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Aldous Huxley

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Spencer Pennybacker

on 11 April 2014

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Transcript of Aldous Huxley

Aldous Huxley, a British writer, was born on July 26, 1894 in Godalming, Surrey. Huxley was born into a family of strong intellectual background, and was sent to preparatory schools for high-class children. Aldous was largely impacted at a young age, three traumatic events in specific that later shaped Aldous' life and work. At the age of 14 Aldous Huxley lost his mother.Julia died of cancer in 1908 when Aldous was just fourteen years old. His mother had been unwell, and in September, unbeknown to Aldous, cancer was diagnosed. Before the end of November she was dead.

Huxley only discovered the horror when he was brought to see her for the last time. The loss to the family – and the school – was profound. Worse, the happy family home was broken up. Two years later in 1911 he contracted a disease that left him virtually blind. Huxley considered the onset of eye trouble the most important single event in his life. This isolation acted as a stimulant rather than a depressant . He did not want to "see" only what was apparent, but also what was implied. Finally, the suicide of his brother in 1914 robbed Huxley of the person he felt closest to. Trevenen hung himself. Trev suffered a breakdown, and was confined to a nursing home. One Saturday, though he appeared cheerful, never returned after a walk, and over a week later his body was found hanging from a tree.
Aldous Huxley
In writing of his brother's suicide, Aldous concludes it was his ideals that had driven him to take his own life. The catastrophic conflict between ideals and reality becomes another theme dominating Huxley's work. Because of his sight he was not able to do the earlier planned scientific research that he had planned to take up, ultimately turning Aldous Huxley to literature. Huxley had a desire to express his ideas and convictions on a variety of subjects and in a variety of ways. He published several volumes of poetry between 1916 and 1920, and in 1921 his first novel, Crome Yellow, which established his literary reputation. He became most specifically known to the public for his novels; especially his fifth one, Brave New World, written in 1931 and published in 1932. Aldous' early exposure to physical suffering, both his own and that of close family members, is apparent in his novels, in which he often explores the theme of conflict.
Aldous Huxley Timeline
1894- July 6, Aldous Leonard Huxley born, Goldamig, Surrey.
1908- Enters Eton School; death of mother.
1913- Enters Balliol College, Oxford.
1914- Suicide of brother.
1916- Publication of The Burning Wheel, first volume of poems.
1919- Marriage with Belgian Refugee, Maria Nys.
1921- First novel, Crome Yellow.
1923- Antic Hay
1925- World Travel
1929- Collection of essays, Do What You Will.
1932- Brave New World
1935- First lecture on peace and internationalism.
1936- Eyeless in Gaza
1937- Transfer of residence to southern California. Ends and Means.
1939- After Many a Summer Dies the Swan
1945- The Perennial Philosophy
1950- Collection of essays, Themes and Variations.
1952- The Devils of Loudun
1955- Death of first wife. Publication of The Genius and the Goddess.
1956- Marriage with Laura Archera. Collection of essays, Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow.
1959- Award from the American Academy of Letters.
1960- Huxley’s cancer of the tongue diagnosed.
1963- Death in California, November 22.

Vorticism (1912-1915): "English art movement, Vorticism is sometimes called the English version of Cubism. Founded by abstract artist Percy Wyndham Lewis, members of the movement focused on themes that incorporated modern machinery and industry. The movement was a mixture of Futurism and Cubism, lasting from 1912-1915.”
Surrealism: (1924-1955) a literary and art movement which advocated the expression of imagination revealed in dreams.

Universalism: the theological doctrine that all people will eventually be saved.
Parapsychology: Parapsychology is a field of study concerned with the investigation of paranormal and psychic phenomena.

Mysticism: a religious practice based on the belief that knowledge of spiritual truth can be gained by praying or thinking deeply.
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