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Aldous Huxley Critical Essays

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❶In Uncertainty to a Lady. Suppose they were right, and suppose they met after death.

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Beginning in and continuing until his death in , 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 Huxley wrote the introduction to the "Bhagavad Gita: From until , 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 through 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? Nonetheless, Huxley's agnosticism, together with his speculative propensity, made it difficult for him to fully embrace any form of institutionalised religion. In the spring of , Huxley had his first experience with psychedelic drugs , in this case, mescaline. Huxley had initiated a correspondence with Dr. Humphry Osmond , a British psychiatrist then employed in a Canadian institution, and eventually asked him to supply a dose of mescaline; Osmond obliged and supervised Huxley's session in southern California.

After the publication of The Doors of Perception , in which he recounted this experience, Huxley and Swami Prabhavananda 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.

There are differing accounts about the details of the quality of Huxley's eyesight at specific points in his life. About Huxley encountered the Bates method for better eyesight, and a teacher, Margaret Darst Corbett , who was able to teach the method to him. 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. The book contained some generally disputed theories, and its publication created a growing degree of popular controversy about Huxley's eyesight.

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 , Bennett Cerf was present when Huxley spoke at a Hollywood banquet, wearing no glasses and apparently reading his paper from the lectern without difficulty: 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. And I don't give a damn, really. On the other hand, Huxley's second wife, Laura Archera , would later emphasise in her biographical account, This Timeless Moment: Alvarez , she tempered this: For instance, although Aldous did not wear glasses, he would quite often use a magnifying lens. Her account, in this respect, is discernibly congruent with the following sample of Huxley's own words from The Art of Seeing: American popular science author Steven Johnson , in his book Mind Wide Open , quotes Huxley about his difficulties with visual encoding: 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. In Aldous Huxley was diagnosed with laryngeal cancer and, in the years that followed, with his health deteriorating, he wrote the Utopian novel Island , [52] and gave lectures on "Human Potentialities" both at the University of California 's San Francisco 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. 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—as with that of the author C. Lewis —was overshadowed by the assassination of U. Kennedy on the same day.

Huxley's memorial service took place in London in December ; it was led by his older brother Julian , and on 27 October [61] his ashes were interred in the family grave at the Watts Cemetery, home of the Watts Mortuary Chapel in Compton, Guildford , Surrey, England. 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. Aldous Huxley Huxley in 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 and the Search for Meaning: A Study of the Eleven Novels. 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. 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.

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.

Brave New World , Marshall Cavendish , p. H-R , Greenwood Publishing Group , p. Royal Society of Literature. National Library of Scotland. Retrieved 24 April But even when made acceptable by tradition and a great talent, the algebraic style strikes us as being very remote from the living reality of our immediate experience.

Certain peoples lose themselves in their thoughts, but for the Greeks all things are forms. We retain only their relations and, enclosed, as it were, in the limpid day, Orpheus like we build, by means of the word, temples of wisdom and science that may suffice for all reasonable creatures.

This great art requires of us an admirably exact language. The very word that signifies language is also the name, with us, for reason and calculation; the same word says these three things. The most richly satisfying essays are those which make the best not of one, not of two, but of all the three worlds in which it is possible for the essay to exist.

The perfection of any artistic form is rarely achieved by its first inventor. To this rule Montaigne is the great and marvelous exception. By the time he had written his way into the Third Book, he had reached the limits of his newly discovered art.

One damned thing after another — but in a sequence that in some almost miraculous way develops a central theme and relates it to the rest of human experience. And how beautifully Montaigne combines the generalization with the anecdote, the homily with the autobiographical reminiscence!

How skilfully he makes use of the concrete particular, the chose vue, to express some universal truth, and to express it more powerfully and penetratingly than it can be expressed by even the most oracular of the dealers in generalities!

Here, for example, is what a great oracle, Dr. Johnson, has to say about the human situation and the uses of adversity. But, surely, the quiver of Omnipotence is stored with arrows, against which the shield of human virtue, however adamantine it has been boasted, is held up in vain; we do not always suffer by our crimes, we are not always protected by our innocence. Nothing confers so much ability to resist the temptations that perpetually surround us, as an habitual consideration of the shortness of life, and the uncertainty of those pleasures that solicit our pursuit; and this consideration can be inculcated only by affliction.

They know neither Aristotle nor Cato, neither example nor precept; and yet from them Nature draws effects of constancy and patience purer and more unconquerable than any of those we study so curiously in the schools.

Among other reasons, because the professional sages tend to express themselves in a language of highest abstraction and widest generality — a language that, for all its gnomic solemnity is apt, in a tight corner, to reveal itself as ludicrously inappropriate to the facts of life as it is really and tragically lived.

In the course of the last forty years I have written essays of every size and shape and color. Essays about things seen and places visited. He first studied at Eton College, Berkshire When Huxley was fourteen his mother died. At the age of 16 Huxley became for a period of about 18 months totally blind. By using special glasses he was able to read and he also learned Braille. Despite a condition of near-blindness, Huxley continued his studies at Balliol College, Oxford , receiving his B.

Unable to pursue his chosen career as a scientist - or fight in World War on the front - Huxley turned to writing. His first collection of poetry appeared in and two more volumes followed by

Essay title: Aldous Huxley

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Aldous Huxley Essays Biography. Aldous Leonard Huxley was born on July 26, in Surrey, England, because the 1/3 son of Dr. Leonard Huxley and Julia Arnold. Huxley turned into born into an extended line of scientists and intellectuals.

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All twenty-one of Aldous Huxley’s short stories, ranging from the five pages of “The Bookshop” and the six pages of “Fard” to the thirty-eight pages of “Happily Ever After” and “Chawdron,” are gathered in Collected Short Stories, which remains one of Huxley’s books readily available to readers. Aldous Leonard Huxley (26 July – 22 November ) was an English writer, novelist, philosopher, and prominent member of the Huxley family. He graduated from Balliol College at the University of Oxford with a first-class honours degree in .

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- "The Doors of Perception" by Aldous Huxley The Doors of Perception, written by Aldous Huxley in was the first essay of its kind to deal with not only the physical effects of mescaline but also attempted to rationalize the fundamental needs . Aldous Huxley (), English novelist and critic, best known for his dystopian novel Brave New World (). Besides novels he published travel books, histories, poems, plays, and essays on philosophy, arts, sociology, religion and morals/5(1).