A young Aldous Huxley. (Huxley family photo / file)
The British novelist and intellectual, and longtime Southern California resident, remains best known for “Brave New World,” his 1932 novel about a fascist government that controls its population with strict rules and widely available mind-numbing drugs.
Still widely taught in schools today, the book received mostly (but not uniformly) positive reviews when it was released just a few years before dictators would seize power in Germany, Spain and other European countries.
Books adapted for the screen by Aldous Huxely
Aldous Huxley, most famous for his literature of dystopias and drug trips, wrote the screenplays for the first film adaptation of Pride and Prejudice (1940) and, with John Houseman and director Robert Stevenson, an early adaptation of Jane Eyre (1943). Not only that, but he might have been the screenwriter for Alice in Wonderland (this, of course, being quite a bit closer to the dystopia/drug trip fame). Knowing that Huxley was a massive fan of Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Walt Disney contacted the writer in 1945 and commissioned a script for a combination live action and animated adaptation. He completed a draft, and the two icons worked on it together, but in the end Disney felt it was “too Literally .” He was paid, and a wholly different and fully animated version (the one you know) was released in 1951.
Psychedelics: Vintage Minis
Could drugs offer a new way of seeing the world? In 1953, in the presence of an investigator, Aldous Huxley took four-tenths of a gramme of mescalin, sat down and waited to see what would happen. When he opened his eyes everything, from the flowers in a vase to the creases in his trousers, was transformed.
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