion of Literature by the Royal Society of Literature, the senior literary organisation in Britain, and he accepted the title via letter on 28 April 1962.
    More Details Hide Details The correspondence between Huxley and the society are kept at the Cambridge University Library.
    In 1962, a year before his death, he was elected Companion of Literature by the Royal Society of Literature.
    More Details Hide Details Huxley was a humanist, pacifist, and satirist. He later became interested in spiritual subjects such as parapsychology and philosophical mysticism, in particular universalism. By the end of his life, Huxley was widely acknowledged as one of the pre-eminent intellectuals of his time. He was nominated for the Nobel Prize in Literature in seven different years.
  • 1960
    Age 65
    In 1960, Huxley was diagnosed with laryngeal cancer and, in the years that followed, with his health deteriorating, he wrote the Utopian novel Island, and gave lectures on "Human Potentialities" both at the University of California's San Francisco Medical Center and at the Esalen Institute.
    More Details Hide Details These lectures were fundamental to the beginning of the Human Potential Movement. Huxley was a close friend of Jiddu Krishnamurti and Rosalind Rajagopal and was involved in the creation of the Happy Valley School (now Besant Hill School of Happy Valley) in Ojai, California. The most substantial collection of Huxley's few remaining papers (following the destruction of most in a fire) is at the Library of the University of California, Los Angeles. Some are also at the Stanford University Libraries.
  • 1956
    Age 61
    In 1956, Huxley married Laura Archera (1911–2007), also an author as well as a violinist and psychotherapist.
    More Details Hide Details She wrote This Timeless Moment, a biography of Huxley. Laura felt inspired to illuminate the story of their marriage through Mary Ann Braubach's 2010 documentary, "Huxley on Huxley".
  • 1952
    Age 57
    It was, and is, widely believed that Huxley was nearly blind since the illness in his teens, despite the partial recovery that had enabled him to study at Oxford. For example, some ten years after publication of The Art of Seeing, in 1952, Bennett Cerf was present when Huxley spoke at a Hollywood banquet, wearing no glasses and apparently reading his paper from the lectern without difficulty: "Then suddenly he faltered — and the disturbing truth became obvious.
    More Details Hide Details He wasn't reading his address at all. He had learned it by heart. To refresh his memory he brought the paper closer and closer to his eyes. When it was only an inch or so away he still couldn't read it, and had to fish for a magnifying glass in his pocket to make the typing visible to him. It was an agonising moment." On the other hand, Huxley's second wife, Laura Archera Huxley, would later emphasise in her biographical account, This Timeless Moment: "One of the great achievements of his life: that of having regained his sight." After revealing a letter she wrote to the Los Angeles Times disclaiming the label of Huxley as a "poor fellow who can hardly see" by Walter C. Alvarez, she tempered this: "Although I feel it was an injustice to treat Aldous as though he were blind, it is true there were many indications of his impaired vision. For instance, although Aldous did not wear glasses, he would quite often use a magnifying lens." Laura Huxley proceeded to elaborate a few nuances of inconsistency peculiar to Huxley's vision. Her account, in this respect, is discernibly congruent with the following sample of Huxley's own words from The Art of Seeing: "The most characteristic fact about the functioning of the total organism, or any part of the organism, is that it is not constant, but highly variable." Nevertheless, the topic of Huxley's eyesight continues to endure similar, significant controversy, regardless of how trivial a subject matter it might initially appear.
  • 1942
    Age 47
    He wrote a book about his successes with the Bates Method, The Art of Seeing, which was published in 1942 (U.S.), 1943 (UK).
    More Details Hide Details The book contained some generally disputed theories, and its publication created a growing degree of popular controversy about Huxley's eyesight.
  • 1940
    Age 45
    In 1940, Huxley relocated from Hollywood to a ranchito in the high desert hamlet of Llano, California, in northernmost Los Angeles County.
    More Details Hide Details Huxley then said that his sight improved dramatically with the Bates Method and the extreme and pure natural lighting of the southwestern American desert. He reported that, for the first time in more than 25 years, he was able to read without glasses and without strain. He even tried driving a car along the dirt road beside the ranch.
  • 1939
    Age 44
    There are differing accounts about the details of the quality of Huxley's eyesight at specific points in his life. About 1939, Huxley encountered the Bates method for better eyesight, and a teacher, Margaret Darst Corbett, who was able to teach the method to him.
    More Details Hide Details
    Beginning in 1939 and continuing until his death in 1963, Huxley had an extensive association with the Vedanta Society of Southern California, founded and headed by Swami Prabhavananda.
    More Details Hide Details Together with Gerald Heard, Christopher Isherwood, and other followers he was initiated by the Swami and was taught meditation and spiritual practices. In 1944, Huxley wrote the introduction to the "Bhagavad Gita: The Song of God", translated by Swami Prabhavanada and Christopher Isherwood, which was published by The Vedanta Society of Southern California. From 1941 until 1960, Huxley contributed 48 articles to Vedanta and the West, published by the society. He also served on the editorial board with Isherwood, Heard, and playwright John van Druten from 1951 through 1962. Huxley also occasionally lectured at the Hollywood and Santa Barbara Vedanta temples. Two of those lectures have been released on CD: Knowledge and Understanding and Who Are We? from 1955. Nonetheless, Huxley's agnosticism, together with his speculative propensity, made it difficult for him to fully embrace any form of institutionalized religion. In spring of 1953, Huxley had his first, supervised, experience with psychedelic drugs (in this case, mescaline). After the publication of The Doors of Perception, in which he recounted this experience, Huxley and Swami Prabhavanada disagreed about the meaning and importance of the psychedelic drug experience, which may have caused the relationship to cool, but Huxley continued to write articles for the society's journal, lecture at the temple, and attend social functions.
  • 1938
    Age 43
    During this period, Huxley earned a substantial income as a Hollywood screenwriter; Christopher Isherwood, in his autobiography My Guru and His Disciple, states that Huxley earned more than $3,000 per week (an enormous sum in those days) as a screenwriter, and that he used much of it to transport Jewish and left-wing writer and artist refugees from Hitler's Germany to the U.S. In March 1938, his friend Anita Loos, a novelist and screenwriter, put him in touch with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer who hired Huxley for Madame Curie, which was originally to star Greta Garbo and be directed by George Cukor. (Eventually, the film was completed by MGM in 1943 with a different director and cast.) Huxley received screen credit for Pride and Prejudice (1940) and was paid for his work on a number of other films, including Jane Eyre (1944).
    More Details Hide Details Huxley was commissioned by Walt Disney in 1945 to write a script based on Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and the biography of the story's author, Lewis Carroll. The script was not used, however. Huxley wrote an introduction to the posthumous publication of J. D. Unwin's 1940 book Hopousia or The Sexual and Economic Foundations of a New Society. On 21 October 1949, Huxley wrote to George Orwell, author of Nineteen Eighty-Four, congratulating him on "how fine and how profoundly important the book is". Huxley had deeply felt apprehensions about the future the developed world might make for itself. From these, he made some warnings in his writings and talks. In a 1958 televised interview conducted by journalist Mike Wallace, Huxley outlined several major concerns: the difficulties and dangers of world overpopulation; the tendency toward distinctly hierarchical social organisation; the crucial importance of evaluating the use of technology in mass societies susceptible to wily persuasion; the tendency to promote modern politicians, to a naive public, as well-marketed commodities.
    Heard introduced Huxley to Vedanta (Upanishad-centered philosophy), meditation, and vegetarianism through the principle of ahimsa. In 1938, Huxley befriended Jiddu Krishnamurti, whose teachings he greatly admired.
    More Details Hide Details He also became a Vedantist in the circle of Hindu Swami Prabhavananda, and introduced Christopher Isherwood to this circle. Not long after, Huxley wrote his book on widely held spiritual values and ideas, The Perennial Philosophy, which discussed the teachings of renowned mystics of the world. Huxley's book affirmed a sensibility that insists there are realities beyond the generally accepted "five senses" and that there is genuine meaning for humans beyond both sensual satisfactions and sentimentalities. Huxley became a close friend of Remsen Bird, president of Occidental College. He spent much time at the college, which is in the Eagle Rock neighbourhood of Los Angeles. The college appears as "Tarzana College" in his satirical novel After Many a Summer (1939). The novel won Huxley a British literary award, the 1939 James Tait Black Memorial Prize for fiction. Huxley also incorporated Bird into the novel.
  • 1937
    Age 42
    In 1937, Huxley moved to Hollywood with his wife Maria, son Matthew, and friend Gerald Heard.
    More Details Hide Details He lived in the US, mainly in southern California, until his death, but also for a time in Taos, New Mexico, where he wrote Ends and Means (published in 1937). The book contains illuminating tracts on war, religion, nationalism and ethics.
  • 1930
    Age 35
    Following Lawrence's death in 1930, Huxley edited Lawrence's letters (1932).
    More Details Hide Details Works of this period included important novels on the dehumanising aspects of scientific progress, most famously Brave New World, and on pacifist themes (for example, Eyeless in Gaza). In Brave New World, set in a dystopian London, Huxley portrays a society operating on the principles of mass production and Pavlovian conditioning. Huxley was strongly influenced by F. Matthias Alexander and included him as a character in Eyeless in Gaza. Starting from this period, Huxley began to write and edit non-fiction works on pacifist issues, including Ends and Means, An Encyclopedia of Pacifism, and Pacifism and Philosophy, and was an active member of the Peace Pledge Union.
  • 1919
    Age 24
    Huxley married Maria Nys (10 September 1899 – 12 February 1955), a Belgian he met at Garsington, Oxfordshire, in 1919.
    More Details Hide Details They had one child, Matthew Huxley (19 April 1920 – 10 February 2005), who had a career as an author, anthropologist, and prominent epidemiologist. In 1955, Maria died of cancer.
    Jobs were very scarce, but in 1919 John Middleton Murry was reorganising the Athenaeum and invited Huxley to join the staff.
    More Details Hide Details He accepted immediately, and quickly married the Belgian refugee Maria Nys, also at Garsington. They lived with their young son in Italy part of the time during the 1920s, where Huxley would visit his friend D. H. Lawrence.
  • 1917
    Age 22
    Following his years at Balliol, Huxley, being financially indebted to his father, decided to find employment. From April to July 1917, he was in charge of ordering supplies at the Air Ministry for the Royal Air Force.
    More Details Hide Details He taught French for a year at Eton, where Eric Blair (who was to take the pen name George Orwell) and Steven Runciman were among his pupils. He was mainly remembered as being an incompetent schoolmaster unable to keep order in class. Nevertheless, Blair and others spoke highly of his brilliant command of language. Significantly, Huxley also worked for a time during the 1920s at Brunner and Mond, a high-tech chemical plant in Billingham, North East England. According to the introduction to the latest edition of his great science fiction novel Brave New World (1932), the experience he had there of "an ordered universe in a world of planless incoherence" was an important source for the novel. Huxley completed his first (unpublished) novel at the age of 17 and began writing seriously in his early 20s, establishing himself as a successful writer and social satirist. His first published novels were social satires, Crome Yellow (1921), Antic Hay (1923), Those Barren Leaves (1925), and Point Counter Point (1928). Brave New World was Huxley's fifth novel and first dystopian work. In the 1920s he was also a contributor to Vanity Fair and British Vogue magazines.
  • 1916
    Age 21
    In 1916 he edited Oxford Poetry and in June of that year graduated BA with First Class honours.
    More Details Hide Details His brother Julian wrote: For one thing, it put paid to his idea of taking up medicine as a career... His uniqueness lay in his universalism. He was able to take all knowledge for his province.
    In January 1916, he volunteered to join the British Army in the Great War, but was rejected on health grounds, being half-blind in one eye.
    More Details Hide Details His eyesight later partly recovered.
  • 1913
    Age 18
    In October 1913, Huxley went up to Balliol College, Oxford, where he read English Literature.
    More Details Hide Details
  • 1911
    Age 16
    In 1911 he contracted the eye disease (keratitis punctata) which "left him practically blind for two to three years".
    More Details Hide Details This "ended his early dreams of becoming a doctor."
  • 1894
    Huxley was born in Godalming, Surrey, England, in 1894.
    More Details Hide Details He was the third son of the writer and schoolmaster Leonard Huxley, who edited Cornhill Magazine, and his first wife, Julia Arnold, who founded Prior's Field School. Julia was the niece of poet and critic Matthew Arnold and the sister of Mrs. Humphrey Ward. Aldous was the grandson of Thomas Henry Huxley, the zoologist, agnostic, and controversialist ("Darwin's Bulldog"). His brother Julian Huxley and half-brother Andrew Huxley also became outstanding biologists. Aldous had another brother, Noel Trevelyan Huxley (1891–1914), who committed suicide after a period of clinical depression. As a child, Huxley's nickname was "Ogie", short for "Ogre". He was described by his brother, Julian, as someone who frequently "contemplated the strangeness of things". According to his cousin and contemporary, Gervas Huxley, he had an early interest in drawing. Huxley's education began in his father's well-equipped botanical laboratory, after which he enrolled at Hillside School, Malvern. He was taught there by his own mother for several years until she became terminally ill. After Hillside, he went on to Eton College. His mother died in 1908 when he was 14.
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