Long before "turn on, tune in, drop out" became the credo of the American counterculture, Aldous Huxley was using mescaline and LSD in controlled, carefully documented experiments. Accounts of those psychedelic experiences, along with his interest in Eastern mystical religions, accompany the moving story of Aldous Huxley's later years with his ...Read MoreLong before "turn on, tune in, drop out" became the credo of the American counterculture, Aldous Huxley was using mescaline and LSD in controlled, carefully documented experiments. Accounts of those psychedelic experiences, along with his interest in Eastern mystical religions, accompany the moving story of Aldous Huxley's later years with his wife, Laura. Huxley's fascination with the spiritual world remained with him throughout his life and never wavered through his final illness in 1963. THIS TIMELESS MOMENT takes the reader into the lively mind of one of the most profound thinkers of any generation.Read Less
This Timeless Moment is Laura Archera Huxley?s memoir of her marriage to Aldous Huxley. Laura Archera, a young musician from Italy, married the aging and recently widowed Huxley in 1956. Her book chronicles their life together until his death from throat cancer in 1963.
By her own admission, Mrs. Huxley was not a ?bookish? person. Nor was English her mother tongue. Her writing style is strangely disjointed and contains both non-sequiturs and inconsistencies. Nonetheless, her love for Aldous Huxley is clear. It is this love that makes the book worthwhile.
Due to Mrs. Huxley?s tact and awkward writing style, the reader needs a background knowledge of Aldous Huxley?s life and work to understand a number of her anecdotes and veiled references. I re-read Mrs. Huxley?s memoir after completing David King Dunaway?s Aldous Huxley Recollected. Mrs. Huxley?s story made more sense once I?d gained the necessary background knowledge of Huxley?s final years.
Mrs. Huxley devotes a chapter and then some to the Huxleys? drug use. This section of the work has a crusading tone which I found annoying. It is followed by several heartbreaking chapters describing Huxley?s final illness and death. I developed a new appreciation for this man (and his wife) who worked so hard to finish one final essay, ?Shakespeare and Religion?, just days before his death. Mrs. Huxley reveals that Huxley told her in his final days that he was on the verge of filing everything together in one last novel. She then shares the first chapter of this unnamed, unfinished work. It is beautiful (and is, unmistakably, Aldous Huxley). It is the finest chapter in Mrs. Huxley?s book. I kept wishing it would go on and on.
Mrs. Huxley succeeds in showing a rarely seen side of Aldous Huxley. So often, he is portrayed as cold, aloof and cerebral. Here, Huxley is a warm, vibrant, sensual human being who is utterly at peace with himself and the world.
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