Thursday, February 28, 2008

Author Du Jour: Aldous Huxley

(Stolen from Fantastic Fiction UK)
Aldous Huxley was born on 26th July 1894 near Godalming, Surrey. He began writing poetry and short stories in his early twenties, but it was his first novel, Crome Yellow, which established his literary reputation. This was swiftly followed by Antic Hay, Those Barren Leaves and Point Counter Point - bright, brilliant satires in which Huxley wittily but ruthlessly passed judgement on the shortcomings of contemporary society. For most of the 1920s Huxley lived in Italy and an account of his experiences there can be found in Along The Road.
In the years leading up to the Second World War, Huxley's work took on a more sombre tone in response to the confusion of a society which he felt to be spinning dangerously out of control. The great novels of ideas, including his most famous work Brave New World (published in 1932 this warned against the dehumanising aspects of scientific and material 'progress') and the pacifist novel Eyeless in Gaza were accompanied by a series of wise and brilliant essays, collected in volume form under titles such as Music at Night and Enda and Means.
In 1937, at the height of his fame, Huxley left Europe to live in California, working for a time as a screenwriter in Hollywood. As the West braced itself for war, Huxley came increasingly to believe that the key to solving the world's problems lay in changing the individual through mystical enlightenment. The exploration of the inner life through mysticism and hallucinogenic drugs was to dominate his work for the rest of his life. His beliefs found expression in both fiction (Time Must Have a Stop and Island) and non-fiction (The Perennial Philosophy, Grey Eminence and the famous account of his first mescalin experience, The Doors of Perception.
Huxley died in California on 22nd November 1963.

Random Quotes:

"An intellectual is a person who has discovered something more interesting than sex."
"At least two-thirds of our miseries spring from human stupidity, human malice and those great motivators and justifiers of malice and stupidity: idealism, dogmatism and proselytizing zeal on behalf of religious or political ideas."
"Maybe this world is another planet's hell."

(Nicked from Wikipedia)
Crome Yellow (1921)
Antic Hay (1923)
Those Barren Leaves (1925)
Point Counter Point (1928)
Brave New World (1932)
Eyeless in Gaza (1936)
After Many a Summer Dies the Swan (1939)
Time Must Have a Stop (1944)
Ape and Essence (1948)
The Genius and the Goddess (1955)
Island (1962)

Video Interview:

Click here for part two.