Bright Young Things discussion

Aldous Huxley
This topic is about Aldous Huxley
24 views
Favourite Authors > Aldous Huxley

Comments Showing 1-30 of 30 (30 new)    post a comment »
dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by Nigeyb (last edited Oct 11, 2016 11:40AM) (new)

Nigeyb Jennifer's Aldous Huxley nomination got me thinking about him.


We don't seem to have read anything by him, as a group, and yet he is named checked in the BYT description

I am sure plenty of people here are familiar with some or all of his books. Which ones do you rate? Which ones do you plan to read? And which did you try but not enjoy?

I've only ever read Brave New World and The Doors of Perception/Heaven and Hell - both were so long ago that I can't really remember much about either. I know I liked Brave New World but that's about it

I think I always meant to read Eyeless in Gaza but I don't think I ever got round to it.

Here's the GoodReads Huxley list...
https://www.goodreads.com/shelf/show/...

A bit of googling about his best books revealed these nuggets (which may or may not be wide of the mark)...

Crome Yellow
Brief Candles
Brave New World
Brave New World - Revisited
Eyeless in Gaza

*

Island

*

In fiction:
Point Counter Point, because it is the best from his early period, when he wrote 'novels of ideas'.
Brave New World, because it is still relevant
Eyeless in Gaza, because it will turn you into a pacifist
Island, because it is his attempt at a final summing-up

In non-fiction:
Ends and Means, for its amazing clarity when discussing complex themes such as war, politics, religion, ethics, education;
The Perennial Philosophy, if you're into spiritual teachings across religions
The Doors of Perception, for the way he describes a mescalin trip

*

I feel that the Six Volumes of his "Complete Essays" represent the "best". I'm reading Volume 5 now-- and agree with the following reviews:

These exceptionally edited and organized books...display a wide-ranging
intellect unmatched among twentieth-century men of letters. -- Atlantic
Monthly

To read all the essays in sequence is like being
enrolled at the college of your dreams. -- New Yorker

*
One of my GR chums over at the Patrick Hamilton App Soc offered the following advice about his recommended next Huxley step (based, I think, on a similar feeling of slight disappointment about Antic Hay)...

Forget "Point Counterpoint" and "Eyeless in Gaza", and go straight to "After Many a Summer Dies the Swan" which is both readable and entertaining!

He and I tend to share similar opinions on the wonderful world of literature so my next stop will indeed be "After Many a Summer Dies the Swan" - any views?

*
Lynaia wrote: "I thoroughly enjoyed Crome Yellow"

*
Over to you..

Peter wrote: "I read (some) Aldous Huxley once upon a time...but so long ago that I can't even remember which of his works I did read. Since I vaguely remembered liking his writing, I thought I'd blow the dust off my old Penguin paperbacks and go through them chronologically. I dimly recognized at least one bit of Crome Yellow so I must have read that before, but Antic Hay didn't ring any bells at all. Maybe I did, maybe I didn't. The next one is Those Barren Leaves, but that's not on my shelf. So it looks like Point Counter Point, which is. I'm pretty sure I read After Many a Summer and I probably enjoyed it...but the mists of time have obscured it so completely that it's hardly a useful recommendation."


message 2: by Nigeyb (last edited Jun 06, 2016 05:28AM) (new)

Nigeyb From Wikipedia...


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

Short story collections
1920 Limbo
1922 Mortal Coils
1924 Little Mexican (US title: Young Archimedes)
1926 Two or Three Graces
1930 Brief Candles
1944 Collected Short Stories
Jacob's Hands: A Fable (co-written with Christopher Isherwood; discovered 1997)

Poetry collections
1916 Oxford Poetry (magazine editor)
1916 The Burning Wheel
1917 Jonah
1918 The Defeat of Youth and Other Poems
1920 Leda
1925 Selected Poems
1929 Arabia Infelix and Other Poems
1931 The Cicadas and Other Poems
1971 Collected Poems

Essay collections
1923 On the Margin
1925 Along the Road
1926 Essays New and Old
1927 Proper Studies
1929 Do What You Will
1930 Vulgarity in Literature
1931 Music at Night
1932 Texts and Pretexts
1936 The Olive Tree and other essays
1937 Ends and Means
1940 Words and their Meanings
1942 The Art of Seeing
1945 The Perennial Philosophy
1946 Science, Liberty and Peace
1950 Themes and Variations
1954 The Doors of Perception
1956 Heaven and Hell
1956 Adonis and the Alphabet (US title: Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow)
1958 Collected Essays
1958 Brave New World Revisited
1960 On Art and Artists
1963 Literature and Science
1977 Moksha: Writings on Psychedelics and the Visionary Experience 1931–63
1977 The Human Situation: Lectures at Santa Barbara, 1959

Screenplays
Brave New World
Ape and Essence
1940 Pride and Prejudice (collaboration)
1943 Madame Curie (collaboration)
1944 Jane Eyre (collaboration with John Houseman)
1947 A Woman's Vengeance
1950 Prelude to Fame
1951 Original screenplay (rejected) for Disney's animated Alice in Wonderland [55]
1971 Eyeless in Gaza (BBC mini-series in collaboration with Robin Chapman)[56]

Travel books
1925 Along The Road: Notes and essays of a tourist
1926 Jesting Pilate: The Diary of a Journey
1934 Beyond the Mexique Bay: A Traveller's Journey

Children's fiction
1967 The Crows of Pearblossom

Drama
1924 The Discovery (adapted from Francis Sheridan)
1931 The World of Light
1948 Mortal Coils – A Play (stage version of The Gioconda Smile)
1958 The Genius and the Goddess (stage version, co-written with Betty Wendel)
1967 The Ambassador of Captripedia
2000 Now More Than Ever (Lost play discovered by the Department of English Literature, University of Münster, Germany)

Articles written for Vedanta and the West
1941 "Distractions" "Distractions II" "Action and Contemplation" "An Appreciation" "The Yellow Mustard" "Lines" "Some Reflections of the Lord's Prayer"
1942 "Reflections of the Lord's Prayer" "Reflections of the Lord's Prayer II" "Words and Reality" "Readings in Mysticism" "Man and Reality" "The Magical and the Spiritual"
1943 "Religion and Time" "Idolatry" "Religion and Temperament" "A Note on the Bhagavatam" "Seven Meditations"
1944 "On a Sentence From Shakespeare" "The Minimum Working Hypothesis" "From a Notebook" "The Philosophy of the Saints"
1945 "That Art Thou" "That Art Thou II" "The Nature of the Ground" "The Nature of the Ground II" "God in the World"
1946 "Origins and Consequences of Some Contemporary Thought-Patterns" "The Sixth Patriarch" "Some Reflections on Time"
1947 "Reflections on Progress" "Further Reflections on Progress" "William Law" "Notes on Zen"
1948 "Give Us This Day Our Daily Bread" "A Note on Gandhi"
1949 "Art and Religion
1950 "Foreword to an Essay on the Indian Philosophy of Peace"
1952 "A Note on Enlightenment" "Substitutes for Liberation"
1954 "The Desert" "A Note on Patanjali"
1955 "Who Are We?"
1956 "Foreword to the Supreme Doctrine" "Knowledge and Understanding"
1957 "The "Inanimate" is Alive"
1960 "Symbol and Immediate Experience"
Audio recordings
1955 Knowledge and Understanding [57][58]
1955 Who Are We? [58][59]

Other
1936 Pacifism and Philosophy
1937 An Encyclopedia of Pacifism (editor)
1941 Grey Eminence
1953 The Devils of Loudun
1962 The Politics of Ecology
2007 Selected Letters


message 3: by Jan C (new)

Jan C (woeisme) | 1525 comments I may or may not have ordered Huxley in Hollywood by David King Dunaway yesterday.

For whatever reason I found myself on Alibris yesterday and found there was a sale. Unfortunately there wasn't a sale on shipping which they base on per book at the store I was getting them from. Steal on the books, they're doing the stealing on the shipping. I had hoped to cut down on the shipping price by just ordering from one store. Oh, well.


message 4: by Nigeyb (last edited Jun 06, 2016 08:38AM) (new)

Nigeyb Jan C wrote: "I may or may not have ordered Huxley in Hollywood by David King Dunaway yesterday. "


"Huxley in Hollywood" looks like it will be a great read Jan.

Here's Andy's review on GoodReads...

It's ironic that Huxley's life was more exciting than most of his books, and he's easily the hippest British expatriate to live in Hollywood, in my opinion.

Topics in the book include:

Huxley's acid trips
The legendary house fire (he let everything burn)
His involvement with Eastern religion
Writing screenplays that were unfilmable
Losing his eyesight and driving to the desert with his family, anyway

In England he was just another witty writer, but he didn't really stand out until he moved to Hollywood. This book is wonderful.


https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...

I've just ordered a copy. Thanks Jan.




message 5: by Jennifer W (new)

Jennifer W | 1002 comments Mod
My goodness, he was prolific! I had no idea! I also didn't realize Brave New World fell within our time frame. For some reason, I thought it came out in the 50s.

The only work of his that I've read is Crome Yellow. I read it a few years back and enjoyed it. I started BNW many years ago, but I didn't get very far into it.


message 6: by Nigeyb (new)

Nigeyb Jennifer W wrote: "My goodness, he was prolific!"


Wasn't he just?

We could do a whole Huxley challenge one year.


message 7: by Nigeyb (last edited Jun 06, 2016 10:46AM) (new)

Nigeyb Nigeyb wrote: "We could do a whole Huxley challenge one year."


For some reason the idea of a Huxley vs Orwell challenge also just came into my head.

Clearly for some people this would mean BNW vs 1984, and talking of which....

http://highexistence.com/amusing-ours...

....however, they were both far more eclectic than their most famous novels suggest and it would actually be quite interesting to compare and contrast.


message 8: by Jan C (new)

Jan C (woeisme) | 1525 comments I've only read Brave New World when I was in high school eons ago.


message 9: by Nigeyb (new)

Nigeyb I'm just reading the rather marvellous The No.9 Bus to Utopia by David Bramwell, in which he mentions that Aldous wrote Island as an antidote to Brave New World, and because of his burgeoning interest in the New Age scene and eastern mysticism. I love the idea of BYT era authors going through to the '60s and '70s, and still taking an interest in contemporary culture. Aldous, having recently moved to LA around this time, also inspired Michael Murphy to set up Esalen, a famous Californian retreat that still exists today.

The Esalen Institute, commonly just called Esalen, is an American retreat center and intentional community in Big Sur, California (specifically the community of Slates Hot Springs), which focuses upon humanistic alternative education.[2] Esalen is a nonprofit organization devoted to activities such as personal growth, meditation, massage, Gestalt Practice, yoga, psychology, ecology, spirituality, and organic food.[3] The institute offers more than 500 public workshops a year in addition to conferences, research initiatives, residential work-study programs, and internships.[4]

Esalen was founded by Michael Murphy and Dick Price in 1962. Their goal was to explore work in the humanities and sciences in order to fully realize what Aldous Huxley had called the "human potentialities".[5] Through the years, Esalen became the center of practices and beliefs that make up the New Age movement, from Eastern spirituality, alternative and mind-body therapies, to Gestalt Practice.[6]

Esalen is located near the John Little State Natural Reserve and Lime Creek, about 45 miles (72 km) south of Monterey and nine miles (14 km) north of Lucia. The institute is situated on 120 acres[7] of Big Sur coast.[


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Esalen_...

How wonderful is that?


message 10: by Jan C (new)

Jan C (woeisme) | 1525 comments Big Sur is great. I remember doing some hitchhiking there many years ago. But, as I recall, Esalen was under a serious cloud for many years. Maybe they have changed their ways and come out of it. But I don't recall them having had a very good reputation. Too cult-like.


message 11: by Nigeyb (new)

Nigeyb David Bramwell had a lovely time there. He mentioned a problem with bikers in the 60s.


message 12: by Nigeyb (new)

Nigeyb I heartily agree that Big Sur, Monterey, Carmel etc. are all a delight


message 13: by Jan C (new)

Jan C (woeisme) | 1525 comments Nigeyb wrote: "Jan C wrote: "I may or may not have ordered Huxley in Hollywood by David King Dunaway yesterday. "


"Huxley in Hollywood" looks like it will be a grea..."


My copy came today. Not sure when I'll be able to get to it though. Especially because it brought some friends. There was a sale at Alibris.


message 14: by Nigeyb (new)

Nigeyb ^ My copy of "Huxley in Hollywood" has also now arrived. I'm not sure when I'll read it, but hopefully sometime in the next few months


message 15: by Jan C (new)

Jan C (woeisme) | 1525 comments Maybe we can get it for a September group read.


message 16: by Nigeyb (new)

Nigeyb Sounds like a good plan Jan


message 17: by Greg (new)

Greg | 330 comments Huxley In Hollywood for September group read, do it. You won't regret it. There's lots in there on Isherwood too.


message 18: by Nigeyb (new)

Nigeyb ^ Sounds like three potential votes right there Greg.


message 19: by Nigeyb (new)

Nigeyb I have just finished Antic Hay by Aldous Huxley, Jennifer's nomination which won the August 2016 fiction group read poll.

Click here to read my review




message 20: by Dawn (new)

Dawn (goodreadscomdawn_irena) I just read this incredible review from someone about Albert Huxley's The Doors of Perception . Nigeyb , I know you said you read it ages ago , but was it terribly good . I read some incredible statements in this review about his LSD trips and how he would critique art and draperies of all things while tripping ! The book was very well received and was used by the Beatles for inspiration in writing a song and of course The Doors too. Then he also inspired Timothy O'Leary . Someone mentioned the book Stoner in comparison ! HA!

I was just wondering if I might consider it to read later on in the year or maybe next year. I know we just decided to read Antic Hay and I have not gotten a copy of that one yet . I wanted to read it as my funny read ! You suggested it as good for me. If I can get a copy of Antic Hay , I will just do a individual read and post here with comments . If not , I may read The Doors of Perception on my own and just post a new thread if anyone has time to join me later . Is this ok with everyone ?

Now, I am going back to cry on the battlefields of the Somme ... Dawn


message 21: by Nigeyb (new)

Nigeyb I read The Doors of Perception & Heaven and Hell when I was a teenager Dawn - man decades ago. From what I can remember it is very much of its time - though easy to see why it was such an influence on the 1960s counterculture.

You can nominate it for September if you want, or just set it up as a hot read if other people express enthusiasm for joining in.


message 22: by Nigeyb (last edited Sep 14, 2016 02:00AM) (new)

Nigeyb Nigeyb wrote: "I'm just reading the rather marvellous The No.9 Bus to Utopia by David Bramwell, in which he mentions that Aldous wrote Island as an antidote to Brave New World, and because of his burgeoning interest in the New Age scene and eastern mysticism. I love the idea of BYT era authors going through to the '60s and '70s, and still taking an interest in contemporary culture. Aldous, having recently moved to LA around this time, also inspired Michael Murphy to set up Esalen, a famous Californian retreat that still exists today.

The Esalen Institute, commonly just called Esalen, is an American retreat center and intentional community in Big Sur, California (specifically the community of Slates Hot Springs), which focuses upon humanistic alternative education.[2] Esalen is a nonprofit organization devoted to activities such as personal growth, meditation, massage, Gestalt Practice, yoga, psychology, ecology, spirituality, and organic food.[3] The institute offers more than 500 public workshops a year in addition to conferences, research initiatives, residential work-study programs, and internships.[4]

Esalen was founded by Michael Murphy and Dick Price in 1962. Their goal was to explore work in the humanities and sciences in order to fully realize what Aldous Huxley had called the "human potentialities".[5] Through the years, Esalen became the center of practices and beliefs that make up the New Age movement, from Eastern spirituality, alternative and mind-body therapies, to Gestalt Practice.[6]

Esalen is located near the John Little State Natural Reserve and Lime Creek, about 45 miles (72 km) south of Monterey and nine miles (14 km) north of Lucia. The institute is situated on 120 acres[7] of Big Sur coast.[


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Esalen_...

How wonderful is that?"


On YouTube, part five of a five-part series exploring the world's most extraordinary communities. [author:David Bramwell|7243060] delves into the story behind Esalen, a hot spring community in Big Sur, California, conceived by Aldous Huxley, and whose caretaker was a young aspiring writer with a gun fetish and bad attitude....called Hunter S. Thompson....

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v5BHf...


message 23: by Greg (new)

Greg | 330 comments Great suggestion, Dawn and Nigeyb. I've read The Doors of Perception - Heaven and Hell several times over the years, got something new from it each time, last time especially Heaven and Hell. I'd love to see a hot read thread on this book.
Another Huxley book I'd recommend is Moksha, writings on psychedelics and the visionary experience 1931 - 63. Also while on Huxley's essays, his On Art And Artists is worth a visit, though I haven't read all of it yet, it is a collection of lots of short essays, so I tend to come back to it.
Nigeyb, the book The No. 9 Bus looks like another for the to-read-list, must read that. I see you're a Kraftwerk fan. The Brighton Fringe sounds good. Envy. Also I will explore the Odditorium Podcasts. Thank you!


message 24: by Nigeyb (new)

Nigeyb Thanks for those Huxley tips Greg


Greg wrote: "Nigeyb, the book The No.9 Bus to Utopia looks like another for the to-read-list, must read that.

I see you're a Kraftwerk fan. The Brighton Fringe sounds good. Envy. Also I will explore the Odditorium Podcasts. Thank you! "


And thank you Greg. That's wonderful. I am glad you feel inspired to read The No.9 Bus to Utopia by David Bramwell (and check out the podcasts)

I loved The No.9 Bus to Utopia. Here's more info...

When David Bramwell's girlfriend left him he was inspired to get away and investigate a number of communities who might help him to find a better way of living. David journeys to various communities which he feels might exemplify a Utopian ideal of communal living. Some I’d heard of, most I hadn't. Nothing he discovers is especially surprising, or revelatory, however he is such an engaging guide and companion that each chapter is a delight.

Click here to read my review

4/5




message 25: by Greg (new)

Greg | 330 comments The No. 9 Bus to Utopia scenario looks like the destination one of the main characters in the tv series Madmen arrives at in California in the sixies.


message 26: by Haaze (new)

Haaze | 140 comments Thanks for all the interesting posts about Huxley. His numerous essays have always seemed alluring to me (although the several volumes of the collected essays can be a bit intimidating). The man was certainly prolific in his writing.


message 27: by Nigeyb (new)

Nigeyb Just reading about Ape and Essence in Huxley in Hollywood and I am intrigued. Has anyone read it? Sounds like a sort of proto-apocalyptic Sci Fi yarn with shades of Planet of the Apes....

In February 2108, the New Zealand Rediscovery Expedition reaches California at last. It is over a century since the world was devastated by nuclear war, but the blight of radioactivity and disease still gnaws away at the survivors. The expedition expects to find physical destruction but they are quite unprepared for the moral degradation they meet. Ape and Essence is Huxley's vision of the ruin of humanity, told with all his knowledge and imaginative genius.





message 28: by Nigeyb (last edited Oct 10, 2016 11:33AM) (new)

Nigeyb I've watched some of this BBC documentary about Aldous Huxley from 1993...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q4XMC...

A good compliment to Huxley in Hollywood


message 29: by Nigeyb (new)

Nigeyb Another day, another Aldous Huxley video. This one feels incredibly relevant and prescient.

The interview originally aired on Wallace’s television show, The Mike Wallace Interview, on May 18, 1958. The show ran from 1957 to 1960 and now more than 65 episodes are housed at the Harry Ransom Center at The University of Texas at Austin.

Aldous Huxley, the author of Brave New World, was 63 when he sat down for this interview. He died in 1963.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oIgju...

Another interesting complimentary watch to November 2016's non-fiction group read Huxley in Hollywood, which I've almost finished and thought was really interesting and informative.

http://blankonblank.org/interviews/al...


message 30: by Nigeyb (new)

Nigeyb Click here to read my review of Huxley in Hollywood - our Nov 2016 non-fiction group discussion.


back to top