Who is Aldous Huxley?
Aldous Huxley (1894-1963) was an English writer, author of the literary classic “Brave New World”. His meditations on experiences with hallucinogenic drugs were reported in the book “The Doors of Perception”.
Childhood and youth
Aldous Leonard Huxley was born in Godalming, England, on July 26, 1894. Son of a professor and writer and grandson of a famous naturalist, Huxley grew up in an environment surrounded by vast intellectual people to start with.
Education, University & His Work
He studied at Eton College, but was forced to drop out of school because of an eye disease that left him nearly blind. Later, recovered from his eyesight, he returned to his studies. In 1913 he entered Balliol College, Oxford, obtaining a degree in English Literature in 1915.
His first publications were collections of poems, including “The Burning Wheel” (1916) and “Jonah” (1917). Worked as a journalist for the Athenaeum magazine and as a theater critic for the Westminster Gazzette. He published his first short story collection “limbo” (1920) and his first novel “Crome Yellow” (1921), where he made a severe criticism of intellectual environments.
Aldous Huxley made several trips to keep in touch with the European intellectuals. He was in Paris and then resided in Italy, at the time he wrote “Point Counter Point” (1928) in which he shows his intellectual solidity and the modern techniques of the art of the novel. In 1932, he published his most important book, which would make him better known, “Brave New World”, where he combines satire and fiction, with a visionary and pessimistic character of a society rigid by a caste system. In 1936 he published “Eyeless in Gaza”, of an autobiographical character.
In 1937, Aldous Huxley moved to the United States, was in California and the following year he moved to Hollywood, where he began writing screenplays for the movies. Then began the mystical time of his career. In 1941 he approached the religious literature of India and kept in touch with the “Vedanta Society” of Los Angeles. He published “The Art of Seeing” (1942) and “Time Must Have a Stop” (1944), the latter inspired by the Tibetan Book of the Dead. In 1946 he published an annotated collection of mystical texts, “La Philosophia Eternelle” (The Perennial Philosophy), in which he seeks a common substrate of various religions.
From 1950 onwards, Aldous Huxley began another stage of his life, now related to drugs, when he used the hallucinogens mescaline and LSD to expand consciousness and discover new horizons of human thought, which resulted in the publication of the book ” The Doors of Perception” (1954), which had a great deal of influence on North American society.
Last Year and Death
In 1960, Huxley was diagnosed with laryngeal cancer. In the following years, he wrote “A Ilha” (1962) and “Literature and Science” (1963), his last work. His experience with psychedelic drugs was so memorable to Huxley that he planned to leave his life on an LSD trip. With the help of his wife Laura, after three years of fighting the disease and at death’s door, he asked his wife to inject him with several doses of LSD.
Aldous Huxley died in Los Angeles, United States, on November 22, 1963.