Aldous Huxley Surrey 1894- 1963

His life

Aldous Huxley was born in Godalming, Surrey on July 26, 1894, into a well-to-do upper-middle-class family. His father, Leonard Huxley, was a biographer, editor, and poet. He first studied at Eton College, Berkshire (1908-13). When Huxley was fourteen his mother died. At the age of 16 Huxley suffered from a strange disease in his eyes and became totally blind for about a year and a half. By using special glasses and one sufficiently recovered eye, he was able to read but he had already learned Braille. Despite a condition of near-blindness, Huxley continued his studies at Balliol College, Oxford, receiving his B.A. in English in 1916. As he could not follow his chosen career as a scientist - or fight in World War on the front - Huxley turned to writing. 

During the 1920s Huxley formed a close friendship with D.H. Lawrence, another writer, with whom he travelled around Italy and France. For most of the 1920s Huxley lived in Italy. In 1931 he moved to Sanary, near Toulon, where he wrote Brave New World. In the mid 1930s he became deeply concerned with the Peace Pledge Union. Then, he moved in 1937 with the guru-figure Gerald Heard to the United States, believing that the Californian climate would help his eyesight, a constant problem for him.

In the 50s, Huxley was considered a guru to the hippy movement in California. He had started to use LSD and showed interest in studying other states of consciousness and in the Hindu philosophy. But in 1961 there was a terrible fire in his house and his papers were totally destroyed . Huxley died in Los Angeles on November 22, 1963.



His work

Crome Yellow was written in 1921 and it is the typical novel of the beginning of the XXth century in which a a group of well-off young people come together at a beautiful house to, most of all, avoid meeting with the host. They spend most of their time eating, drinking, and holding forth on their personal intellectual conceits.

Apart from being different from what is most famous of Huxley, his novel contains a portrait of actual events and better drawn character than other suchlike novels of that time.

Aldous Huxley wrote Brave New World in 1932. Here he warns of the dangers of giving the state control over new and powerful technologies. An example of this is the control of reproduction through technological and medical intervention, including the surgical removal of ovaries, the Bokanovsky Process, or hypnopaedic conditioning. Another is the creation of complicated entertainment machines that generate both harmless leisure and the high levels of consumption and production that are the basis of the World State’s stability, which is also a satire of the society in which Huxley existed and which still exists today . "Soma" is a third example of the kind of medical, biological, and psychological technologies that Huxley's work criticizes most sharply.

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