ALDOUS HUXLEY (1894–1963)
- IMPORTANT DATES :
1911: blind for almost three years years ; close to the Bloomsbury Circle from 1914 to 1920. Then became closer to D. H. Lawrence. Moved to (and worked for) Hollywood from 1937, settled in Taos (New Mexico, 1938) and became a Vedantist. In the ‘50s,he was a pioneer of self-directed psychedelic drug use (>The Doors of Perception). After 1960, he tried to overcome cancer, and wrote Island, a Utopia. He died on the same day as C.S. Lewis and J.F. Kennedy.
- His famous WORKS :
- Point Counter Point (1928)
- Brave New World (1932)
- The Devils of Loudun (1953), made into a film by Ken Russell.
- The Politics of Ecology (1962)
- HIS MESSAGE :
The main themes in Huxley’s works are not specifically literary; initially a pacifist, "he began as an enfant terrible and ended a sage" (Robert E. Kuehn). All his life he was prone to satire, shocking people to make them think. There is a constant attention to the (alarming) social changes in the world, and particularly the way science is considered, and used. Generally man’s failure is due to his inability to recognize the purpose of the human spirit and his senseless search for immortality. He was the first to coin the term « psychedelic », meaning "mind revealing" or "mind opening". For he strongly criticized religions, but eventually turned to mysticism.
His plotlines often include an external observer (the « fish-out-of-water theme »); but he still remains as a master of utopia. His language is characterized both by irony and immense cultural references.
A useful website :
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