Huxley On Huxley
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Italian-born Laura Huxley, a teenage violin virtuoso, played for European royalty and made her American debut at Carnegie Hall before leaving the concert stage to become a renowned psychotherapist and author. In 1956 Laura married Aldous Huxley, author of BRAVE NEW WORLD, literary giant and prophet of the 20th century.
In the conservative 1950s, the Huxley home in the Hollywood Hills was the center of the artistic and intellectual avant-garde of Los Angeles. Guests to their famous Saturday luncheons included George Cukor, Igor Stravinsky, Orson Welles and Christopher Isherwood. The Huxleys' passionate search to find higher levels of consciousness included their controversial experimentation with psychedelic drugs. Narrated by Peter Coyote and featuring interviews with such luminaries as John Densmore, Michael Murphy, Nick Nolte and Ram Dass, HUXLEY ON HUXLEY offers a compelling glimpse of Laura's life with Aldous, as well as the revolutionary and provocative work that had a major influence on American and contemporary cultural history.
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Top customer reviews
David Garrett Izzo has published three books and many essays on Huxley, as well as the award-winning historical novel, A Change of Heart, in which Huxley is the main "character."
Laura Huxley was the type of gregarious spirited woman, very unlike himself, that Huxley preferred--sort of a dragoman. Protective and admiring of her famed husband, her quaint loyalty is obvious in this wonderful documentary. The video has old clips and new interviews of Huxley's illustrious friends at that period of his life. There is the diminutive Don Bachardy talking about Huxley and Isherwood, Stavinsky banging on a piano, Ram Dass jesting wittily, and the articulate Michael Murphy co-founder of Esalen describing Huxley as "intellectual royalty" from England, though living in California, the frontier, and therefore being able to "get away with more". And though one might not expect much in the way of insight from a rock drummer, some very interesting comments comes from john Densmore of the Doors. Ms Huxley can sound a bit self promoting or cheesy at times, but her allegiance is unchallengeable. Her efforts have probably introduced some individuals who might not otherwise be familiar with Huxley. Tough focussing on his kindness (which was really not kindness but a sort of detached avoidant style that might be taken as kindness superficially) she does seem to have really admired him, and her protective sentimentality may be just what Huxley needed at that time in his life. She also has the touching manner of mimicking his literary cadences in her own writing--she was not by nature a writer and must have read and reread what he wrote. And her own humor and kindness is evident in her coy description of Timothy Leary, whom most regarded as a shallow poseur, as a "public man". As to her amazement that Huxley chose her among the many women pursuing him....well, Huxley liked spirited women, if his novels are any indication, and he was both an Italianophile and musicophile. Worth a look... Damon LaBarbera, PhD