Aldous Leonard Huxley

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Huxley, Aldous Leonard


Born July 26, 1894, at Go-dalming, Surrey; died Nov. 22, 1963, in Los Angeles, Calif. English writer. Grandson of the biologist and Darwinist T. H. Huxley.

After graduating from Oxford University in 1921, Huxley pursued a literary career. His writings include poetry, short stories, travel notes, biographies, philosophical tracts, and critical essays on literature, theater, music, and painting. He is best known as a novelist. His early novels—Crome Yellow (1921), Antic Hay (1923; Russian translation, 1936), and Point Counter Point (1928; Russian translation, 1936)—are representative of what came to be known as the intellectual novel, or, as Huxley called it, the novel of ideas. Satire is dominant in his books of the 1920’s, the objects of his satire being the traditional snobbery of the British, the pretentiousness and spiritual emptiness of “high society,” and the thoughtless embrace of Freudianism and avant-gardism by some sections of the intelligentsia.

In the 1930’s, Huxley’s work showed a slackening of the satirical impulse; his writings were predominantly concerned with the biological properties of human nature. The antiutopian Brave New World (1932) marked a stage in Huxley’s development; the novel’s basic idea was borrowed by the author from B. Russell’s Scientific Outlook (1931). The “brave new world” (the novel’s title is taken from Shakespeare’s The Tempest) is completely automated, standardized, and soulless, and there is no room in it for art or for the most natural human feelings—love and the maternal instinct.

Huxley’s horror in the face of headlong technological advance and his lack of faith in social progress resulted in his turning toward religion, Eastern mysticism, and the idea of nonresistance to evil. But even the ideas of moral self-perfection in After Many a Summer Dies the Swan (1939) is vitiated by the novel’s grotesquely fantastic ending. In his works of the 1930’s and 1940’s, Huxley comes close to the modernistic treatment of man as a base and unclean animal—as in his novel Ape and Essence (1948). In the postwar years he devoted himself less frequently to artistic creation. Huxley’s evolution from rationalism to mysticism is a clear example of the crisis in the 20th century’s liberal-bourgeois consciousness.


Collected Works, vols. 1–26. London, 1946–56.
Collected Short Stories. New York, 1957.
Collected Essays. London, 1959.
Literature and Science. New York, 1963.
Letters. New York, 1970.
Crome Yellow. [Foreword by G. A. Andzhaparidze.] Moscow, 1976.
In Russian translation:
“Prekrasnyi novyi mir” (fragments), Internatsional’naia literatura, 1935, no. 8.


Palievskii, P. “Gibel’ satirika.” In Sovremennaia literatura za rubezhom. Moscow, 1962.
Zhantieva, D. G. “O. Khaksli.” In her book Angliiskii roman XX v. Moscow, 1965.
Ivasheva, V. V. “O. Khaksli.” In her book Angliiskaia literatura XX v. Moscow, 1967.
Shestakov, V. “Sotsial’naia antiutopiia O. Khaksli—mif i real’nost’.” Novyi mir, 1969, no. 7.
Allen, W. Traditsiia i mechta. Moscow, 1970. (Translated from English.)
Atkins, J. Aldous Huxley. London, 1967.
Holmes, C. M. Aldous Huxley and the Way to Reality. Bloomington-London [1970].
Woodcock, G. Dawn and the Darkest Hour. New York, 1972.
Thody, P. Aldous Huxley. London, 1973.
Bedford, S. Aldous Huxley: A Biography, vols. 1–2. London, 1973–74.


References in periodicals archive ?
Aldous Huxley was the grandson of a distinguished Victorian biologist and Darwinist who authored in 1932 a chilling indictment of progress gone mad - Brave New World.
Aldous Huxley is perhaps most widely known for Brave New World, his dystopian novel, and The Doors of Perception, on his experimentation with psychedelic drugs.
El enorme merito de traducir por primera vez al espanol la poesia de Aldous Huxley conlleva la dificultad de no contar con ninguna referencia anterior que ayude en la tarea de interpretacion de unos versos complejos y plagados de multitud de referencias intertextuales.
Jake Poller, a doctoral student at Queen Mary, University of London, is working on the place of mysticism in the life and work of Aldous Huxley.
In Aldous Huxley and the Mysticism of Science June Deery offers what I consider a smart, though standard, account:
The Festschrift, Reluctant Modernists: Aldous Huxley and Some Contemporaries.
Aldous Huxley fue caritativo al creer que los franceses no tenian oido para calibrar la vulgaridad del verso de Poe.
The Aldous Huxley Annual publishes essays on the life, work, and interests of Aldous Huxley and his contemporaries.
The 17 papers here discuss such aspects as a special inquiry with Aldous Huxley into the nature and character of various states of consciousness, deep hypnosis and its induction, simulation and the role of indirect suggestion and minimal cues, and whether laboratory and clinical hypnosis are the same or different phenomena.
From which of Shakespeare's plays did Aldous Huxley take the title of his novel Brave New World?
Perhaps, one could say, it as sinister and mysterious as the research push which now sees the scientific establishment extending boundaries into cloning - a world once visited only in the science fiction novels of Aldous Huxley and John Wyndham.