Welcome to the Centre for Aldous Huxley Studies (CAHS)

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This original CAHS site was designed by Joel Deshaye, in consultation with Uwe Rasch, M.A., and Prof Dr Bernfried Nugel, in 2003.

The design visually refers to a description of the moksha-medicine experience as described in Huxley's 1962 novel, Island. This description, which serves as a footer on the first page, shows Will Farnaby's reaction to looking at a bookshelf while under the hallucinogenic influence of the drug:

"And what strange jewellery! Narrow slabs of emerald and topaz, of ruby and sapphire and lapis lazuli, blazing away, row above row, like so many bricks in a wall of the New Jerusalem. Then—at the end, not in the beginning—came the word. In the beginning were the jewels, the stained-glass windows, the walls of paradise. It was only now, at long last, that the word "book-case" presented itself for consideration."

The image shows Huxley sitting on the wall near his California home in the Hollywood hills in 1959. The original photo, by Rose Nys, included Laura Huxley reclining on a chair, but the image was edited so that the bricks could extend to the left and become progressively less substantial. We can see Huxley lightly seated on the bricks. Considering his reference, above, to the bricks being like books on a shelf, he seems very comfortable there. One can imagine his love of books and his appreciation of the cloudy greyness of an ambiguous reality. The wall suggests the impermanence of objects like books; the colored psychedelic fog (a collage of mathematically derived Mandelbrot fractals) represents Huxley's dual interest in hallucinogenic drugs and science. The bricks and fog show two of Huxley's learning strategies: the use of the encyclopedias for hard facts and the use of mystical or chemical methods for subjective truths.

Laura Huxley has approved the use of this image of Aldous.

CAHS with a new website

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To offer more efficient services, this website is currently being redesigned. Upcoming new features include a searchable catalogue of our library, an updated bibliography of Huxley's writings and Huxley studies as well as a full list of our publications (Aldous Huxley Annual and "Human Potentialities") and their contents.

The Peter Edgerly Firchow Memorial Essay Prize

The Third Firchow Prize has been awarded to: JULIAN PIRAS (Independent Scholar, Belgium)
for his essay "Suffering and the Liberation from Suffering: Core Concerns in the Works of Aldous Huxley"
(Aldous Huxley Society, Executive Committee, 12 November 2015), see Firchow Prize
Sixth International Aldous Huxley Symposium 2017

Venue: University of Almería
Dates: 19 - 21 April 2017 (conference warming on 18 April; coach tour through the Province of Almería on 22 April)
Convenors: University of Almería, represented by Prof Jesús Isaías Gómez López, and the International Aldous Huxley Society (AHS)
“Almería, you have the Light for lover”
General theme: Aldous Huxley in Europe
The general theme of the conference will naturally focus on Huxley’s activities in Europe, particularly in Italy, France and Spain, but there will certainly be room for a variety of other topics.
Huxley Forum: “Aldous Huxley and Self-Realization: his concept of Human Potentialities, his techniques for actualizing them, and his views of their social consequences”
This forum is being organized by Prof Dana Sawyer (please send your proposals to <dsawyer@meca.edu>) and will be held in a similar fashion as at the last symposium in Oxford (see AHA 12/13).

Call for Papers:
Please send your proposals for lectures (20 – 30 minutes, including discussion) by
30 April 2016 and your abstracts (20 – 30 lines or 200 – 300 words) by
30 September 2016
to Prof Bernfried Nugel (<nugel@uni-muenster.de>).

Registration and accommodation will in due course be organized by Prof Jesús Isaías Gómez López (<jesuias@gmail.com>).

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Huxley Exhibition at the Department of English, University of Münster

“Before Brave New World and After: Aldous Huxley 1894-1963” is the title of an exhibition at the Department of English, University of Münster. It presents a cross-section of the many-sided artistic oeuvre of Aldous Huxley, who not only wrote Brave New World (1932) and numerous other influential novels but also worked as poet, essayist, dramatist, screen writer, art critic and critic of society and culture. In the second part of his life he increasingly turned to Far East mysticism and came to regard the image of the “Dancing Shiva” (represented here by a brass statue) as a powerful symbolic expression of his later philosophy oriented towards mind expansion. Beside many first editions of his most important books the exhibition also displays bibliophilic specimens, reproductions of several paintings by Huxley, two splendidly illustrated copies of his only children’s book as well as publications and activities of the Centre for Aldous Huxley Studies. This exhibition was compiled and arranged for the CAHS by Uwe Rasch, M.A., in collaboration with CAHS Director Prof. Dr. Bernfried Nugel.

Location: Library of the Department of English, Johannisstr. 12-20, 48143 Münster (admission free)
Time: 19 June 2015 until 31 March 2016

Recent Activities

- Fifth International Aldous Huxley Symposium
Venue: Balliol College, Oxford
Date: 1-4 September 2013
For further information, see Oxford.

- On 26 July 2013, a Huxley Memorial Bench was donated by the Aldous & Laura Huxley Literary Trust and Aldous Huxley Society and dedicated in Compton Village Cemetery, see Huxley Bench.

- CAHS acquires private Huxley collection from Heinz F. Esser, see Library.

- Just published: Aldous Huxley Annual, 14 (2014), see LIT-Verlag.

- For Mary Ann Braubach's documentary "Huxley on Huxley", see Braubach.