Aldous Huxley: kick-off meeting
Programme 1st Year
The Huxley Club aims to equip its members with the skills and the academic background to act as student guides of the Aldous Huxley Centre Zürich, which is run by Robin Hull, curator of the International Aldous Huxley Association (IAHS) and the Aldous Huxley Centre Zürich. The permanent exhibition of Huxley’s works at the Aldous Huxley Centre Zürich is of interest to universities throughout the world and baccalaureate schools in Switzerland and in neighbouring countries (Gymnasia, Lycée).
Members of the Huxley Club spend a year studying the main works of Aldous Huxley and familiarising themselves with the contents of the exhibition in order to be able to assist the curator of the centre in showing groups of students from schools and universities around. To qualify as a museum guide students need to attend at least 8 of the lectures listed below, preferably over an academic year, and give evidence of having read the texts concerned. In addition, they need to attend the opening lecture (Life and Works) and the final induction session for museum guides. On completing their training, student guides are invited to qualify as assistant curators in a further one-year programme.
– Crome Yellow (Vintage)
– Antic Hay (Vintage)
– Those Barren Leaves (Vintage)
– Collected Short Stories (Ivan R. Dee)
– Point Counter Point (Vintage)
– Brave New World (Vintage)
– Eyeless in Gaza (Vintage)
– After Many a Summer (Vintage)
– Complete Essays Volume IV (Ivan R. Dee)
– Grey Eminence (Vintage)
– The Perennial (Philosophy Vintage)
– Time Must Have a Stop (Vintage)
– Complete Essays Volume V (Ivan R. Dee)
– Island (Vintage)
– Complete Essays Volume VI (Ivan R. Dee)
– Kieron O’Hara, Huxley: A Beginner’s Guide, Oneworld (2012)
– James Hull, Aldous Huxley, Representative Man (2004), Lit Verlag (available at the school)
– Sibyl Bedford, Aldous Huxley, A Biography
How to prepare and what to consider
If you don’t have time to read the books, come to the lectures anyway. They might help you decide which texts by Huxley you might want to read. If you do decide to read one of the works the lectures treat of, study the relevant texts, put a mark against any unknown words. Look up the words concerned and write the definitions or translations into your personal copy of the text, if you have one. Write down what you like or dislike about the texts you have read draw comparisons to other texts. List the main themes. Are they still topical or has the world changed so much in the meantime that they are no longer relevant. Do you see a relation of the text you have just read to other works by Huxley? Is there something like a development from one text to another? Would you recommend the book you have just read to friends? Are they of importance to the contemporary world? If so, how? What are Huxley’s greatest strengths as a writer, what are his weaknesses? Why should we still read his works?