english writer and philosopher

Aldous Leonard Huxley ( 26 July 1894 – 22 November 1963 ) was an english writer and philosopher. [ 1 ] [ 2 ] [ 3 ] [ 4 ] He wrote closely 50 books [ 5 ] [ 6 ] —both novels and non-fiction works—as well as varied essays, narratives, and poems. Born into the big Huxley family, he graduated from Balliol College, Oxford, with an undergraduate degree in English literature. early in his career, he published short stories and poetry and edited the literary magazine Oxford Poetry, before going on to publish change of location write, sarcasm, and screenplays. He spent the latter part of his life in the United States, living in Los Angeles from 1937 until his death. [ 7 ] By the end of his life, Huxley was wide acknowledged as one of the foremost intellectuals of his time. He was nominated for the Nobel Prize in Literature nine times [ 9 ] and was elected Companion of Literature by the Royal Society of Literature in 1962. [ 10 ]

Huxley was a pacifist. He grew concerned in philosophic mysticism [ 12 ] [ 13 ] and universalism, addressing these subjects with works such as The Perennial Philosophy ( 1945 ) —which illustrates commonalities between westerly and easterly mysticism—and The Doors of Perception ( 1954 ) —which interprets his own psychedelic experience with mescaline. In his most celebrated novel Brave New World ( 1932 ) and his final examination novel Island ( 1962 ), he presented his imagination of dystopia and utopia, respectively .

early life [edit ]

Huxley was born in Godalming, Surrey, England, in 1894. He was the third son of the writer and schoolmaster Leonard Huxley, who edited The Cornhill Magazine, [ 15 ] 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. Humphry Ward. Julia named him Aldous after a quality in one of her baby ‘s novels. [ 16 ] Aldous was the grandson of Thomas Henry Huxley, the zoologist, agnostic, and disputant ( “ Darwin ‘s Bulldog ” ). His buddy Julian Huxley and stepbrother Andrew Huxley besides became outstanding biologists. Aldous had another brother, Noel Trevenen Huxley ( 1889–1914 ), who took his own life after a period of clinical natural depression. [ 17 ] As a child, Huxley ‘s nickname was “ Ogie ”, short for “ Ogre ”. [ 18 ] He was described by his brother, Julian, as person who frequently “ [ contemplated ] the foreignness of things ”. [ 18 ] According to his cousin and contemporaneous, Gervas Huxley, he had an early interest in drawing. [ 18 ] Huxley ‘s education began in his don ‘s well-equipped botanic lab, after which he enrolled at Hillside School near Godalming. [ 19 ] [ 20 ] 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 ( his forefather late remarried ). He contracted the eye disease Keratitis punctata in 1911 ; this “ left [ him ] practically blind for two to three years ”. [ 21 ] This “ ended his early pipe dream of becoming a doctor ”. [ 22 ] In October 1913, Huxley entered Balliol College, Oxford, where he studied english literature. [ 23 ] He volunteered for the british Army in January 1916, for the Great War ; however, he was rejected on health grounds, being half-blind in one eye. [ 23 ] His eyesight late partially recovered. He edited Oxford Poetry in 1916, and in June of that class graduated BA with first class honor. [ 23 ] His brother julian wrote :

I believe his blindness was a bless in disguise. For one thing, it put paid to his estimate of taking up medicine as a career … His singularity lie in his universalism. He was able to take all cognition for his province. [ 24 ]

Following his years at Balliol, Huxley, being financially indebted to his church father, decided to find employment. He taught French for a class at Eton College, where Eric Blair ( who was to take the penitentiary name George Orwell ) and Steven Runciman were among his pupils. He was chiefly remembered as being an incompetent schoolmaster unable to keep order in class. Nevertheless, Blair and others spoke highly of his excellent command of lyric. [ 25 ] Huxley besides worked for a time during the 1920s at Brunner and Mond, an advanced chemical plant in Billingham in County Durham, northeasterly England. According to the introduction to the latest edition of his science fiction novel Brave New World ( 1932 ), the know he had there of “ an order population in a world of adrift incoherence ” was an authoritative source for the novel .

career [edit ]

Huxley completed his first ( unpublished ) novel at the historic period of 17 and began writing seriously in his early twenties, establishing himself as a successful writer and sociable 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 ( 1932 ) was his one-fifth novel and first dystopian solve. In the 1920s, he was besides a contributor to Vanity Fair and British Vogue magazines .
During the First World War, Huxley spent much of his time at Garsington Manor near Oxford, home of Lady Ottoline Morrell, working as a farm laborer. While at the Manor, he met several Bloomsbury Group figures, including Bertrand Russell, Alfred North Whitehead, [ 27 ] and Clive Bell. Later, in Crome Yellow ( 1921 ), he caricatured the Garsington life style. Jobs were very scarce, but in 1919, John Middleton Murry was reorganising the Athenaeum and invite Huxley to join the staff. He accepted immediately, and promptly married the belgian refugee Maria Nys ( 1899–1955 ), besides at Garsington. [ 28 ] They lived with their new son in Italy function of the meter during the 1920s, where Huxley would visit his acquaintance D. H. Lawrence. Following Lawrence ‘s death in 1930, Huxley edited Lawrence ‘s letters ( 1932 ). [ 29 ] very early in 1929, in London, Huxley met Gerald Heard, a brilliant writer and broadcaster, philosopher and spokesperson of contemporary science. [ 30 ] Works of this time period included significant novels on the dehumanising aspects of scientific build up, most excellently Brave New World, and on pacifist themes ( for exercise, Eyeless in Gaza ). In Brave New World, set in a dystopian London, Huxley portrays a society operating on the principles of aggregate production and pavlovian condition. Huxley was strongly influenced by F. Matthias Alexander, and included him as a character in Eyeless in Gaza ( 1936 ). [ citation needed ] During this time period, Huxley began to write and edit non-fiction works on pacifist issues, including Ends and Means ( 1937 ), An Encyclopedia of Pacifism, and Pacifism and Philosophy, and was an active extremity of the Peace Pledge Union. [ 31 ]

biography in the United States [edit ]

In 1937, Huxley moved to Hollywood with his wife Maria, son Matthew Huxley, and acquaintance Gerald Heard. He lived in the U.S., chiefly in southerly California, until his death, and besides for a time in Taos, New Mexico, where he wrote Ends and Means ( published in 1937 ). The book contains tracts on war, religion, nationalism, and ethics. [ citation needed ] Heard introduced Huxley to Vedanta ( Upanishad-centered doctrine ), meditation, and vegetarianism through the principle of ahimsa. In 1938, Huxley befriended Jiddu Krishnamurti, whose teachings he greatly admired. Huxley and Krishnamurti entered into an abiding exchange ( sometimes edging on argument ) over many years, with Krishnamurti representing the more rarefy, detached, ivory-tower perspective and Huxley, with his pragmatic concerns, the more socially and historically informed position. Huxley provided an introduction to Krishnamurti ‘s quintessential statement, The First and Last Freedom ( 1954 ). [ 32 ] Huxley besides became a Vedantist in the traffic circle of Hindu Swami Prabhavananda, and introduced Christopher Isherwood to this lap. not long afterwards, Huxley wrote his book on widely held apparitional values and ideas, The Perennial Philosophy, which discussed the teachings of celebrated mystics of the world. Huxley ‘s bible affirmed a sensibility that insists there are realities beyond the generally accepted “ five senses ” and that there is genuine mean for humans beyond both sensual satisfactions and sentimentalities. [ citation needed ] Huxley became a cheeseparing friend of Remsen Bird, president of Occidental College. He spent much fourth dimension at the college, which is in the Eagle Rock neighborhood 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 fabrication. [ 33 ] Huxley besides incorporated Bird into the novel. [ citation needed ] During this menstruation, Huxley earned a solid 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 ( approximately $ 50,000 [ 34 ] in 2020 dollars ) as a screenwriter, and that he used much of it to transport jewish and leftist writer and artist refugees from Hitler ‘s Germany to the US. [ citation needed ] In March 1938, Huxley ‘s acquaintance Anita Loos, a novelist and screenwriter, put him in reach with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer ( MGM ), which hired him for Madame Curie which was in the first place to star Greta Garbo and be directed by George Cukor. ( finally, the film was completed by MGM in 1943 with a unlike film 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 ). He was commissioned by Walt Disney in 1945 to write a handwriting based on Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and the biography of the story ‘s writer, Lewis Carroll. The script was not used, however. [ 35 ] Huxley wrote an initiation to the posthumous publication of J. D. Unwin ‘s 1940 book Hopousia or The Sexual and Economic Foundations of a New Society. [ 36 ] On 21 October 1949, Huxley wrote to George Orwell, generator of Nineteen Eighty-Four, congratulating him on “ how fine and how profoundly important the book is ”. In his letter to Orwell, he predicted :

“ Within the following generation I believe that the populace ‘s leaders will discover that baby condition and narcohypnosis are more effective, as instruments of government, than clubs and prisons, and that the crave for power can be just as wholly satisfied by suggesting people into loving their servitude as by flogging them and kicking them into obedience. ” [ 37 ]

In 1953, Huxley and Maria applied for United States citizenship and presented themselves for examen. When Huxley refused to bear arms for the U.S. and would not country that his objections were based on religious ideals, the entirely excuse allowed under the McCarran Act, the evaluator had to adjourn the proceedings. [ 38 ] [ 39 ] He withdrew his application. however, he remained in the U.S. In 1959, Huxley turned down an offer to be made a Knight Bachelor by the Macmillan politics without putting forward a rationality ; his brother Julian had been knighted in 1958, while another brother Andrew would be knighted in 1974. [ 40 ] In the hang semester of 1960 Huxley was invited by Professor Huston Smith to be the Carnegie Visiting Professor of Humanities at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology ( MIT ). [ 41 ] As region of the MIT centennial broadcast of events organised by the Department of Humanities, Huxley presented a series of lectures titled, “ What a musical composition of Work is a man ” which concerned history, lyric, and artwork. [ 42 ]

Late-in-life perspectives [edit ]

Biographer Harold H. Watts wrote that Huxley ‘s writings in the “ final and elongated time period of his liveliness ” are “ the work of a man who is meditating on the central problems of many modern men ”. [ 43 ] Huxley had profoundly felt apprehensions about the future the develop earth might make for itself. From these, he made some warnings in his writings and talks. In a 1958 televised interview conducted by diarist Mike Wallace, Huxley outlined respective major concerns : the difficulties and dangers of populace overpopulation ; the tendency towards distinctly hierarchical social organization ; the crucial importance of evaluating the use of engineering in mass societies susceptible to persuasion ; the inclination to promote modern politicians to a uninstructed public as well-marketed commodities. [ 44 ] In a December 1962 letter to brother Julian, summarizing a newspaper he had presented in Santa Barbara, he wrote, “ What I said was that if we did n’t pretty cursorily start intelligent of human problems in ecological terms preferably than in terms of baron politics we should very soon be in a bad way. ” [ 45 ] Huxley ‘s engagement with Eastern wisdom traditions was wholly compatible with a firm taste of modern science. Biographer Milton Birnbaum wrote that Huxley “ ended by embracing both science and Eastern religion ”. [ 46 ] In his last reserve, Literature and Science, Huxley wrote that “ The ethical and philosophic implications of modern science are more buddhist than christian …. ” [ 47 ] In “ A Philosopher ‘s Visionary Prediction, ” published one month before he died, Huxley endorsed train in general semantics and “ the gestural earth of culturally uncontaminated awareness, ” writing that “ We must learn how to be mentally silent, we must cultivate the artwork of pure receptiveness …. [ T ] he individual must learn to decondition himself, must be able to cut holes in the fence of verbalize symbols that hems him in. ” [ 48 ]

Association with Vedanta [edit ]

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. 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 ”, [ 49 ] translated by Swami Prabhavananda 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 besides served on the editorial dining table with Isherwood, Heard, and playwright John Van Druten from 1951 through 1962. Huxley besides occasionally lectured at the Hollywood and Santa Barbara Vedanta temples. Two of those lectures have been released on certificate of deposit : Knowledge and Understanding and Who Are We? from 1955. Nonetheless, Huxley ‘s agnosticism, together with his notional proclivity, made it difficult for him to fully embrace any form of commit religion. [ 50 ]

Psychedelic drug manipulation and mysterious experiences [edit ]

In the bounce of 1953, Huxley had his first experience with the psychedelic drug mescaline. Huxley had initiated a symmetry with Doctor Humphry Osmond, a british psychiatrist then employed in a canadian initiation, and finally asked him to supply a drug of mescaline ; Osmond obliged and supervised Huxley ‘s school term in southern California. After the publication of The Doors of Perception, in which he recounted this experience, Huxley and Swami Prabhavananda disagreed about the mean and importance of the psychedelic drug experience, which may have caused the kinship to cool, but Huxley continued to write articles for the club ‘s journal, call on the carpet at the temple, and attend social functions. Huxley late had an experience on mescaline that he considered more fundamental than those detailed in The Doors of Perception. Huxley wrote that “ The mystic have is doubly valuable ; it is valuable because it gives the experiencer a better understanding of himself and the world and because it may help him to lead a less egoistic and more creative life. ” [ 51 ]

Having tried LSD in the 1950s, he became an adviser to Timothy Leary and Richard Alpert in their early-1960s research study with psychedelic drugs at Harvard. Personality differences led Huxley to distance himself from Leary, when Huxley grew refer that Leary had become excessively exquisite on promoting the drugs rather randomly, even playing the insurgent with a affection for promotion. [ 52 ] [ 53 ]

eyesight [edit ]

Huxley ( senesce 52 ) in 1947, his right eye affected by keratitis, which he had contracted in 1911. Differing accounts exist about the details of the choice of Huxley ‘s eyesight at specific points in his life. Circa 1939, Huxley encountered the Bates method acting, in which he was instructed by Margaret Darst Corbett. In 1940, Huxley relocated from Hollywood to a 40-acre ( 16 hour angle ) ranchito in the high defect village of Llano, California, in northerly Los Angeles County. Huxley then said that his spy improved dramatically with the Bates method acting and the extreme and pure natural lighting of the southwest American abandon. He reported that, for the first time in more than 25 years, he was able to read without glasses and without form. He even tried driving a car along the soil road beside the ranch. He wrote a ledger about his experiences with the Bates method acting, The Art of Seeing, which was published in 1942 ( U.S. ), 1943 ( UK ). The book contained some generally disputed theories, and its issue created a growing degree of democratic controversy about Huxley ‘s eyesight. [ 54 ] It was, and is, widely believed that Huxley was closely blind since the illness in his teens, despite the overtone 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 introduce when Huxley spoke at a Hollywood feast, wearing no glasses and apparently reading his composition from the lectern without trouble :

“ then abruptly he faltered—and the disturbing truth became obvious. He was n’t reading his address at all. He had learned it by affection. To refresh his memory he brought the paper cheeseparing and closer to his eyes. When it was lone an edge or therefore away he even could n’t read it, and had to fish for a magnify glass in his pocket to make the type visible to him. It was an agonize moment. ” [ 55 ]

brazilian generator João Ubaldo Ribeiro, who as a young journalist spent several evenings in the Huxleys ‘ company in the late 1950s, wrote that Huxley had said to him, with a dry smile : “ I can hardly see at all. And I do n’t give a damn, very. ” [ 56 ] On the early hand, Huxley ‘s second wife, Laura Archera, late emphasised in her biographic report, 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 people colleague who can barely see ” by Walter C. Alvarez, she tempered her instruction :

“ 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 example, although Aldous did not break glasses, he would quite often use a overstate lens. ” [ 57 ]

Laura Huxley proceeded to elaborate a few nuances of incompatibility peculiar to Huxley ‘s imagination. Her account, in this esteem, agrees with the follow sample of Huxley ‘s own words from The Art of Seeing :

“ The most characteristic fact about the operation of the total organism, or any separate of the organism, is that it is not constant, but highly variable star. ” [ 58 ]

however, the topic of Huxley ‘s eyesight has continued to endure like, significant controversy. [ 59 ] american popular science author Steven Johnson, in his book Mind Wide Open, quotes Huxley about his difficulties with ocular encode :

“ I am and, for a long as I can remember, I have constantly been a poor visualizer. Words, even the pregnant words of poets, do not evoke pictures in my judgment. No soporific 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 feat of the will, I can evoke a not very vivid trope of what happened yesterday good afternoon … ” [ 60 ] [ 61 ]

personal animation [edit ]

Huxley married on 10 July 1919 [ 62 ] Maria Nys ( 10 September 1899 – 12 February 1955 ), a belgian epidemiologist from Bellem, [ 62 ] a greenwich village near Aalter, he met at Garsington, Oxfordshire, in 1919. They had one child, Matthew Huxley ( 19 April 1920 – 10 February 2005 ), who had a career as an generator, anthropologist, and big epidemiologist. [ 63 ] In 1955, Maria Huxley died of cancer. [ 22 ] In 1956, Huxley married Laura Archera ( 1911–2007 ), besides an author, angstrom well as a violinist and psychotherapist. [ 22 ] She wrote This Timeless Moment, a biography of Huxley. She told the fib of their marriage through Mary Ann Braubach ‘s 2010 documentary, Huxley on Huxley. [ 64 ] Huxley was diagnosed with laryngeal cancer in 1960 ; in the years that followed, with his health deteriorate, he wrote the utopian fresh Island, [ 65 ] 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. [ 66 ] Huxley was a close supporter of Jiddu Krishnamurti and Rosalind Rajagopal, and was involved in the creation of the Happy Valley School, now Besant Hill School, of glad Valley, in Ojai, California. The most solid solicitation of Huxley ‘s few remaining papers, following the end of most in the 1961 Bel Air Fire, is at the Library of the University of California, Los Angeles. [ 67 ] Some are besides at the Stanford University Libraries. [ 68 ] On 9 April 1962 Huxley was informed he was elected Companion of Literature by the Royal Society of Literature, the senior literary organization in Britain, and he accepted the title via letter on 28 April 1962. [ 69 ] The symmetry between Huxley and the club is kept at the Cambridge University Library. [ 69 ] The society invited Huxley to appear at a banquet and give a lecture at Somerset House, London, in June 1963. Huxley wrote a enlist of the speech he intended to give at the society ; however, his deteriorating health meant he was not able to attend. [ 69 ]

death [edit ]

On his deathbed, unable to speak owing to advance laryngeal cancer, Huxley made a written request to his wife Laura for “ LSD, 100 µg, intramuscular. ” According to her explanation of his death [ 70 ] in This Timeless Moment, she obliged with an injection at 11:20 ante meridiem and a second base dose an hour later ; Huxley died aged 69, at 5:20 post meridiem ( Los Angeles time ), on 22 November 1963. [ 71 ] Media coverage of Huxley ‘s end, along with that of fellow british author C. S. Lewis, was overshadowed by the assassination of American President John F. Kennedy on the same day, less than seven hours before Huxley ‘s death. [ 72 ] In a 2009 article for New York cartridge holder titled “ The eclipse Celebrity Death Club ”, Christopher Bonanos wrote :

The championship trophy for badly timed death, though, goes to a pair of british writers. Aldous Huxley, the author of Brave New World, died the same day as C. S. Lewis, who wrote the Chronicles of Narnia series. unfortunately for both of their legacies, that day was November 22, 1963, good as John Kennedy ‘s motorcade passed the Texas School Book Depository. Huxley, at least, made it matter to : 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 universe. [ 73 ]

This coincidence served as the basis for Peter Kreeft ‘s book Between Heaven and Hell: A Dialog Somewhere Beyond Death with John F. Kennedy, C. S. Lewis, & Aldous Huxley, which imagines a conversation among the three men taking place in Purgatory following their deaths. [ 74 ] Huxley ‘s memorial service took locate in London in December 1963 ; it was led by his elder brother Julian. On 27 October 1971, [ 75 ] his ashes were interred in the syndicate grave accent at the Watts Cemetery, home of the Watts Mortuary Chapel in Compton, Guildford, Surrey, England. [ 76 ] Huxley had been a long-time acquaintance of Russian composer Igor Stravinsky, who dedicated his last orchestral composition to Huxley. What became Variations: Aldous Huxley in memoriam was begun in July 1963, completed in October 1964, and premiered by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra on 17 April 1965 .

Awards [edit ]

Film adaptations of Huxley ‘s work [edit ]

bibliography [edit ]

See besides [edit ]

References [edit ]

Sources [edit ]

promote read [edit ]

Online editions [edit ]