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A. Huxley in Sanary - A condensed biography A.4

Villa "Huxley"

Table of Contents

Years passed, almost seven, during which every summer was spent sunning and basking on the nearby beach, working endless hours, painting, reading-out loud while making jam, listening to Beethoven and Bach on the old gramophone, travelling a lot, and socializing with faithful friends. There were ups and downs, years better than others, 1933 saw the arrival of the German refugees in Sanary, nothing would ever be the same, 1935 was called the terrible year by Maria because Aldous could not finish a difficult, yet pivotal work for his future orientation, Eyeless in Gaza (1936).

If BNW brought an immense success, it had been in the course of many years. As a writer Huxley constantly had to innovate, and he was more of a thinker than a novelist. The Bloomsburry years gone, Italy fallen into the hands of the Fascists, and the European skies becoming darker and darker, Huxley could not stay idle; he had to defend what he had always praised. In 1935 on the advice of his friend Gerald Heard he got himself involved in the pacifist movement Peace Pledge Union in which numerous people suddenly found hope. Huxley wrote many PPU speeches and attended congresses. But the terrible events of 1936 in Spain which prefigured the upcoming war were to put a definitive halt to the philosophical discourse. Aldous Huxley with his family and his friend Heard left Europe for America in February 1937. The motive was to find a school for Matthew and test the Bates’s new method, to cure Aldous’s eyes. They had planned to stay over a full year; they would not come back for another ten years for the Old World had lost his head.

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