Lawrence—with whom he would later forge a great friendship. Huxley's eye problems disqualified him for military service in World War I , a brutal conflict in which many of Huxley's contemporaries died. In fact, Huxley's generation was decimated by the war: nearly , British soldiers lost their lives between and , and nearly twice that many were wounded. For the greater part of — he lived in Italy; after he spent much time there with D. Lawrence was a strong influence on Huxley, particularly in his mistrust of intellect and trust in physical instincts. Social Critiques Huxley's early period was characterized by skeptical, brilliant portraits of the decadence of post—World War I upper-class British society, particularly its younger members.
The decade was marked in the United States and Europe by frivolity and sensual excess. The nonstop par-tying was labeled liberating by some writers and artists, but others saw it as empty and shallow. Huxley, like fellow English writer Evelyn Waugh, used his considerable satiric wit to skewer the rich, vapid revelers of the s. Huxley's growing disgust with the modern world was not limited to the younger generation. His disdain for the twentieth-century obsession with science, technological development, and commercial and industrial advancement would become explicit in Brave New World , his best-known work.
The Search for Meaning After Brave New World , Huxley's fiction and nonfiction both became increasingly concerned with his interest in religious mysticism. Huxley left England and settled in Southern California, where he became interested in the work of Gerald Heard, who had become interested in the Hindu tradition of Vedanta, a seeking of self-realization. Although Eyeless in Gaza and Time Must Have a Stop are both concerned with religious quests, After Many a Summer Dies the Swan , which satirizes the popular culture of Southern California, displays some of the comic irony for which Huxley became famous in the s.
Much of Huxley's later energy was devoted primarily to nonfiction, both in essays presenting social criticism, and in works like The Perennial Philosophy , which collects and comments on the texts that Huxley considered the vital essence of the world's mystical writings. Indeed, Huxley's career and personal life turned more and more toward mysticism as he aged, which is one of the points of contention his critics had with him.
During the last ten years of his life, Huxley engaged in experiments with the hallucinogenic drugs mescaline and LSD, under the supervision of a physician friend. In The Doors of Perception , he wrote about his experience with these drugs. The books later became popular with members of the countercultural movement in the United States in the s. In fact, the influential rock band the Doors took its name from Huxley's book and the band's enigmatic singer and songwriter, Jim Morrison , quoted Huxley often. Huxley's health, which was never robust, took several turns for the worse in the early s.
As he continued to work on a variety of projects, his strength continued to slip away. Lewis died and President John F. Kennedy was assassinated. Scott Fitzgerald — : An American novelist best known for his critique of high society in the s, as expressed in The Great Gatsby. Frida Kahlo — : A Mexican painter widely recognized for her vibrant style. She was influenced by Realism, Symbolism, and Surrealism. William Faulkner — : An American novelist associated with the Southern Gothic tradition of literature. Franklin Delano Roosevelt — : The thirty-second president of the United States, who served four terms in office.
Huxley was connected to many of the leading literary figures of his time. These artists influenced his work and thinking, especially D. Lawrence, who was a great friend and mentor. Nonetheless, Huxley was able to carve a niche for himself in speculative fiction in the form of science fiction , drawing on the traditions of H. Wells and Jules Verne and influencing later science fiction. It has been in print ever since its publication, is taught widely, and remains a point of reference for political scientists, editorialists, newscasters, and freelance pundits.
The book has many passages of intellectual interest; however, its enduring success is probably best explained by Huxley's mastery of the form. American popular science author Steven Johnson , in his book Mind Wide Open , quotes Huxley about his difficulties with visual encoding : "I am and, for as long as I can remember, I have always been a poor visualizer. Words, even the pregnant words of poets, do not evoke pictures in my mind.
No hypnagogic visions greet me on the verge of sleep. When I recall something, the memory does not present itself to me as a vividly seen event or object. By an effort of the will, I can evoke a not very vivid image of what happened yesterday afternoon They had one child, Matthew Huxley 19 April — 10 February , who had a career as an author, anthropologist, and prominent epidemiologist. In , Huxley married Laura Archera — , also an author, as well as a violinist and psychotherapist.
Huxley was diagnosed with laryngeal cancer in ; in the years that followed, with his health deteriorating, he wrote the Utopian novel Island ,  and gave lectures on "Human Potentialities" both at the UCSF Medical Center and at the Esalen Institute. These lectures were fundamental to the beginning of the Human Potential Movement. 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.
Relations between the sexes are just another form of entertainment. Lit Verlag. T he range of Huxley's interests can be seen from his note that his "preliminary research" for Island included "Greek history, Polynesian anthropology, translations from Sanskrit and Chinese of Buddhist texts, scientific papers on pharmacology, neurophysiology, psychology and education, together with novels, poems, critical essays, travel books, political commentaries and conversations with all kinds of people, from philosophers to actresses, from patients in mental hospitals to tycoons in Rolls-Royces None of the people challenge the caste system, believing they all work together for the common good. The world of is one of tyranny, terror, and perpetual warfare.
On 9 April , 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 Huxley wrote a draft of the speech he intended to give at the society; however, his deteriorating health meant he was not able to attend. Los Angeles time , on 22 November Media coverage of Huxley's death, along with that of the author C.
Lewis , was overshadowed by the assassination of President John F. Kennedy on the same day. The championship trophy for badly timed death, though, goes to a pair of British writers. Lewis, who wrote the Chronicles of Narnia series. Huxley, at least, made it interesting: At his request, his wife shot him up with LSD a couple of hours before the end, and he tripped his way out of this world.
Kennedy, C. Huxley's memorial service took place in London in December ; it was led by his elder brother Julian. Huxley had been a long-time friend of Russian composer Igor Stravinsky , who later dedicated his last orchestral composition to Huxley. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. English writer and philosopher Maria Nys m. Laura Archera m. See also: Huxley family. See also: The Doors of Perception.
Aldous Huxley. Retrieved 10 April Inge's agreement with Huxley on several essential points indicates the respect Huxley's position commanded from some important philosophers … And now we have a book by Aldous Huxley, duly labelled The Perennial Philosophy. Aldous Huxley, as a writer of fiction in the 20th century, willingly assumes the role of a modern philosopher-king or literary prophet by examining the essence of what it means to be human in the modern age.
Aldous Huxley: Brave New World. Marshall Cavendish Corporation. He was also a philosopher, mystic, social prophet, political thinker, and world traveler who had a detailed knowledge of music, medicine, science, technology, history, literature and Eastern religions.
Aldous Huxley: A Biography. The Crossroad Publishing Company. Huxley was a philosopher but his viewpoint was not determined by the intellect alone. He believed the rational mind could only speculate about truth and never find it directly. Keith Booker ed. Retrieved 5 July Nobel Prize. Royal Society of Literature. Huxley: A Biographical Introduction.
Dunaway Rowman Altamira. National Library of Scotland. Retrieved 24 April Greenwood Press, , p. Alfred A.
Aldous Huxley, Representative Man. Rintoul 5 March Dictionary of Real People and Places in Fiction. Brave New World. Aldous Huxley — a Memorial Volume. George Orwell: A Life.
London: Penguin Books. Ivan R. Black Rose Books. Peace Pledge Union. Archived from the original on 6 June Retrieved 15 May Retrieved 25 February Grover Smith ed. Letters of Aldous Huxley. Retrieved 8 March Marshall Cavendish. Aldous Huxley: An English Intellectual. Little, Brown Book Group. Volume 6. Bhagavad Gita: The Song of God.
Hollywood, Calif: Vedanta Press. Aldous Huxley Annual. Fads and Fallacies in the Name of Science. Dover Publications. Editora Nova Fronteira. This Timeless Moment. Chronicle Books, University of California. After Eton and Balliol, he became a member of the postwar intellectual upper crust, the society he set out to vivisect and anatomize. Since , when he settled in Southern California, he has written fewer novels and turned his attention more to philosophy, history, and mysticism.
Although remembered best for his early satires, he is still productive and provocative as ever. He lives in an unpretentious hilltop house that suggests the Tudor period of American real-estate history. On a clear day he can look out across miles of cluttered, sprawling city at a broad sweep of the Pacific. Huxley is a very tall man—he must be six feet four—and, though lean, very broad across the shoulders.
He carries his years lightly indeed; in fact he moves so quietly as to appear weightless, almost wraithlike. His eyesight is limited, but he seems to find his way about instinctively, without touching anything. In manner and speech he is very gentle. Where one might have been led to expect the biting satirist or the vague mystic, one is impressed instead by how quiet and gentle he is on the one hand, how sensible and down-to-earth on the other.
His manner is reflected in his lean, gray, emaciated face: attentive, reflective, and for the most part unsmiling.
He listens patiently while others speak, then answers deliberately. I work regularly. I always work in the mornings, and then again a little bit before dinner. I prefer to read at night. I usually work four or five hours a day. I keep at it as long as I can, until I feel myself going stale.