Who is Aldous Huxley?December 13, 2020
Aldous Leonard Huxley is an English thinker and writer who lived from July 26, 1894 to November 22, 1963.
British novelist and critic Aldous Huxley was born on July 26, 1894 in England. He attracted attention with his intelligence and pessimistic satires he displayed in his works. Known for his novels, the most famous work of the author is “Brave New World” (1932), a dystopian science fiction model.
He was educated at Eton. During this time, he became partially blind due to keratitis. Under these difficult conditions, he continued his education with limited vision. He graduated from Balliol College in Oxford in 1916. He published his first book in 1916 and worked at the Athenaeum from 1919 to 1921. Later he devoted heavily to his writing.
In his two published novels (Crome Yellow, 1921 and Antic Hay, 1923), Huxley featured satires about British literary and intellectual figures of the period. Following these novels, Those Barren Leaves (1925) and Point Counter Point (1928) dealt with similar themes.
Brave New World (1932) is a touchstone in Huxley’s career. Like his other works, although it is primarily a novel with satirical elements, it also includes Huxley’s distrust of 20th century trends in politics and technology. The novel presents a dystopian vision of a society consisting of a scientifically determined and unchangeable caste system, in which a psychological conditioning that harms the individual and the World State has taken full control. With his other works that draw attention to the gaps and purposelessness in today’s society, Huxley displays his interest in Hindu philosophy and mysticism in his works as a valid alternative.
He was born in Godalming, in the Sussex region of England. He is a member of the Huxley family, which has produced many famous scientists and artists.
The grandson of the famous biologist Thomas Henry Huxley, one of Darwin’s fervent advocates, was also the brother of the famous biologist Sir Juilan Huxley. His mother was the nephew of the poet and essayist Matthew Arnold. His father, Leonard Huxley, was the owner and director of Cornhill magazine. This intellectual heritage, combining science and literature, formed the basis of Huxley’s view of the world. Three shocking events he experienced between 1908-1914; The disintegration of his family with the death of his mother, an eye disease that nearly brought him to the point of blindness when he was a student at Eton, and his brother’s suicide affected Huxley’s entire youth and left indelible marks in his life. The author had to fight eye disease for the rest of his life. While he was studying at Eton College, he was forced to take a break from his studies when he was in danger of being blinded by an eye condition. He later studied at Balliol College at Oxford University.
Although he is known for his novels and essays, he has also dealt with short stories, poems, travel writings, film stories and scripts. In his novels and essays, he criticized social norms and ideals, the misuse of science in human life. He was interested in parapsychology and mystic based philosophies and wrote articles on these subjects. In particular, his work titled “Perennial Philosophy”, which was translated into Turkish as “Kadim Felsefe”, brought Perennial Philosophy back to the agenda in various circles. In addition, his work titled “Brave New World” is one of the important examples of the dystopia genre.
Between 1916 and 1920, he published four books, mostly composed of poems that were influenced by the French Symbolists. Exempted from military service, Huxley worked as a farm laborer for a time. He married Maria Nys in 1919. His first novel, “Crome Yellow” (1921), which made him famous after Limbo (1920), in which his short stories took place, was published. F. Scott Fitzgerald praised the novel. Huxley, who spent most of his years after 1923 in Italy, lived in Southern France between 1930-1937. W. B. Yeats considered his novel “Those Barren Leaves” published in 1925 as the return of philosophy to the English novel.
Huxley’s first “idea novel” “Point Counter Point” (1928) further consolidated its reputation. But what earned him his real fame was the futuristic satire novel “Brave New World” (1932). Huxley was at the height of his fame when he left Europe for the USA in 1937. That same year, believing that the climate would be good for his eyes, he settled in California and lived there until his death. “The Doors of Perception” (1954) and its sequel “Heaven and Hell” (1956), which were published in 1954, caused wide repercussions. The book became one of the key works of the “beat generation”. The Doors ensemble got its name after this book, and the work inspired The Beatles’ Sergeant Pepper album. Maria Huxley died in 1955. Aldous Huxley married psychotherapist Laura Archera a year later.
In 1958, “Brave New World Revisited” was published. “Island / Ada”, published in 1962, is his last novel. In the same year, his Los Angeles house burned down. Huxley is now, in his own words, “property