Aldous Huxley Aldous Huxley was an English writer whose most famous work is the 1932 novel Brave New World .
Aldous Leonard Huxley
Born 26 July 1894 Godalming , Surrey , England
22 November 1963 (aged 69) Los Angeles , California , United States
Occupation Writer, author
Brave New World ,
Island (novel) ,
Point Counter Point ,
The Doors of Perception
His father, Leonard , was the son of T. H. Huxley , , famous champion of Charles Darwin , the famous proponent of Darwinism when it was first finding acceptance;
his mother, Julia , was the niece of the poet and critic Matthew Arnold
Aldous attended Eton on a scholarship and specialized in biology, intending to become a doctor, but he contracted keratitis and soon was almost blind.
However, he learned to read Braille and continued his studies under tutors.
When one eye recovered enough so that he could read with a magnifying glass, he turned to English literature and philosophy at Oxford , taking a degree in 1915.
After World war 1 For the greater part of 1923-1930 he lived in Italy; after 1926 he spent much time there with D. H. and Frieda Lawrence . Lawrence was a strong influence on Huxley, particularly in his mistrust of intellect and trust in vital promptings
Early Work Huxley's early period was characterized by skeptical, brilliant portraits of a decadent society. This was the period of the novels Crome Yellow (1921), Antic Hay (1923), and Point Counter Point (1928).
Brave New World
Huxley's disgust with much of the modern world became explicit in Brave New World (1932) and Eyeless in Gaza (1936).
Brave New World warned that a future utopia based on technology and social control would be a nightmare, a theme that resonated with readers in Europe and the U.S. During the 1930s
Life in California In 1938 Huxley encountered the Bates method of eye training and moved to southern California, where facilities for it were unusually good. He said of the method that it demonstrated in that particular sphere "the possibility of becoming the master of one's circumstances….
… .Similar techniques for controlling other unfavorable circumstances have been independently developed…. All these techniques, however, are secondary … to a great central technique. This central technique, which teaches the art of obtaining freedom from the fundamental human disability of egotism , has been repeatedly described by the mystics of all ages and countries.
… ..It is with the problem of personal, psychological freedom that I now find myself predominantly concerned."
Huxley's The Perennial Philosophy (1945) was in a sense a documentation of this statement.
The results he described in THE ART OF SEEING (1942).
After this turning point in his life, Huxley abandoned pure fictional writing and chose the essay as the vehicle for expressing his ideas.
He also wrote screenplays in collaboration with Christopher Isherwood for film studios, but did not gain success in this field.
Among their unproduced film treatments was Jacob's Hands , a story about healing powers and disappointment in love.
Several of Huxley's screenplays never got filmed.
His best screenplays for Hollywood included MGM's Pride and Prejudice (1940).
The first film project offered was an adaptation of Galsworthy's Forsyte Saga , which Huxley turned down, explaining in a letter, ''Even the lure of enormous lucre could not reconcile me to remaining closeted for months with the ghost of the late poor John Galsworthy. I couldn't face it.''
In 1938 he wrote an uncredited treatment for Madame Curie , directed by Mervyn LeRoy. With John Houseman and Robert Stevenson he worked for the 20th Century-Fox film Jane Eyre (1944), starring Orson Welles and Joan Fontaine.
Woman's Vengeance (1947), directed by Zoltan Korda and starring Charles Boyer and Jessica Tandy, was based on Huxley's story 'The Gioconda Smile.'
Brave new world Revised
BRAVE NEW WORLD REVISED appeared in 1958. He stated that in writing Brave New World he had failed to recognize the ominous potential of nuclear fission, "for the possibilities of atomic energy had been a popular topic of conversation for years before the book was written."
He believed that individual freedom was much closer to extinction than he had imagined
Huxley's other later works include THE DEVILS OF LOUDON (1952), depicting mass-hysteria and exorcism in the 17th-century France.
ISLAND (1962) was an utopian novel and a return to the territory of Brave New World , in which a journalist shipwrecks on Pala, the fabled island, and discovers there a kind and happy people .
But the earthly paradise is not immune to the harsh realities of oil policy.
BRAVE NEW WORLD REVISITED (1959) was a sequel to his classic novel.
Huxley compared the predictions of his earlier work with subsequent developments in science and society.
In 1963 appeared LITERATURE AND SCIENCE, a collection of essays.
In his later years Huxley wrote two books about mind-altering drugs, becoming a guru among Californian hippies'.
While writing Brave New World Huxley had read about drugs, but it took 22 years before he experimented with them himself.
In a article from 1931, Huxley stated that drug-taking "constitutes one of the most curious and also, it seems to me, one of the most significant chapters in the natural history of human beings."
Huxley had met occultist Aleister Crowley in Berlin in 1930 and through him was familiar with the effects of mescaline , but it was not until summer 1953 that Huxley took the four-tenths of a gram of mescaline that resulted in his own enthusiasm for the possibilities of hallucinogens . Huxley's discussions of consciousness-expanding drugs were drawn upon by such apostles of the psychedelic revolution as Timothy Leary and Richard Alpert , but Huxley himself opposed indiscriminate drug-taking. According to his brother, the famous biologist Sir Julian Huxley, he realized "that LSD would not bring liberation and understanding to everyone, and in his last book, Island, he points out its potential danger … though his warnings were not heeded."
Last few years
In 1961 Huxley suffered a severe loss when his house and his papers were totally destroyed in a bush-fire.
Little survived apart from the manuscript of Island .
Huxley died in Los Angeles on November 22, 1963. In the media news of his death were overshadowed by the assassination of President Kennedy
Huxley was married twice.
In 1919 he married Maria Nys, a Belgian, who died 1955.
They had one son.
In 1956 he married the violinist and psychotherapist Laura Archera. They had first met in 1848 when Laura Archera was planning to make a film on the Palio, the annual horce race in Siena.
She hoped that Huxley would write it.
Brave New World
Brave New World - A cry of warning and nightmarish black comedy of a future society. - The Nine Year War, a global holocaust, has reshaped the history.
In the year 632 after Ford (i.e., the 26th century) the world has attained a kind of scientifically balanced communist utopia.
Universal happiness is preserved by psychotropic drugs
Religion, art, theoretical science are unimportant, but life is free of illness and old age.
Scientists are able to produce babies who will fit their future job exactly.
There are five types of humans, ranging from the intellectually superior Alphas to the semimoronic Epsilons.
Alpha-Plus Bernard Marx resists soma, the soporific drug carried by all citizens.
It helps to stop any signs of stress or dissatisfaction and longing for a fuller life. Eventually Bernard is exiled to Iceland.
John the Savage, raised in a reservation of American Indian primitives and abandoned by his mother in a primitive outpost, comes into this world.
John is thinking, feeling individual, who has read Shakespeare and witnessed primitive religious rituals. Bernard brings John and his ruined Beta-Minus mother Linda to England.
When his mother dies of an overdose of the feel-good drug, John swells a violent revolt. He engages in a dialogue with the World Controller Mustapha Mond and debates the merits of freedom and passion.
He is harassed as a freak of the accepted social order.
In the end the Savage yields to the temptations of the carefree world, and kills himself in disgust. - The book received mixed critics. H.G. Wells was offended by what he regarded as Huxley's betrayal of science and the future.
Bertrand Russell and Hermann Hesse recognized the serious intent beneath the surface of playful wit .
The novelist, essayist and critic C.P. Snow dismissed in a 1959 review both Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four (1948) and Brave New World especially for their pessimism about scientific progress and social purpose.